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Tasty pickings at this year's Real Food Festival
Driven by a passion for food that is fresh and grown or reared on healthy soil, free from chemical pesticides, fertilisers and new-fangled additives so that it is packed with flavour and essential nutrients, the Real Food Festival brings together like-minded food champions, artisan producers and food lovers from all over the country.
The official Charity Partner of the Real Food Festival 2009 is The Soil Association, which has long been regarded as the UK's leading campaigning and certification organisation for organic food and farming, and a champion of human health. The Association campaigns for safer, healthier produce and production methods, and to build public awareness to influence government and industry attitudes to issues such as genetic engineering in food, animal welfare, use of pesticides and antibiotics and the harmful effects of intensive farming on food quality and food safety.
FoodloversBritain.com is the official online partner of the Real Food Festival. Launched in November 2007 by Henrietta Green, award-winning author of the Food Lovers’ Guide to Britain, the site is where food lovers – from consumers to producers, restaurateurs to retailers – can find out where to buy, eat, learn or exchange information on local and regional food and drink. FoodLoversBritain.com is committed to championing regional distinctiveness; promoting farm animal welfare and sustainability; and sourcing locally and seasonally whenever possible.
To whet your appetite, here are just ten of the many gastronomical delights you’ll find at Earls Court from 8 to 10 May.
- English Wild Boar Salami with red wine from The Real Boar Company in the Cotswolds. One of only 73 products nationwide to receive a 3-star Gold Award in 2008, the salami will be joined by wild boar chorizo as well as venison and rare-breed pig products.
- English Mozzarella from Laverstoke Park, owned by ex-Formula 1 driver Jody Scheckter. The cheese is produced using milk from the Park’s own herd of water buffalo in Hampshire. The cheese has already received endorsement from Raymond Blanc and is expected to appear on his menus at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
- Bacheldre Watermill flour. These organic stone-ground flours are milled using traditional methods and equipment, some of which is over 100 years old. It has won several awards, including highly commended in the Store Cupboard Staples category of the Soil Association’s Organic Food Awards (Strong Malted 5 Seed Flour).
- The hottest chilli sauce in the UK, and possibly the world. Made by Chillipepper Pete, Dragon Slayer sauce contains pure capsaicin crystals and the world’s hottest chilli, naga jolokia, as well as prunes, cherries and blueberry juice. Their award-winning Dragon’s Blood sauce, slightly cooler but still packing a punch at over 500,000 Scovilles, will also be available.
- Blackberry Vinegar from Kitchen Garden Preserves. Another 3-Star Gold Award-winner, this deliciously different vinegar will add a twist to just about anything. Kitchen Garden Preserves celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Festival and has won much praise through its career, including an endorsement from Wahaca/Masterchef’s Thomasina Miers: “You can’t get better than a jar of ‘Kitchen Garden’ in the cupboard ...jams, chutneys and marmalades made to the highest standards. You would think that they were homemade. Their delicious pots are a fine way to start the day on toast, or to accompany cheeses and hams for supper.”
- Irish line-caught wild smoked tuna from Connemara Smokehouse on Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Rick Stein is a fan of this unusual tuna made by husband and wife team Graham and Saoirse. Also in their range are honey-roast smoked tuna, smoked salmon, gravadlax, mackerel and trout.
- English Pesto from Stark Naked Foods in Suffolk. These pestos are hand-made from English herbs when in season. All herbs are grown within a 20-mile radius of the farm – sometimes it is only 15 minutes from ‘chop to blend’. The range includes a classic basil pesto; wild rocket; watercress and spinach; coriander and chilli; and tarragon, to name but a few.
- Ostrich steaks and kangaroo burgers from Cornish Country Meats. Yes, the kangaroo is imported from Australia, but all other meat, including ostrich, buffalo, venison and wild boar is sourced from the south west. Kangaroo Cornish pasties and sausages are also available – the meat is low in fat and deliciously gamey.
- Cider from Aspall. Based in Suffolk, Aspall is run by a family of eighth-generation cider makers and was the UK’s first Soil Association approved company. The company’s Premier Cru bottled cider was awarded World’s Best Cider at the inaugural World Cider Awards in 2008. Their organic and draught ciders also scored highly. Enjoy cider on its own or cook with clams or mussels.
- The world’s only Organic Melton Mowbray Pork Pie from Brockleby’s. Hand-made from free-range, locally sourced ingredients right down to the organic Leicestershire flour. It has recently been confirmed that Melton Mowbray Pork Pies will get Protected Geographical Indicator status from the EU, giving it similar status to Champagne, Parma Ham and Cornish clotted cream.
Real Food Festival, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London SW5 9TA
Tickets can be bought online at www.realfoodfestival.co.uk. Alternatively phone 0844 412 4642.
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