ACHICA About Town: Summer BBC Good Food Show treats

A date for the food lover’s diary, the Good Food Show is jam-packed with the latest food trends, up and coming brands, delicious recipe inspirations, and of course a line up of our favourite celebrity chefs. The show is on this weekend at the NEC Birmingham (until 17 June 2012) and ACHICA has been About Town to suss out some highlights...

As a foodie summer day out, the ACHICA Food & Drink team couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to search out the hottest brands and tastiest products. Luxury sweet snacks are always a firm favourite within ACHICA HQ and this trend continues into summer months as we indulge ourselves with light and sophisticated macaroons, gourmet popcorn, and the fluffiest of cakes.

Successful packaging and design is key in order to give a brand its identity, and in the case of Comins Tea House, a beloved pet cat helped in the process. Set up by husband and wife, the Comins love for drinking speciality tea lead them on a journey to India, where they observed the farming process in the Makaibari Tea Estate in the hills of Kurseong. These refreshing, aromatic teas were enjoyed back home by everyone in the household (we’re told including the cat!) After some collaboration with a British illustrator and designer, the face of the company emerged - the stylistic portrait of the couple’s furry friend. Printed onto tea accessories and homewares this delightful design decorates napkins and tea towels, to accompany the perfect brew.

A good slice of cake has been a classic fail-proof treat for many years and still goes hand in hand with a pot of afternoon tea. In fact, the only modernisation that has taken place to this simple baked desert is the craze of the cupcake. Providing a new creative medium for bakers, these mini sponges can be lavishly designed, and when they don’t look too good to eat, provide the perfect portion!

Sponge is a brand that has perfectly combined the ingredients of the traditional hand-made baking process with a modern edge. Using quality ingredients its cakes are made with love and care in small batches.  Not only does it bake the timeless; victoria, chocolate, carrot, lemon and coffee, but its clever use of ‘sharing cakes’ means you can pick and choose your family and friend's favourites to make a great celebration cake for all.

With a strong focus on artisan foods, the BBC Good Food show also included the Producers Village, showcasing a fantastic range of speciality local and seasonal food and drink.

By far the stand out product in this area was British rapeseed oil, which has become increasingly popular in recent months. A fantastic alternative to the much-used Mediterranean olive oil, rapeseed is made from bright yellow crops that produce health benefits a plenty and half the saturated fat of olive oil.

Infusion Oils is one such company that sells an extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil, grown in the Cotswolds. To make the most out of the oil’s versatility it is infused with various herbs, spices and vinegars to create unique oils and dressings that will add flavour to any culinary dish. We recommend Infusion Oil’s beautifully packaged gift sets, divided into three categories - classic, spicy and herby oil.

And finally, the gentlemen whom we can thank for changing the face of popcorn from the tired cinema snack to an exciting gourmet experience, are the masters of popcorn Joe & Seph. Taking inspiration from the flavoured popcorns across the pond, the inventing began back home in the British kitchen where the two developed an exquisite array of flavours from natural ingredients. With now over 20 flavour combinations, the range displays both sweet and savoury tastes from the classic caramel to the more adventurous goats cheese and black pepper, our favourite is the toffee apple and cinnamon!

You can discover your own favourite with the Joe & Seph’s ACHICA promotion on 28th June.

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor