Ingredient Showcase – Olives

This week our sister company West Country Olives will be exhibiting at the Source Trade Show at Westpoint Exeter. To celebrate we thought we would share some of our favourite recipes featuring this fantastic ingredient. We know that not everyone likes olives and they can be an acquired taste but trust us when we say that these recipes will make you fall in love with them if you’re not already a stalwart fan. From jazzing up a simple Greek salad to adding another level of flavour to traybakes and pasta sauces, the humble olive is a game changer for midweek meals.

We love this spicy Merguez Sausage recipe, the rich sauce combines well with the light, flaky cod and the olives add a wonderful saltiness to the dish. We would recommenced swapping the nocellara olives in the recipe for our Harissa Glazed halkidiki olives for an extra burst of flavour. Best of all this is a one pot dish meaning less washing up – win win!

We’re not normally salad people but exceptions can be made for a fresh and zingy Greek salad particularly when it’s nice and sunny outside. This is a simple chop and assemble job but the fresh and juicy tomatoes, sharp red onion, meaty kalamata olives and salty feta with a zesty lemon & oregano dressing is completely delicious!

There’s something about the combination of preserved lemons, tomatoes and olives in this recipe that makes this chicken tagine a real winner no matter the season. We like to use our simple green pitted olives for this one which keeps the olive centre stage. Quick and easy to prepare, this is a great midweek dinner that will please the whole family.

Click here to view our entire range of West Country Olives all available in 175g resealable pouches and 1kg catering bags. And if you’re at a loose end tomorrow Tuesday 8th June or Wednesday 9th June why not pop along to Westpoint Exeter for the Source Trade Show? West Country Olives will be there from 10am-5pm with some tasty samples to try. We look forward to seeing you there!

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

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Ingredient Showcase: Chilli

This is the second blog in our ingredient showcase series and this week we’re focusing on chillies. Love them or hate them, chillies can really enhance a product whether that’s a searing heat that makes your whole mouth tingle, a slow burner that builds into an intense heat or more of a gentle, fruity flavour that you keep coming back to again and again. We’ve collated some of our favourite products containing this versatile ingredient starting with a cheese.

Dartmoor Chilli is one of Curworthy Cheese’s newest products but has proved extremely popular with some of our customers. The cheese is made in the same way as Curworthy’s signature ‘Devon Oke’ before Ring of Fire chillies grown at the nearby Dartmoor Chilli Farm are added to the mix. These are similar to Cayenne chillies with the same level of heat – 50000-80000 on the Scoville scale – while the cheese itself is mellow and sweet with a lovely creaminess which is perfectly complimented by the heat from the chillies. Wrapped in red wax this attractive cheese is available in whole rounds as well as 150g retail wedges.

West Country Olives are available in a variety of flavours but for this showcase we are highlighting the Hot Chilli version. These Mammoth Halkidiki olives are stuffed with a whole birds eye chilli (hot!) and are described as ‘not for the faint hearted’. They are available in 200g pouches and 1kg catering packs if you think you can stand it!

Snowdonia Cheese Company are a luxury cheese producer based in Wales, they produce a variety of delicious flavoured cheeses encased in attractive coloured wax. The Red Devil cheese is a rich Red Leicester with the addition of Snowdonia’s secret blend of Habanero chillies, peppers and spices, it “delivers a magnificent depth of flavour and an irresistible heat” and provides a perfect chilli kick to burgers or cheese on toast. Encased in a bright red wax, this cheese is available in individual 200g truckles as well as whole 2kg rounds although these do require a pre-order.

Waterhouse Fayre are producers of delicious jams, marmalade and chutneys based in Tiverton; one of these delicious chutneys is the Devilishly Devon which is made to producer Ann Stallard’s own recipe. Described as “light and refreshing with a hint of chilli” this chutney is a perfect addition to a traditional ploughmans lunch or to add a light chilli kick to a good old fashioned ham or cheese sandwich. These chutneys are available in trays of 6x340g jars.

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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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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

The ‘New Normal’

vanThe last few months have been, to use the word of the moment, unprecedented. We are proud to have been able to continue to supply our customers throughout the pandemic and our staff have been working incredibly hard to make this possible. Below we look at the ‘new normal’ for Isca Foods.

Back in March we began seeing the effects of panic buying as customers who wouldn’t normally use their local community or farm shop began relying heavily on them when supermarkets had low stock levels. Shopping locally and supporting local businesses and producers is our central ethos and, while we regret that the support needed came in this way, we are glad that more people than ever are discovering their own local shop. We hope that once this is over, these new found customers will continue to support their local businesses rather than reverting back to the supermarket.cheriton fitz

With many people self isolating and unable to visit supermarkets we began home deliveries. This started with our MD Liam and his wife Hannah leafleting in their local area after discovering the demand their neighbours were experiencing and spring-boarded from there. We added this to the routes our vans would be doing day to day and developed a separate price list for private deliveries. Our team boxed up these orders as normal and our drivers delivered them to the doorstep of customers. This demand has eased somewhat in recent weeks as supermarkets have put in safety measures and orchardlea (2)social distancing rules however at a time when local people were struggling we like to think that we helped to make a difference.

Our sister company Orchardlea Occasion Foods (run by the aforementioned Hannah) recently launched their range of delicious hampers. Prior to the outbreak the business focused on providing food for all occasions and events from weddings and christenings to birthday parties and business lunches. However from mid March many of these events were cancelled or postponed and as a result Hannah decided to diversify the business and added bespoke hampers to their portfolio. These can be pub lunch hamperdelivered to yourself as a well deserved treat or as a gift for a much missed loved one during lock down. The new ‘Pub Lunch’ hamper has just been added to the range which can include: Bays Brewery beer, Sandford Orchard cider or Sandford Orchard fresh pressed apple juice, a selection of West Country cheeses, Cradoc’s savoury biscuits, Waterhouse Fayre chutney, Chunk of Devon pasty, Burts crisps, Cornish Olive Stall olives, pork scratchings, pork pie and a selection of sliced meats as well as anything else that takes your fancy from pub lunch hamper 2our own range of products. Hampers are bespoke and put together to order so can be truly personalised to yours or the intended recipients favourites. Visit their Facebook page or website for more info.

This is a strange time for all of us and like many businesses we are adapting to ever changing customer needs and requirements. There is always more that can be done to make things easier for everyone, but we like to think that we have made a good start.Facebooktwitterinstagram

Local Producers – Cornish Olive Stall

Here in Devon we are extremely lucky to have so many fantastic local producers on our doorstep – from artisan cheeses and bespoke blended teas to quality sausages and handmade puddings. In a time when consumers are increasingly concerned with low food miles and the provenance of their food, locality and the ‘shop local’ campaign have never been more apt. With this in mind we are producing a blog series on our local producers and their delicious products, this week focusing on Cornish Olive Stall.cornish olive stall

Cornish Olive Stall source the best olives from around the world and combine them with delicious home made marinades from their premises in St Austell, Cornwall. Founded and run by husband and wife Steve and Nikki Magill the basil pestoCornish Olive Stall differ from mass produced olives in that they are not stored in a salty brine or oil only in their own light marinade and are much larger and juicier than their supermarket counterparts. Packed in practical, stand up pouches they are perfect stored at ambient temperatures without the need for preservatives and, when ready to eat, remain as fresh as when they were packed.

The current range features 11 different flavours including the award-winning The Mix, a more-ish mix of pitted green Halkidiki and Kalamata olives marinated with orange, thyme and coriander seeds and Lemon, pitted green Halkidiki olives in a lemon, tarragon and parsley marinade. Our favourite flavour is the Basil Pesto, simply big green Halkidiki olives in a rich basil pesto marinade which we love! All flavours are available in retail 200g pouches and 1kg catering bags and the full range is available to view here.Facebooktwitterinstagram

Summer Dips from Delphi

The weather may have taken a turn for the worse this week but hopefully the sun will be returning very soon and we’ll be able to enjoy these delightful summer dips from Delphi Foods al fresco style.

Red pepper houmous

Established in 1984, Delphi Foods is a family run business specialising in dips, salads, olives and tapas made using the finest ingredients. We have been stocking their products for a long time and following recent introduction of new lines and vibrant new packaging they are really becoming a popular choice for a number of our customers.

Traditional dips include classic houmous, made with ground chickpeas, nutty tahini and lemon juice, refreshing tzatziki with cooling yogurt, chopped cucumber and mint and chunky guacamole made with avocado, coriander, lemon and a hint of chilli. Other dips in their range including smoky aubergine, classic taramasalata, Auberginesmooth tahini and a variety of flavoured houmous.

Their extensive salad range includes fluffy cous cous with smoky char-grilled vegetables, fresh edamame beans and sun-dried tomatoes with mixed herbs and hearty three bean salad with a mix of red kidney, borlotti and cannelloni beans marinated in olive oil and herbs. All of these salads are suitable for vegetarians and the majority are also vegan friendly making them a perfect addition for BBQ’s and al fresco parties this summer. They also travel well which makes them a great picnic staple.

Cous cousAmong their tapas products are classic falafel made from garbanzo beans and Middle Eastern spices, tasty Greek style dolmades made using fresh vine leaves and a delicious mix of cooked rice and herbs and red peppers stuffed with feta cheese and marinated with garlic and fresh herbs.

We love the new look of the Delphi products and the family ethos surrounding the business is similar to our own.
Like the look of these? Head over to http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/salads-dips-and-olives/delphi/ to view the entire range!Facebooktwitterinstagram

Winter Party Food Ideas

This festive season we’ve got everything you need to ensure your dinner party, work buffet or simply an evening with friends goes off without a hitch, well the food at least! This time of year is the perfect excuse to show off your culinary skills and create mouth-wateringly good food using the finest ingredients.

5b057383-dbb8-4659-8b30-a73800a70a0f_800x800A simple classic some smoked salmon and cream cheese canapés will go a long way to pleasing your guests. Try them on some bought in crispbreads with some chive if you’re short on time or try making your own potato cakes with some dill and lemon for extra flourish. Our John Ross smoked salmon is cold smoked over oak chips using the same techniques passed down since the 19th century and is deliciously light and delicate with subtle smoky flavours and goes beautifully with cream cheese.

Another crowd-pleaser and Christmas staple is some baked camembert. This can1h4a9552_28727765675_o-1 be made really easy by simply baking the camembert as is and adding some garlic bread or crackers and a nice chutney – we recommend the Pear & Walnut chutney from Waterhouse Fayre as the flavours really compliment the cheese. However if you fancy making more of a centrepiece try baking a tear and share dough ball platter with some rosemary, thyme and cranberries. The dough helps the camembert to keep its shape as well as taking on some of the oozey cheese as it bakes – delicious!

BasilA classic meat and cheese platter is the perfect prepare ahead party option. Mix and match with the meat: some prosciutto, salamis, chorizo, pastrami – anything you and your guests will like. For the cheese we advise to pick a variety of different textures and varieties, a soft creamy brie, firm vintage, tangy blue and a sheeps, cow and goats cheese for a range of different flavours. Add some  sunripened tomatoes, salty olives – try some from the Cornish Olive Stall range – grapes and of course some warm crusty bread and you’re good to go.

For a buffet style dinner party the opportunities are endless, hot, cold, meat andChunk-Pork-Apple-Scrumpy-Sausage-Roll-600x630 vegetarian there are so many options. For the meat eaters try some festive pork and cranberry chipolatas from W F Chinn’s or their pigs in blankets are equally delicious. Chunk of Devon sausage rolls and pork pies in buttery pastry are a must as well as traditional honey-roasted gammon hot or cold from Kittos of Plymouth. For the vegetarians how about an Indian treat with some crispy vegetable samosas or deliciously creamy blue stilton and broccoli quiche.

We hope this has given you some ideas for the festive season, for more info on any of the products we’ve mentioned head over to our website.Facebooktwitterinstagram

Shop Local this Christmas

Related imageThe Shop Local campaign was launched in 2013 encouraging consumers to support their local, independent traders on the high street. There are many advantages to shopping locally including low food miles, finding something quirky and unique, building communities and getting better service to name just a few. Here at Isca Foods we are passionate about supporting local businesses. Many of our products are sourced from within the South West and collected from the producers themselves from jams and chutneys from Waterhouse Fayre, cheeses from Devon based Quicke’s and Sharpham and pies and pasties from Chunk of Devon in Ottery St Mary.

Christmas is an important time for many small businesses and this year why not support local and buy your gifts closer to home? We are lucky here in the South West that there are so many great community shops, deli’s and farm shops selling excellent local produce. We’ve listed a few of them below, so why not take a chance and make someone’s Christmas local this year?

Greendale Farm ShopImage result for greendale farm shop
Located just outside of Exeter this is so much more than a farm shop. With a butchers, deli and cheese counter, cafe and a host of farm animals roaming the grounds, a trip to Greendale is a real family day out. The farm shop itself sells a wide range of locally sourced products from fresh fruit and veg, local cheese, handmade pies, sliced cooked meats and charcuterie and specialist meat cuts by their award-winning butchers; you need look no further for your foodie treats this Christmas!

download (1)Fine Foods of Braunton
A family run delicatessen based on the gorgeous North Devon coast, this unassuming shop also boasts a cafe serving delicious freshly ground coffee and a selection of cakes and savouries. The deli prides itself on sourcing the best of local produce from cheeses, wines and spirits, olives, local creams and yogurts and sliced meats as well as handmade gifts. It’s ethos of good old fashioned service from knowledgeable staff makes it not just another shopping trip but a great experience.

Otterton-Logo.-Colour_crop-e1536159423675Otterton Mill
Set beside the River Otter in East Devon this historic mill draws visitors for its beautiful setting, reputation for fantastic food in the award-winning restaurant and their range of tasty treats in the food shop. A huge range of fantastic cheeses, delicious freshly baked bread and cakes, local sausages, handmade pies, sliced meats, olives and more as well as handmade unique ceramics, glassware and jewellery  in the gallery are on offer here. Pop along for lunch or afternoon tea and we bet you won’t leave empty handed!

Image result for stokeley farm shopStokeley Farm Shop
This thriving country farm shop based near Kingsbridge in South Devon is proud to support local producers and the local community, regularly holding live music events, crafting evenings and this years widely anticipated Christmas Market. It has everything you would expect from a farm shop: butchery, bakery and deli as well as fresh, homegrown fruit and veg. Their deli is bursting with local delights including olives, charcuterie and award-winning artisan cheeses as well as local chutneys, jams and pickles.

45541231_1986106681479573_4920883604579418112_nThere are of course many more fantastic deli’s, farm shops and community shops throughout the South West that we haven’t listed here, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to explore, find your new favourite and treat your loved ones to unique gifts. With fantastic local produce, low food miles, individual and often homemade items and bespoke service from someone who really knows their business and products, why not support your local deli, farm shop or community enterprise this Christmas?Facebooktwitterinstagram

Award Winning Products!

totw_awards_2018_0-1-1024x1024As the International Cheese Awards kick off today and continues tomorrow, we’ve been thinking about the many awards our products and their producers have won over the years. From the South West based Taste of the West to the British Cheese Awards and even international accolades we are so lucky to have some of the best food the UK has to offer right here on our doorstep!

Waterhouse Fayre have been winners at the annual Taste of the West Awards for a number of years. Their signature strawberry jam has been a double Gold award winner and this year their blackcurrant and raspberry jams both won Silver, while their new turmeric and Somerset cider & apple chutneys both showcased with Gold. Ann Stallard turmericestablished Waterhouse Fayre back in 2004 and since then the company has grown and morphed into a recognisable Devon brand. Her intriguing mix of flavours and balance of new and traditional means that there is always something new to discover.

Lynher Dairies has been a regular face at cheese awards up and down the country and this year their Cornish Yarg won Gold at the British Cheese Awards and the Wild Garlic variety won Silver. New for this year was their Cornish Kern which was internationally recognised at the World Cheese Awards being named Supreme Champion. Based in Ponsanooth, Cornwall this small artisan dairy is one of the most successful of its kind in the country.

Chunk-pasties-sqChunk of Devon are also no stranger to awards with over 100 going to their pies, pasties and savories – in 2009 their Steak pasty even won Best Cornish Pasty at the British Pie Awards! From Taste of the West alone this year they won Gold for their Venison & Port pie, Steak pasty, Homity pie, Chicken, Mushroom & Tarragon pie and Squealer Pork pie. Their melt in the mouth, buttery pastry and use of locally sourced ingredients wherever possible ensures a great Devonian product. This year they have also launched a vegan friendly pasty made using wholemeal flour and a pea glaze with delicious roasted vegetables, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Cornish Olive Stall olives have become bestsellers since we started stocking themBasil last year. A small, family run business based in St Austell they have sourced the best olives from around the world and combined them with delicious homemade marinades to create mouth-wateringly good flavours. The judges at this years Taste of the West certainly thought so with the Garlic & Rosemary winning Gold and Basil Pesto olives winning Silver awards respectively. With so many great flavours available and even simple Pitted Green for you to experiment on your own, these olives are certainly worthy of their awards!

The vast number of awards going to these local producers is testament to their hard work, dedication and passion. Congratulations to you all!Facebooktwitterinstagram