The Flavour Weekly: The Cornish Food Box Company

These were the veggies spread gloriously and deliciously across my kitchen table just over a week ago. Who would imagine that Cornish grown vegetables could appear so fresh, colourful and delightful in December? Slap a turkey in the middle and my Christmas feast is sorted.

The Cornish Food Box Company is run by sisters Lucy Jones and Victoria Amran in Truro. I’d encountered their colourful stand at the Cornwall Food & Drink Festival in September which stood out for the sheer variety of produce displayed.

What you see is their early Christmas gift to me. It represents an £11 veg box and 12 different types of freshly grown (only from Cornwall) vegetables. I’m feeding a family at home and we are still enjoying some of the potatoes, carrots, sprouts, onions, peppers and cabbage you see here.

The Cornish Food Box Company was established 12 months ago and now delivers boxes of fresh, seasonal, local food to homes, offices and holiday cottages. Working with more than 70 small Cornish farmers and producers, the business aims to make it as easy as possible for busy working families to support the rural economy by buying local food. Continue reading

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Ten ‘Cornish’ best for the Christmas table.

Giving traditional Christmas Day dining a proper Cornish twist with unique food and drink specialities from the best local producers.

1. Apéritif:

Ninemaiden's Mead

‘Ninemaidens Mead’, Lanner, TR16 5TQ.

Mead, a sweet, honey-based alcohol and, was not invented in Cornwall, but has been strongly associated with the Duchy. Ninemaidens produce five different varieties: ‘traditional’, with a strong heather honey nose, and ‘spiced’, which makes an invigorating winter warmer. These could be just as easily drunk as a sweet desert wine.  ‘Apple’, ‘blackcurrant’ and ‘redcurrant’ are fruity, slightly drier but equally delicious. Honey is sourced from hives across West Cornwall and the best locally sourced ingredients are added during the brewing process.

For Christmas it can be warmed, mulled or added to a spicy winter punch. Alternatively, try their new ‘Gwires’, crystal clear distilled mead with a floral, honeyed bouquet; a great Cornish alternative to classic single malt.

Tel:(01209) 820939 / 860630 www.cornwallsolar.co.uk/ninemaidens Continue reading

Prima Bakeries ‘all’ Cornish pasty

Three Cornish family businesses have joined forces in a keep-it-local boost for the county’s “national dish” that will create new jobs.
A big expansion programme for Scorrier-based Prima Bakeries is majoring on a re-launch of its Cornish pasty range – using a long-established secret family recipe but now involving potatoes, turnip and beef from two suppliers based near Penryn.

As a bonus, Prima has also tied up a deal for another Cornish delicacy with close neighbour Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream.

After months of research, trials and development, Prima has chosen Treluswell Mount Farm at St Gluvias as its sole supplier of potatoes and turnip.  A few miles down the road, long-established Roskrow butcher R J Trevarthen will exclusively supply best rump skirt beef. Continue reading

The Flavour Weekly: Rapeseed oil, baked squashes and kale.

This week I called in on the open day of the new business enterprise called Cornwall Food and Drink, just in time for some lunch…

There is a danger that I will begin to develop a reputation for monopolizing the food table, but I couldn’t resist as the refreshments were delicious…

For one, the delicious Crabby Jacks’ sumptuous crab pâté on fingers of brown bread; I kept going back for more…however it did have to compete for my attention along side a cup of warm mulled apple juice, a slice of duck pie and lastly Vicky’s fabulous bread dipped in Simply Oils divinely mild and slightly nutty flavoured cold pressed rapeseed oil – oh, and the requirement to be a little sociable…. (Incidentally, I’m going to learn to make bread with Vicky in a few weeks so there will be more of that later.)

Cornwall Food and Drink is a private enterprise founded by Ruth Huxley and Alex Harris, who have become best known for their joint masterminding of the popular Cornwall Food and Drink Festival held in Truro in September. Cornwall Food and Drink aims to fill the gap in the county, for organising professional and properly structured programme of events and food festivals. Making sure that food and drink in Cornwall gets the very best support and development it deserves, and is sustainable in the longer term. Continue reading

Cuisine Couture Catering

William and Nicola Marsden

Pencoose Pantry

It’s not everyday that when you go round to meet someone for the first time they are ready to serve you a wholesome and extremely appetizing brunch. William and Nicola Marsden’s business premises at Pencoose Barn are also home. Catering operations, alongside family life, centre on a long wooden table that runs down the centre of a large and busy kitchen.

On the morning I met them, their youngest child, Tommy, aged one and a half, was happily enjoying a wholesome, fresh-baked roll and, judging by the aroma, I think there may have been an added slight sea-salt crust and hint of rosemary. Nicola regrets that, “My children have to move aside when the serious catering takes over,” and with typical mother’s guilt she berates herself for this. Meanwhile he was busy play cutting a set of plastic fruit and vegetables, while I looked on in awe. An early apprenticeship I supposed?

Continue reading