The BBC Good Food show is one of my favourite things in Winter. A precursor to Christmas food shopping, it’s a great place to seek out new and interesting foodie items that I haven’t tried before. I went along to see what I could find.
For me, my favourite part of the show is the producers village, where you can meet the people behind the food, sample their goods and buy items at exclusive show prices. After wandering around wide eyed looking at all of the produce, I started to get stuck in with the samples. In true adventurous style, I sampled some Alpaca meat from Moor View Alpacas. I know what you’re thinking – “those cute little llama things? How could you eat them?!” – well let me tell you, adorable as they are, they are also extremely tasty! Along with other exotic meats like Ostrich, Alpaca meat is extremely lean, with a sweet, mild flavour not unlike wild boar but a little less gamey. I bought some sausages and some burgers which were really tasty and great quality.
I tried some Black Pudding from Ramsay of Carluke which was really good. Black Pudding is definitely one of those products which divides people, you either love it or hate it, but I love it and this particular recipe was really delicious. They also had a selection of miniature Haggis which I couldn’t resist buying . I’ll give you the verdict once I’ve found a recipe to try! And I just had to get myself some Scotch Eggs from the The Handmade Scotch Egg company. They had a wide selection, including vegetarian options with spiced chickpeas and curry flavours, but I had to be a purist and go for the traditional ones. They were fantastic, with crisp breadcrumbs on the outside, coarse meat surrounding and a perfectly cooked egg. Spot on!
After sampling my way around the Producers Village, I headed to the Champions Pavillion where the award winning produce is on display. I bagged myself a selection of cured meats for just £15 from Woodalls British Charcuterie. With Cumbrian ham, Royale ham, smoked pancetta, salami and good old smoked back bacon, I was very pleased with my haul. The Royale ham was delicious, with a sweetness to the meat that I haven’t experienced before. It was very moreish, and should be a great centrepiece for an antipasti platter at my Christmas party, with heaps of bacon for the morning after! I loved the fact it was all British pork too, as so much of the cured meats and salamis in supermarkets are imported, so it’s brilliant to find a British supplier.
Then it was onto the drinks. I was spoilt for choice with real ales, and as a beer lover, that’s what I was hoping to see. I popped over to the guys at Purity as I love their beers, but as I was feeling festive I headed over to see the guys at Best of British Beer to sample some of their Christmas specials. The most intruiging was a pale ale called Monty’s Ding Dong, described as the Champagne of pale ales! It had a wonderful refreshing flavour, very light and very drinkable. They even sold it in magnum size, but unfortunately they’d just sold out so I had to settle for a smaller bottle.
I also got myself some Earl Grey Creme tea, flavoured with Vanilla as well as Bergamot, from award winning Bluebird Tea Co, and some lychee and green apple bubbles from Pop A Ball, which can be used to make Bubble Tea, or to jazz up cold drinks or even prosecco.
If you’ve never been to the Winter Good Food Show before, it’s the perfect place to get some Christmas inspiration, sample some fantastic and award winning products, and shop local, supporting independent British producers, making everything from the traditional to the wildly exotic.
Tickets for the Spring show next year are on sale now.