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Food Frivolities 2: More interesting things

December 22, 2013

Lake District Dairy Company Quark

Quark three ways

I saw quark years ago but always associated with diet recipes. It looked a bit…well, boring. Now the Lake District Dairy company are making it fun, tasty and home-grown. It comes in vanilla, lemon and natural flavour and can be used in place of yoghurt, creme fraiche, cream cheese, and various other products.

I’ve used the plain version to make creamy blue cheese canapés and I’ve had the vanilla one for breakfast with cereal. I think both the plain end lemon would make a good bases for pasta sauce and then of course there’s all the normal cheesecake, dip and smoothie options. There’s some excellent ideas in Delicious Magazine.

Quark is made by warming soured milk until it sets and then straining it. It’s naturally fat free but crucially it’s high in protein which is rather good for me and my running.  The Lake District Dairy co itsself is 100% owned by British farmers so at times when dairy farmers are struggling, it’s great to have products like this around. 

Aldi Cheese and Drink Pairings

Sherry and Stilton

I have frequently tweeted about my love of Aldi. Its products are great quality and its staff are fast, unflappable and unfailingly friendly that it never ceases to amaze me. How can a queue THAT long move THAT fast without customers feeling harried? They are magic. Anyway, I’ve used their excellent Muesli in various recipes but now it’s time to take it up a notch. Aldi have teamed up with Master of Wine and past Associate Editor of BBC Good Food Magazine, Sarah Jane Evans to pair a wide range of cheeses and drinks – from cider to port and brie to paprika cheddar. I was sent Match 1 and 4 from the range:
1. Limestone Coast Chardonnay & Extra Mature Cheddar
4. Caversham Cream Sherry & Long Clawson Mature Blue Stilton

I’ve bought port from Aldi (and other places in the past) but I will confess that I am not a Sherry Master. However, I did agree that the very sweet warm flavour of it worked well with the creamy stilton and its musky blue vein. The stilton wasn’t the strongest I have encountered (I can take it mouldier than that!) but this meant that the pairing was a very comforting, blanket-like experience – perfect for a Christmas evening.

I haven’t tried the chardonnay yet but I’m really impressed by the cheddar, which is definitely mature. It’s hard with wonderfully tart bite to it.

Thanks to my mum’s suggestion I plan try using the sherry  in risottos.

Fruyo from Total Greek

Myrtilli aka blueberry

In the new year, Total Greek are launching several new fruo flavours. I was rather pleased to be given a sneak preview of the lemon and blueberry flavours. As with the other fruyo’s these are not split pots – the fruit is mixed right through. The lemon one was my favourite as it had lemon rind (but not bitter – magic) running through it. So refreshing.

Portlebay Kracklecorn

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 14.12.18

I can’t review this personally, but what I can tell you is that since Mr B tasted the Maple Bacon flavour, we’ve been checking every deli and food store we go past to try to find it. It always seems to be sold out. The hunt continues, but in the meantime I’ll be enjoying the other flavours and those of Metcalfe’s, Joe & Seph’s and the plethora of other corn-poppers out there. Portlebay – I’m waiting to be a loyal consumer, but until then I’m going to be fickle with my popcorn love.

Thanks to Aldi, Lake District Dairy Company and Total Greek for the samples. I was not required to write a positive review and all views are my own.

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