Walkers had a stand whereby they had 3 people running around in costume making with really bad west country accents (ooh arr, feelin’ a bit saucy today sah? ooh arr, they be verrrry saucy, etc..) giving away packets of Worcester Sauce crisps. They also had a wagon with a chain roasting contraption that meant you got to go make your own hot crisps. yum.
Probably the second highlight of the show for me was meeting Mino Tsuchida, known as Mr Global, presumably by some people who would have trouble pronouncing their own names, let alone a Japanese one. After a bit of conversation with him and a few other visitors to the Global stand, he gave a good demonstration of his knives and how to sharpen them. After a fun conversation over the weekend, I think knives and sharpening will very likely be a blog post in the not too distant future, after I’ve done my homework on steel chemistry.
Best of the rest
Fox’s spices are easily my preferred place to get your supplies of herbs, spices and relatively hard to come by condiments. They will happily mail order you 150g of ground spice for the same price that you can buy 27g of same spice from the supermarket. Yes, really. Their range is correspondingly huge, I now have no less than 5 different paprikas to choose from as well as such ‘luxury’ items as rolled cinnamon and the cutest little box grater you’ve seen for nutmeg. However, for reasons best known to themselves, they don’t have an online shop, which just seems stupid to be honest. So you’ll have to write them a letter asking for a catalogue. Or visit their stands at regional shows and buy your spices annually.
There were a few fun brands of coffee too. Nothing too unusual about coffee these days, everybody takes for granted a wide selection of ethetically sourced good quality ground coffee at the supermarket these days. I would love to mention the comedy brands, but it would wreck a surprise, so won’t.
I also found the idea of a thai style jelly with basil, chilli and lemongrass which has been firmly added to next year’s list.
If you visit the show at a weekend, you will very likely come across large groups of middle aged women staggering around the drinks end of the show with officially branded tasting wine glasses on string around their necks. The Show is one of the easier to organise package trips, just lay on a coach to and from the venue so your punters don’t have to drive home afterwards. Everybody’s happy, apart from perhaps the wine merchants giving the samples.
Seriously though, if you’d like to get some first hand knowledge of the wines and spirits of a given region, you can partake in some group side-by-side tasting.
Sadly there wasn’t any Haymans 1820 this year, which is a fantastic gin liqueur, but a right bugger to source.