It’s National Sandwich Week!

It’s National Sandwich Week! We’re celebrating all this week by offering 10% off of this most versatile of sandwich fillings – ham. Below we explore some of our favourite ways to jazz up this sandwich institution.

Ham & Cheese Toasties

It goes without saying that there is nothing that cannot be improved with the addition of cheese, particularly melted cheese. For a classic toastie we recommend using our thickly sliced Ham Off the Bone which is packed full of flavour and a cheese that melts easily like a Gruyere or Gouda or a strong, extra mature Cheddar. The trick to a good toastie is lots of butter and a very hot pan. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and once you’ve added the sandwich use a plate or bowl with a can of soup or beans on top to weigh it down, this helps to compact the sandwich and ensures that the cheese melts evenly – enjoy!

Mighty Meaty Ham Sandwich

Recreate the classic Subway (other sandwich shops are available!) sandwich with our thickly cut Premium Devon ham and a variety of cured meats. We like it with Milano salami, peppery pastrami and prosciutto parma ham combined with some salty olives like our Kalamata or Classic Blend and a little mayonnaise. This works best on rolls rather than sliced bread as all that filling needs a sturdy receptacle!

Ham & Goats Cheese Baguette

Creamy goats cheese combined with ham and a dollop of fiery tomato chutney – what’s not to love! We recommend using our delicious subtly smoked ham and the Ticklemore Goat cheese with Waterhouse Fayre Spicy Tomato chutney. We’d also recommend using a fresh baguette for this as the hard outer crust works well with the soft goats cheese although this would also work with fresh granary or wholemeal bread to suit your preferences. We like the spicy tomato chutney but you could also use a chilli jam for a bit of sweetness if you prefer.

We hope you enjoy this national sandwich week, remember to tag us in any of your creations via our social media pages!

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Q&A Nibbles at your service

The Heart of our Company Blog

This month we are focusing on one of our newest Customers, Nibbles at your service.

Tiffany got in contact when we launched Westcountry Olives last year as she was looking for some local olives to add to her mouth-watering graze boxes. She then started using some of our cheeses and other products as part of her boxes. 

Full of local produce and made with an abundance of love and care, if you haven’t had a grazing box before then definitely get in contact with Tiffany, for her as a new business launching in the midst of the Pandemic last year all support is much appreciated so give ‘Nibbles at your service’ a follow/like on social media. 

You can also purchase their grazing platters via their website https://www.nibblesatyourservice.co.uk/

Q: Can you tell us about ‘Nibbles at your Service’?

A: Nibbles at your Service is an independent catering business, based in East Devon – we specialise in freshly-made-to-order
and handcrafted platters, presented beautifully in ready-to-serve boxes. We source the best of the South West’s products – so
you don’t have to – using the finest ingredients, locally sourced delicacies and a final, handcrafted and unique touch.

Q: What inspired you to start doing graze boxes?

A: I have always been very passionate about great food and the power it has to bring people together. I could see that the
‘grazing’ world was missing this same passion that food can bring us – excitement, colour, variety and togetherness. That is
why at Nibbles, we have 18 different varieties to choose from and even these can be tailored to meet your personal
preference and dietary requirements.

Q: What are the must haves in your graze boxes?

Firstly, everything should be of the highest and freshest quality – above anything else. Secondly, only the tastiest and best
quality ingredients are used in every platter which we create and we have taken time and care to ensure each platter we
serve is consistent in both quality and quantity and not only meets but exceeds our customer’s expectations. Fresh and
plentiful food is the most important ‘must have’ for us.

Q: As a relatively new customer, how did you hear about Isca Foods?

A: In our endeavour to keep as much of our produce as local as possible, that led me to sourcing delicious olives from
Westcountry Olives and consequently, this wonderful discovery led me to another family run business – Isca Foods.

Q: How long does a typical graze box take to put together?

A: None of our boxes are typical as we make each box as if we’ll be enjoying it ourselves which means we never overbook
ourselves or rush the preparation. Depending on the size and variety, it can take anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour
to create a platter-box but this doesn’t necessarily include any prep we do beforehand!

Q: Do you regularly look for new products to put into the boxes?

A: Yes! We are constantly coming up with new ideas and finding new, exciting products to incorporate into our boxes.
Luckily, we have the freedom and creativity to do this which is why we always say our ingredients may vary because if we
can find something even more delicious to include, then we’ll do it!

Q: What did you do prior to running Nibbles at Your Service?

A: Luckily, prior to starting Nibbles, I had over 15 years of working in Hospitality in one form or another – most recently,
working as First Class Cabin Crew for a major international airline. This means I am utilising a wealth of experience and
knowledge to make our platters the best they can be!

Q: What are you most looking forward to doing once lockdown restrictions have eased completely and life is a little more
normal?

I definitely miss traveling as that was such a huge part of my life before the pandemic took over but more than that, I simply
miss laughing and chatting whilst enjoying a delicious meal with my family

Q: As a very valued customer, is there anything we can do better to improve the service you are receiving from us?

The most important aspect of any relationship, in any situation is good communication and I feel confident that I can speak
with somebody at Isca who will be friendly and helpful whenever there may be an issue and know it will be efficiently and
courteously rectified.

If you would be interested in taking part in our Customer/Supplier Q&A blog, just drop us an email info@iscafoods.co.uk, or express your interest when you place your order with us on 01392 661001.

Afternoon tea graze box
Vegetarian graze box
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4 Great Gouda Recipes

This weeks ‘Orchardlea Weekly Offer’ is the Cornish Mature and Medium Gouda from the Cornish Gouda Company which is available with 10% off all this week! To celebrate we’ve found four great recipes using this deliciously versatile cheese. Whether you are a wonderful chef worthy of your own Michelin star or a kitchen novice these recipes are easy to follow and sure to deliver tasty results!

Fondue – Popularised in the 60’s this Swedish classic was originally conceived as a way of using up left over cheese and stale bread but today it has gone slightly out of fashion, presumably because of its overtly sharing nature which doesn’t bode well in these overly sanitised times. However it is so easy to make and the wonderful melted concoction is pure heaven for cheese lovers. Replace the Gruyere cheese with Cornish Gouda for a local twist and simply serve with some chopped crunchy vegetables or thickly sliced sourdough bread. https://www.nigella.com/recipes/cheese-fondue

Chicken breast stuffed with Gouda – Once upon a time this would have been an ideal dinner party recipe (remember those!) but for now this would be a great family dinner. We love this retro dish for its simplicity and the Gouda makes the chicken lovely and moist while the prosciutto adds a touch of saltiness. We like to make this extra decadent with a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce and serve with either new or sauteed potatoes. http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/8186/gouda-and-leek-stuffed-chicken-breasts.aspx

Cornish Gouda Quesadillas – This recipe featured on Rick Stein’s Cornwall on BBC Two earlier this year and is a uniquely Cornish take on this Mexican street food staple. These make a delicious lunch or light supper and the sweet freshness of the caramelised apples combines well with the creamy nuttiness of the Gouda. Delicious on its own or with the fresh tomato salsa. https://www.rickstein.com/blog/recipe-gouda-quesadillas-from-rick-steins-cornwall/

Cheddar & Gouda Macaroni Cheese – This recipe is from Jamie Oliver and typically Italian orientated, for a Cornish twist swap the traditional Parmesan for Gouda and we like to add some local English cured streaky smoked bacon for extra flavour. Just dice a couple of the bacon rashers and add them in at the same time as the garlic. Macaroni Cheese can get a bad rap due to some badly made ready meal versions but made from scratch it is a completely different story. The Cornish Gouda in this recipe adds another level of flavour and its low melting point makes it wonderfully oozy. https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pasta-recipes/a-killer-mac-n-cheese/

Tried any of these recipes at home? Tag us in your creations via our social media pages!

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Ingredient Showcase: Garlic

We don’t know about you but it certainly feels as though Spring has sprung today, the sun is shining (mostly!), it’s getting warmer and pretty daffodils and bluebells are in abundance everywhere. One foodie staple of spring is wild garlic which at this time of year can be found throughout the country along riversides and woodland. We thought we’d celebrate this humble bulb with a focus on some of the bestselling products containing it starting with cheese.

Lynher Dairies Cornish Yarg is undoubtedly one of our bestselling cheeses but did you know that they also produce a wild garlic variety? The cheese itself is made to the exact same recipe with the only difference being that rather than wrapped in nettles, the Garlic Yarg is wrapped in wild garlic leaves but the difference in flavour is simply staggering. The leaves impart a lovely gentle garlic flavour as well as slightly altering the texture of the cheese, making it firmer and less crumbly than the original. The team at Lynher pick their wild garlic from surrounding Cornish woodland each spring in an extremely limited time frame – normally only from mid-March to the end of April – the leaves are then wrapped around the cheeses and left to mature for up to six months. The Garlic Yarg is available in both whole 1.6kg rounds as well as half moons and retail pre-packs.

West Country Olives are a new addition to our product list with a variety of different flavours available. The garlic olives have already become one of the most popular flavours and with good reason for garlic lovers! These mammoth Halkidiki olives are hand stuffed with whole garlic cloves before being finished with minced garlic and rapeseed oil. These are available in individual 200g resealable pouches as well as 1kg catering packs.

Waterhouse Fayre are producers of a range of bestselling jams and chutneys including a slow roasted garlic chutney. The whole garlic is roasted for a total of four hours before red onion, spices and red wine vinegar is added and these are then cooked together for a further four hours. Anyone who has eaten roasted garlic on its own can atone for the delightful sweetness of flavour that it takes on and this chutney is no exception as it develops a lovely, sweet mellowness. The Waterhouse Fayre chutneys are available in trays of 6x325g jars.

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International Women’s Day – Celebrating the Fantastic Women of Orchardlea Foods!

Today is International Women’s Day, a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We thought we would celebrate in our own way by pooling together the fantastic women who make this business work.

Tracey is a picker and packer in the picking room downstairs. She has been here for nearly six years and now knows all she could ever want to know about our customer orders! She also drives one of our delivery vans at the end of the week and if your business is anywhere in the Charmouth to East Devon area you’ll probably recognise her.

Hannah joined the business a little over a year ago when Orchardlea Occasion Foods was founded. Established as our sister business supplying buffet food for weddings and parties this sadly had to take a back seat once Covid-19 hit but Hannah didn’t let this stop her. She instead began helping us out in the office, taking orders, inputting invoices and handling our social media accounts. This is going from strength to strength and we are looking forward to showcasing some new ideas this year so watch this space!

Bethany (me – hi!) is responsible for inputting invoices and helps Hannah with the social media side of things as well as this blog. I have worked here for the last four years and the job role has evolved with me. I began in the picking room, as most of our staff tend to, in order to get to know the vast array of products we stock however it’s been four years and some things I’m still not sure on!

Karen is simply a machine. Quite honestly we don’t know how we would manage without her. She is responsible for restocking our cheeses and pre-packaged products including pates, bacon and gala pie. Her knowledge of the products is second to none having previously worked for Orchardlea Foods before moving over to Isca and now we’re back to the name of Orchardlea again!

After an extremely busy year Karen now has some help in the form of Rosie who joined us in 2019.
Rosie also helps with picking orders during busy periods.
Karen and Rosie work well together ensuring that all of pre packed retail products are stocked up ready for picking.

Caroline works in our meat slicing room and is responsible for all of the pre-packed meats including salami, ham and turkey as well as slicing joints of meat for our bulk customers. She also helps out in the picking room during busy periods. Caroline is currently off on the furlough scheme but we look forward to welcoming her back as soon as possible.

Kate now only works for us occasionally but she was once an integral member of our staff working alongside Karen and Tracey in the picking room. She has now set up her own baking business Kate’s Kakes and as part of this bakes scones, brownies and mini cakes for our Orchardlea Occasion Food hampers which soared in popularity due to the lock down last year.
Kate is Tim’s Wife another family member in the Orchardlea team!

Bea is the most recent addition to our team having joined us only a few months ago. Bea now oversees the account side of the business as well as assisting with our social media presence. She will also be helping Hannah with the Orchardlea Occasion Foods side of the business in particular setting up buffets for weddings and parties which will hopefully be able to go ahead in the summer.

Happy International Women’s Day from all the women here at Orchardlea Foods!

Traey - Picker, packer and driver
Bethany holding Kickin Chicken pie
Bethany - Admin
Bea and Hannah - Admin
Karen and Rosie - Cutting and packing
Kate - Worked at Isca for a long time, now a star baker!
Photo of Orchardlea Ladies
Photo from left to right - Hannah, Karen, Tracey, Bea, Bethany
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British Pie Week Staff Favourites Day 3

Today is the turn of yours truly in our staff favouite pie series for British Pie Week. I have worked here for the last four years and over that time my job role has ranged from picking and packing orders in the cutting room to answering the phones, inputting invoices, posting on our social media and, obviously since you’re reading this, writing our blogs. I wasn’t always into food and in fact used to be an incredibly fussy eater however I have always enjoyed a good pie. I would argue that my husband makes the best pies but since that wasn’t an option here my favourite has to be the Kickin Chicken curry pie from Chunk of Devon.

This lightly spiced pie is packed full of flavour from the chunks of tender chicken marinaded in curry spices mixed with onions, tomatoes and peppers in a creamy coconut curry sauce. The buttery shortcrust pastry is lovely and crisp which compliments the filling and paired with some classic chunky chips this is my idea of a perfect pie.

Q&A with Bethany

Q: Favourite Pie and why?
A: Usually I would choose my husbands homemade Chicken & Chorizo pie with a suet pastry top which is basically a huge dumpling and utterly delicious but for this I have chosen the Kickin’ Chicken Curry pie. It’s so full of flavour with just a hint of spice which I love.

Q: Chips or Mash?
A: It’s got to be proper thick cut chips deep fried so they are crispy on the outside and lovely and fluffy on the inside.

Q: If you had to eat only one meal for the rest of your lift that would it be?
A: To start I would choose a fish platter mostly because I can never just choose one thing! So on it would be some smoked salmon pate, lightly dressed handpicked crab and grilled oysters with a lemon and thyme butter with some sour dough bread and lots of salted butter – preferably black garlic butter which is absolutely delicious. Then a crab risotto topped with cod loin wrapped in parma ham with some roasted cherry tomatoes and finally a sticky toffee pudding with proper Devon clotted cream. I’ll be the size of a house when I’m finished!

Q: How long have you worked at Isca Foods?
A: I think four years… it’s a bit of a blur.

Q: What is your role at Isca?
A: Assorted! Anything from inputting invoices, posting on social media, answering the phones etc.

Q: Have you always wanted to work in the Food Industry?
A: No but it seems to be where I have ended up, I love eating and writing about food so I think I’m in the right place!

Q: What do you look forward to doing most when lockdown restrictions have eased completely?
A: Definitely going out for some nice food and drinks with friends. Dinner, pub lunch, breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea, cocktails, anything. I’m looking forward to eating something that I haven’t had to cook or clear up.

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English Breakfast Day 2020

English Breakfast Day takes place on December 2nd every year and is celebrated by millions of people internationally. It was originally started in 1975 to support the history and heritage of the English Breakfast.

The tradition of the full English breakfast is one that is regularly enjoyed in all four corners of the earth. In the United Kingdom, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the full English Breakfast is making a roaring comeback and is now more popular than at any time since the 1960’s.

We have got a wide selection of the main event of a English breakfast, for the meat lovers we stock Brookes smoked, un smoked, back and streaky bacon which comes in both 454g retail packages and 2.27 catering packs.
We also have English smoked, un smoked, streaky, dry cured and mis shapes which is all packed into retail sized packs in house by our staff in the cutting rooms.

We sell the best sausages around – WF Chinns based in Crediton, Devon, and have worked closely with them for many years. With so many flavours to choose from as well as Gluten Free! We love Chinn’s sausages in our household, sausage and mash is always a winner and the chipolatas in particular are firm favourites with our 2 little girls.

If you like black pudding with your English breakfast, we stock Bury Black and white pudding and Gluten Free is also available. We also slice and pack larger black pudding sticks and pack into retail sizes perfect for selling in Farm shops, Community Shops, Convenience stores and Deli’s.

We have also got halloumi for the vegetarians out there, I for one love abit of grilled halloumi with my fry up!

With every English breakfast an English brew is needed, we stock Devonshire tea Classic Breakfast and Earl Grey Boxes of 6 x 20 tea bags and also in catering size boxes.

We have also got Littlestone’s Coffee whole and ground beans, signature blend and decaf they come in 225g bags.

https://www.englishbreakfastsociety.com/english-breakfast-day.html# back baconchinns

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Westcountry Olives

We are excited to introduce our newest venture West Country Olives, we are now over a month into launching this exciting new brand of olives and it is going from strength to strength.

With a slight delay in launching due to waiting on packaging and then a global pandemic, it is really exciting to be able to finally introduce everyone to this new brand of olives which we think has got a really exciting future.

Regular customers should have received some samples a few weeks ago now as we move from the hugely popular Cornish Olive Stall range to our own West Country Olives. We are in the process of new designs for the packaging and I know alot of feedback has been that the olives taste really good but the packaging isn’t the best, we totally agree and are currently working on this and will be moving to new packaging next year at some point (hopefully with less delays than this year!)

This is all very new for us and we only want to make things better, so all feedback positive and negative is always appreciated.

The 175g packs of Olives are produced and carefully packed on site we use the award winning Bell and Loxton Oils and the best olives available from around the Mediterranean.

We also sell Bell and Loxton Oils in both 250ml and 500ml sizes, the flavours they come in are Original rapeseed, Basil and Garlic.

Olives in packaging and Bell and Loxton Oils

The pouches are vacuumed of oxygen and then gas flushed, giving the olives a long shelf life. This also means that they are able to be stored at ambient temperatures.

Rosemary & Garlic in packagingHarissa Glazed Packaging[11064]Hand-Stuffed Garlic Packaging[11063]

There are now 14 flavours which include – Classic blend, Kalamata, Hand-Stuffed Garlic, Hot Chilli (Very Hot!) , Nocellara Del Belice, Picante Pimento, Rosemary & Garlic, Green Pitted, Harissa Glazed, Hand-Stuffed Jalapeno, Garlic and Chilli, Orange and Coriander, Lemon and Thyme and one more flavour which is being launched tomorrow – follow Westcountry Olives on social media for more details!

We are always experimenting with new flavours and welcome ideas for flavour combinations.

We also can supply larger bulk quantities such as 1 kilo bags, which are perfect for catering, deli’s, the pub trade and much more, the opportunities are endless.

As well as being available to our Wholesale Customers our Olives are also available to purchase via the website www.westcountryolives.co.uk/ Instagram Shop and even on ebay! They can be posted to anywhere in the UK via royal mail.

One of our most popular ways of purchasing is our 3 piece bundle mix and match, pick your favourite 3 flavours for just £9.99, link below for the Westcountry Olives shop.

https://westcountryolives.co.uk/shop/

You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram, please give us a like/follow  and spread the word about these fantastic new olives links below –

https://www.facebook.com/WestCountryOlives/

https://www.instagram.com/westcountryolives/

 

Preparing Garic and Chilli olivesFacebooktwitterinstagram

4 Ways to use Natural Yogurt

We love the versatility of natural yogurt but even we know that when faced with a pot of plain natural yogurt many people just don’t know what to do with it – breakfast granola aside! Below we list our 4 favourite ways of using this fantastic ingredient alongside some tasty recipes to try for yourself.

sutton lucy cream (2)Before we start though here are some of the varieties of yogurt we currently stock: from Langage Farm we have the low fat natural yogurt made using Jersey and Guernsey cows milk available in 450g pots and from Sutton Lucy we have the creamy, full fat natural yogurt available in 500g pots. We can also stock the Langage Farm 0% fat Greek Yogurt available in 450g pots, although this product does require a pre-order.

Marinade
A marinade is one of our favourite ways of using natural yogurt, it has been a staple part of cuisines around the world for centuries and is now becoming more popular in the UK. Often the recipes only require minimal marinating so are perfect for quick and easy midweek dinners with maximum flavour and there are lots of recipes to try from this delicious spicy yogurt chicken to this yogurt and turmeric fish curry.

yogurt salmon (2)Topping
Topping a dish with natural yogurt adds a lovely creamy texture to dishes and serves as a ‘cooler’ for slightly spicy meals. The addition of natural yogurt works really well with meat and fish like this Moroccan style meatball dish with cumin and we can personally attest to the flavour of this Persian inspired spiced salmon recipe from chef Sabrina Ghayour.

Dip
Natural or Greek yogurt lends itself well to making quick and tasty dips that can be ready in minutes and elevate a midweek dinner or snack to new heights. From this classic Greek Tzatziki best served with crispy fried courgettes to this cooling raita which perfectly compliments a traditional Indian banquet there are dips to suit almost everything!

lemon and blueberry (2)Baking
Of course we couldn’t miss baking off of this list! Yogurt is great to use in baking because of it’s acidity which reacts well with baking soda and it’s natural tangy-ness which keeps the bake balanced. We absolutely love this recipe for lemon and blueberry cake made using Greek yogurt and this chocolate muffin recipe is perfect for chocolate lovers!

Tried any of these recipes using our natural or Greek yogurt? Tag us in your creations via our social media pages below!

Image credit by Sally’s Baking Addiction available via https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/lemon-berry-yogurt-cake/.Facebooktwitterinstagram

Cheese Showcase: Danish Blue

Castello have been producing their signature cheeses since 1893 with varieties including traditional, regional recipes as well as their own unique crafted cheeses.

Danish Blue is a sharp and salty cheese with a soft and creamy texture. Originally the cheese was made using goat’s milk to traditional French recipes resulting in a similar profile to Roquefort however the Danish cheesemakers wanted a more mild and balanced flavour better suited to sensitive palates and so the switch to cow’s milk was made. In appearance the Danish Blue is pale, creamy off-white with distinctive blue veins throughout.

This cheese is available in 130g retail packs as well as whole wheels and other catering sizes. Click here for more info.Facebooktwitterinstagram