They’re all pure gold
August 31, 2007
Taste is delighted to report that yet another of our favourite artisan producers has scooped several awards in the country’s top foodie ‘Oscars’.
And in doing so has highlighted we are hankering after ‘old-fashioned’ fruits and recipes, including quince and damson.
Yes, the long forgotten quince is finding it’s way back onto our tables!
In fact another Taste favourite, Quince Products of Oxfordshire, also won a Gold with its Quince and Black Cherry Fruit Cheese.
Dart Valley Foods, supplier of a fabulous range of condiments and preserves fit to grace any table, has won six Golds in this year’s Great Taste Awards.
It joins Chilliqueen and Proper Preserves alongside the list of winners who supply the discerning diners of Reading with some of our tastiest treats.
This year has seen Dart Valley win with both old and new recipes, which has left it delighted.
After four separate rounds of tasting, the judges – who are well respected right across the industry – awarded Golds to Dart Valley’s Cranberry Sauce with Claret, Quince and Rose Petal Jelly, Lemon Curd (an old favourite), Vintage Marmalade, Lime Marmalade and a very new recipe – Autumn Fruit Marmalade, which also contains quinces.
Claire Ramsey, spokeswoman for Dart Valley, said: “We are really pleased. Standards were quite high this year.”
Though Dart Valley, based at Woodmancott between Basingstoke and Winchester, is no stranger to winning awards for its products, this year was a very good year.
“All our products are excellent,” said Claire. “We weren’t surprised with six awards but it’s good that all the judges have personal preferences and we have still won these awards.
“We are really pleased with the Autumn Fruit Marmalade as it’s a new product – and we really wanted to get quince in our products. It is definitely becoming trendy.
“Quince does seem to be coming back into fashion, as are the old-fashioned preserves and fruits such as damsons.
“People are becoming more interested in the origin of their food, and they are harking back to the old traditional fruits.”
In fact Dart Valley is looking at various new recipes, including a green tomato chutney, though ensuring a supply of the relevant fruits and vegetable can be a challenge.
“It’s hard to find a good supply of green tomatoes. Many of the recipes come from what people had in their own gardens. But we are looking into the older recipes, like ginger and marrow.
“It’s nice to have these heritage products and they are what’s selling at the moment.”
Claire thoroughly recommends the Quince and Rose Petal Jelly: “It is one of our old ones. It’s back in fashion and it’s very pretty as well, with the rose petals suspended in the jelly – it’s a good one! You can use it in sweet or savoury, on scones – or as a glaze on meat.”
The Lemon Curd is a real winner, and Taste can confirm that it’s a great tasting product with a butteriness that calls you back time and time again.
The Vintage Marmalade is thick cut, made with oranges – the Lime Marmalade is also thick cut but the ‘new kid on the block’ – the Autumn Fruit Marmalade – is made from orange, apple and quince and is thin cut.
If you want to try out of the Dart Valley products check out the website at www.dartvalleyfoods.co.uk or visit any of the local outlets selling its wares including The Herb Farm, Sonning Common, County Delicacies in St Mary’s Butts, Reading town centre, and Bloomfield Hatch Farm in Mortimer – from around £2 upwards a jar.
* Look out for September’s issue of food monthly featuring more of the Great Taste Awards winners.