You know what’s great about being a food blogger? Getting to test a whole range of wonderful food and drink products! This time around I’m trying out locally sourced flavours from The Walton Forager in Essex, who has gifted me two products in exchange for an honest review.
The Walton Forager was devised by Marc Humm, Head Chef at Parker’s Coffee Shop in Frinton where I visited earlier this year. He creates a range of products, the difference to other foodie items you can buy in the area being that they’re made out of locally foraged food.
The two products I was given to review where a combination of sweet and savoury – homemade damson jam (a type of plum for those unfamiliar with damsons) and homemade garlic and truffle pesto.
I’ll admit I’m slightly uncultured in that, before starting this review, I’d never eaten truffles before! I’m a big fan of mushrooms though, and my assumption was that truffles would be a similar taste, but perhaps stronger. Marc’s garlic and truffle pesto was exactly as I expected – a gorgeous, rich flavour from the truffles with the garlic providing perfectly complementing undertones.
I’m a big fan of pesto in pasta dishes so I decided to use it to create this creamy bacon, asparagus, and mange tout pasta. The cream balanced the stronger flavours of the pesto out and this worked really well with both the bacon and the vegetables. It didn’t need any parmesan or other cheeses as the taste was rich enough on its own.
Now onto the damson jam, which I used in several different recipes. The first was to add a twist to the classic Victoria sponge – a cake I’ll always have time for. The damson jam makes for a really unique flavour, being both tart and sweet at the same time, and combined with the buttercream in the cake it was delicious! It really did work well and I’d definitely make cakes again using it.
I also made some damson jam pastries as I had some puff pastry left over, and the jam really stood out here. Although flavoursome it is quite subtle, so I added some extra after baking to really bring out the taste.
The jam worked wonderfully as a spread and I found myself eating it on toast for quite a few breakfasts… That’s something I never normally do so it must have been good! Aside from morello cherry, and greengage (my two favourite flavours), this is one of the best jams I’ve eaten as it’s so versatile and a great all-rounder for both baking and spreading.
I really enjoyed both of the two products from The Walton Forager, and the flavours were so much better than you’d get from something store bought. They’re interesting in that they aren’t condiments I’ve found in the supermarket before, so would make a great gift for someone (especially with Christmas coming up!). The fact that they are foraged also makes them really unique, so if you’re looking for a foodie product that’s a little bit different and uses local ingredients then The Walton Forager is perfect for your needs.
If you’d like to purchase your own foraged spreads and relishes from The Walton Forager then you can do so by contacting Marc using the following platforms, or by emailing him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your favourite spread or relish to buy? Or do you make your own? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to like and pin! You can read some of my other foodie product reviews here: