The Newport Pagnell and Olney Lions Club is organising a Food and Drink Fair in Newport Pagnell on Saturday October 12th. Following on from the very successful Gifts and Goodies event in July, this new show will again be held in the light and spacious URC Hall in the High Street,
A spokesman says “Our next event in Newport Pagnell, does to some extent, show how we try to support the community. We have been amazed at how many small, fledgling, artisan (one man or woman) businesses are out there. We are inviting them to show themselves off at this new event. So hopefully plenty of tastings and samplings. The lady who makes marshmallows, Laurence, pressing local apples for his award winning ciders, Gareth, baking wonderful breads in Emberton,
or the honey lady, the fudge lady, Hazel making chilli jam! Not overlooking, of course, Dan from the Concrete Cow Brewery”.
Here is brief profile of just some of our local exhibitors.
Sue from The Beesness makes a selection of honey, preserves, chutneys and other larder items from home in Bedfordshire. All the honey used in the products is from her own bees. Amazingly she makes over 80 different lines of honey, jams, jellies and chutney’s. In addition to all that creativity she also finds time to run one day Beekeeping courses.
Milton Keynes based Jo Gillow runs Happily Baking. If ever thereis a company name that says it all then Happily Bakingis the one! Treats include big and small cakes for all celebrations, novelty biscuits and delicious chocolate fudge (perfect for gifts and party bags).
If you have ventured to the wilds of North Crawley, perhaps on the way to Cranfield, you will have passed Lodge Farm, the home of dairy farmers G & A Anderson and the base for Angela Jane’s Farmhouse
Milk, cream, butter and ice cream is produced on the farm as well as freshly baked cakes and bread daily. The writer can recommend the shortbread biscuits.
When you start listening to Sandra Wright of Caramba, you realise just how passionate folk are about their specialities. She imports wonderful Olive oils and Balsamic Vinegars of the highest quality from Modena, Italy and waxes lyrical about them.
For example she offers a Balsamic vinegar, aged for at least 8 years. A complex sweet flavour, with an intense dark colour and texture. Sandra offer recipes and advice to the curious cook. Use as a beef marinade or add to bolognaise sauce. Ideal with beef casseroles or game and venison stews. As a final enticing thought, why not drizzle over oysters. Mama Mia!
It seems that in only few years we have adapted ourselves to the spicy cooking of the Mediterranean and beyond. Anjon Chillies, a family run business on Utcoate Grange farm near Woburn has realised the demand for chillies in particular, and has grown with it.
They grow a vast array of chillies, ranging from the popular Jalapeno and Apache varieties to the super-spicy Scotch Bonnet and Birds Eye, and have even created our very own Anjon Naga!
They use locally grown ingredients (including their own chillies) to produce homemade Chilli Jelly, a favourite with the writer, which is the perfect accompaniment, well… to anything really.
The Little Shop of Cheese is a small, family run business based in Buckinghamshire that specialises in selling cheeses from across Britain.
Some of the producers from the little dairies can be very interesting for the inquisitive customer and offer something very different from the more usual offerings found at cheese counters. These are really great for dinner parties and buffets providing a unique focal point and a chance to enjoy some of the tasty produce that the smaller dairies have to offer. These cheeses are often made with unpasteurised (raw milk) and are well worth trying.
Handmade cheese can vary quite differently between batches, for this reason, trying before buying is often a good idea. Also tasting can be a great opportunity to experience some of the more unusual British cheeses, especially the pongy ones, and can be a source of a great entertainment for both staff and customers.
Newport Pagnell, you have been warned!
Chrissie Chamberlain is making a name for herself locally. Her vegetarian foods can be found at events and farmers markets throughout the area. She is also expanding into delis and grocers so that you can buy “home cooked”, quality vegetarian food from your local store whenever youwant it.
Importantly in this era of “food miles” ingredients are bought locally where possible and all pastry is “home made” so we know what’s going into our dishes. Look out for Deli Vegeteria by name.
Now we all know about the worrying decline in numbers of the bee population. It is a concern, not just to honey producers but to fruit farmers and others who rely on these busy, buzzy creatures to assist with pollination. Carol Gale is a local beekeeper in Bow Brickhill and she has half a million bees in her hives. Just amazing. To find out more about these wonderfully talented creatures and to taste her local honey, come and meet her at the Lions Food and Drink Fair.
Dr Hazel Roberts is a remarkable business woman! Food miles are minimal for her.
Her business is named “Jammy Cow” and may be a subtle play on words that tells a story. She strives to offer products that are genuinely local. The preserves within the Jammy Cow range are all made from fruit and vegetables grown within the unitary authority of Milton Keynes. The preserves are all handmade in small quantities within Milton Keynes and are sold in Milton Keynes. Consequently, there are very few food miles associated with a Jammy Cow product.
Where possible the other ingredients used to make the products are sourced locally. For example when beer is a required ingredient it is real ale from the Concrete Cow Brewery in Milton Keynes, and where cider is required it is cider from Virtual Orchard in Milton Keynes. Small, artisan producers that you can meet at the show.
Finally you can get involved. Share your fruit and vegetables: If you live within the unitary boundary of Milton Keynes and have excess fruit and vegetables that is just too much for you, (like my courgettes), then the Jammy Cow team would love to take your excess off your hands and turn it into jam or chutney. Now that’s what I call local.
Hidden away behind the Galleon pub in Old Wolverton there is one man band producing traditional ciders and apple brandy from apples hand-picked from orchards scattered across Milton Keynes, North Bucks and South Northants. His name is Laurence Conisbee and if you want to talk about cider and sample it, then his company, Virtual Cider, will be at the show.
He modestly adds that he won CAMRA Gold Medal Champion Cider of Britain in 2011. Earlier this year he helped to extend the heritage of ciders locally by planting 200 pear trees in Woughton Orchard. Looking ahead to the future.
Giselle Gois is originally from Brazil. Brigadeiros (the Brazilian Truffles) are her real passion. She decided to turn her passion into a business starting her own company called “Atelier the Brigadeiro”. Just like so many of our artisan producers, a hobby, a passion, becomes a business.
Brigadeiros are the Brazilian’s favourite treat and are a must in every party, birthday or wedding. They are handmade without any preservatives, just the way that Giselle learnt in my home country. When asked what are the ingredients she replies “condensed milk, chocolate, butter, little bit of patience and a big portion of love!” When mixed all together she creates this unique and simply perfect chocolate dessert, called The Brigadeiro!
When Lisa Staines says that her company, Cupalicious, bake the finest cupcakes, celebration cakes, wedding cakes and macaroon’s, you better believe it! She says that the better the ingredients, the better the taste. Lisa says “we will provide you with delicious cupcakes or a celebration cake to make everyone smile”.
Newport Pagnell, are you ready?
The Food and Drink fair is on Saturday, October 12th at the URC Hall in Newport Pagnell. It will be open between 10.00a.m and 3.00p.m. Entry is free.