25 local Cheshire food products you should try this Christmas
- Credit: Archant
Buy local this Christmas... and fill your festive larder with all kinds of everything wonderful from these 23 food and drink heroes
1. Abbey Leys Farm
For an old-school farm shop that deals in fresh organic eggs and potatoes, head to this down-to-earth emporium to all things local in High Legh.
2. Big Five Sauces
Taking quick meals-at-home to the next level, Big Five Sauces draws largely from South African powerhouse flavours, with Durban curry, Cape Malay curry and roast chili and garlic paste to brighten up your plates.
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3. Cheshire Saffron Company
The sterling work of nurturing and hand picking red saffron from this Cheshire start-up has won them several gongs including Cheshire Life’s Producer of the Year Award 2019. greatbritishsaffron.co.uk
4. Delamere Dairy
What started as a rudimentary set-up with three goats has evolved into the sustainably conscious dairy we know and love today. Thirty-five years later, it rolls its products out on an international scale, with prized goat milk products leading the charge. delameredairy.co.uk
5. Edge Gin
Taking inspiration from the weathered Wizard’s Well in Alderley Edge, this gin maker pops up at artisan markets across Cheshire, and in drinking dens, with its distinctive blend of botanicals found in its classic London dry gin or L’Orange, and in its fruity gin liqueurs. theedgegin.co.uk
6. Flour Water Salt
The queues snaking out of the door of this space in Macclesfield are testament to its superior bakery know-how, that will send any carb-lover all aflutter. Crusty sourdough loaves with just the right amount of squishiness, almond croissants that flake all over your fingertips, and cinnamony kanelbullars dusted with cardamom, heaven. Head to the Picturedrome and wolf one down with a coffee or stock up via its online shop.
7. Fruits of the Forage
We’re not short on wild berries in Cheshire, and rather than see them fall to the ground to rot, the Fruits of the Forage Macc-based team scours our brambles and bushes and takes the rich bounty for their sticky jams, chutneys and cordials. fruitsoftheforage.co.uk
8. Great North Pie Co
Purveyors of oozy pies cooked up in their Wilmslow bakery, the Great North Pie Co supplies markets across the county and pulls out its pies in its own kitchen and bar in Ambleside. They also offer home delivery, whether your heart’s set on a pot roast chicken and bacon crusty bake, or sweet potato, pearl barley and kale. greatnorthpie.co
9. Haughton Honey
Perk up your porridge in the morning with a drizzle from the jars of this raw honeymaker in south Cheshire. Their flavours range from heather honey to its latest blend with CBD, or cannabis oil – try stirring into hot milk to reap its calm-inducing effects. haughtonhoney.com
10. Ice Cream Farm
The main attraction at this feel-good play centre is the ice cream, made from the milk of local cows by Cheshire Farm. What’s on the menu? There’s almost every classic flavour you can think of, and some more out-there scoops, from stem ginger to liquorice and blackcurrant.
11. Jeffrey’s Tonic
Elevate your G&T with one of these defiantly different craft syrups, created with grown-up, cheery flavours (oriental lime and yarrow, rosehip and elderflower) making them all the more interesting. Essentially, these home-brewed subtle cordials are best whizzed up with sparkling water and gin and can be delivered direct to your door or drank from the bars at Joseph Benjamin and The Midland.
12. Kenyon Hall FARM SHOP
The beloved farm, where visitors trawl through fields to pick strawberries and plump blackberries also has a prized shop, stocked with homespun jams, chutneys and cakes, honey from their hives, oil pressed from the oilseed rape, and duck eggs from their very own flock.
13. The Lost Barn Coffee Roasters
Thought all good coffee was roasted and imported to the green scenes of Cheshire? Think again. The coffee roasting team at the helm of this enterprise has a collective background in restaurants, swanky clubs and project management, and having just scooped a three-star rating in the 2020 Great Taste Awards – after just two years of business – the roastery near Tilston is firing on all cylinders. For a taste of the acclaimed coffee, you can order beans direct.
14. Loving Foods
Taking cues from the gut health movement, this start-up focuses on the benefits of fermentation, with its bright and bold collection of products, from fermented veg juice to the very on-trend kombucha.
15. Mobberley Brewhouse
Dreamt up by head brewer and young gun James Roberts, who’s been working his magic on craft beer since 2011, this microbrewery does a fine job of doling out its bottles to pubs and bars across the county, with tasting tours also available for beer aficionados. mobberleybrewhouse.co.uk
16. Nelstrops Family Flour Millers
Sometimes it takes an old-timer to show how it’s done. And with a legacy of six generations at the helm, Nelstrops remains at the top of its game 200 years later, producing top-quality flour on the outskirts of Stockport’s centre.
17. Organic North
The blueprint store for the green-minded cook, Organic North is a temple to exceptional fruit and veg, providing local foodie pioneers including Heritage at Home with much of their veggie box stock.
18. Perfect Samosa
This Indian-inspired enterprise devotes its full attention to, you guessed it, samosas. But they’re far from those ordered at your standard takeaway with standout fillings including an autumnal-sounding sweet potato, spiced pumpkin and nutmeg.
19. Quinteassential Fine Teas
Forget everything you thought you knew about tea. Tea sommelier Bernadine Tay is the whizz behind Quinteassential, developing unique blends for a growing fan base from a test kitchen in Chester.
20. Real Fruit Creamery
If you’re a fan of gelato, you’ve come to the right place. The Real Fruit Creamery is blazing a trail with its homespun scoops from a little corner of Knutsford. Two words: intense chocolate. It’ll change your life.
21. Seasoned Pioneers
Rick Stein, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith have all given their seal of approval to Seasoned Pioneers’ seasoning, spices and herbs, all of which is blended, roasted and packaged by hand at its HQ in the Wirral.
22. Tarsier Spirits
This pioneering distillery in Cheshire is in a whole different league from your supermarket plonk, blending Asian botanicals in its coveted bottles. Choose from the citrusy Southeast Asian dry gin, the Oriental Pink Gin with lychee and dragonfruit; and a tropical blend using ripe jackfruit. Why Tarsier? Ten per cent of all profits will be donated to the protection of these small primates.
23. Veg & Petals
Supplier to restaurants including plant-based pioneer Hypha in Chester, the Malpas-based garden unearths its kaleidoscopic bounty of edible flowers and freshly dug vegetables and adds them to veg boxes for the masses.
24. W (The) Weston Biltong Company
At one time, biltong was notoriously difficult to source, with fans of the nibbly dried meat having to hold out for southern African escapes. But now this business has brought it to Cheshire using prized beef nurtured with multigenerational farming knowledge and know-how, all wrapped up in punchy flavours.
This artisan distillery has achieved almost cult-like status in circles around Manchester with its never-knew-existed flavours, whether you’re after a potent mead or a zingy marmalade gin.