Every month our Editor Ellen Pope shouts about the latest food and drink products on the market you can add straight to your basket - especially that social distanced online shop.
This month we look at PIES PIES PIES, a boozy tea, a range of spirits for everyone's taste, a healthy chocolate bar recreating the classics, a new no-carb hard seltzer, a classic cheese made from monks and an energy drink to perk you back up.
Pie-Fection, Gourmet Pies by Chef James Jay
I mean, hands up, who loves a pie. Yeah, we see ALL OF YOU.
In the midst of lockdown Chef James Jay has pie-voted (ok that is the last pie pun) from Head Chef at The Easton White Horse, Suffolk to head pie maker from home. His lockdown gourmet pies already sell out in advance of distribution, so we suggest if you fancy one, you need to get in quite quick.
The pies are delivered straight to your home, and are frozen - so you can pop them straight in the freezer for when you need them - or straight in the oven depending on how hungry you are. We tried the pork and chicken pies and they were rammed full of shredded meat and vegetables. No skimping on these pies.
Buy Now: Follow James on @chefjjay86 on Instagram and drop him a DM for the latest pie menu
Price: £6.50 each or 4 for £20 includes free local delivery/collection in Surrey, with UK couriering available for an extra charge.
Sloemotion Distillery: Finders Spirit
Award-winning Yorkshire-based Sloemotion Distillery has created a brand-new range of seven adventurous drinks, called Finders Spirits - and it contains a little something for everyone including velvety rums, zingy vodkas and fruity gins.
The popularity of gin, rum and vodka has surged in recent years with more of us wanting to try different flavours and experiences. The range of spirits been designed to be fun and vibrant and to deliver a taste sensation that can be enjoyed with a simple mixer or in a cocktail.
These include Fruits of the Forest Gin, Lemon & Lime Gin and a classic London Dry Gin. Also in the range is Sherbet Lemon Vodka and two velvety Oak-Aged spiced rums with Chocolate & Coffee Rum and Spiced Orange and Raisin Rum.
Buy Now: Finders Spirits
Price: £25 - but currently available for a launch price of £20
Fortnum’s X Conker Distillery Cold Brew Tea Liqueur
Need a brew with a bit more, well, punch? Well, look no further than Fortnum’s X Conker Distillery Cold Brew Tea Liqueur.
Expertly cold-brewed for 24 hours, this revolutionary liqueur is distilled in traditional copper pot stills at Dorset's Conker Spirit Distillery and blended with Fortnum's signature Countess Grey black tea, New Forest spring water and patience in abundance. Delicately handcrafted, the tea itself has been cold brewed – opposing traditional hot water methods – allowing the flavours to gently diffuse from the tea leaf for over 24 hours.
The resulting liqueur is complex and intricate, with bergamot and orange notes packed into every sip, and a soft, elegant mouthfeel and natural sweetness. It is recommended to be best enjoyed in a champagne cocktail, served long with soda and a peach wedge, or over ice for an after-dinner tipple. But why not get creative and create your own cocktail - serve it in a teacup, we won’t judge you.
Buy Now: Fortnums
Did you know that Parmigiano Reggiano was first produced by monks in the Middle Ages, driven by the quest to make a cheese that would last a long time and preserve well in transit, they increased its wheel size and allowed it to mass dry? No, neither did we.
Being as it has been around since the Middle Ages, then Parmigiano Reggiano is a cheese not only here to stay, but also has passed the test of time.
While social occasions may be few and far between at the moment, that shouldn’t be an excuse to not enjoy great cheese. Parmigiano Reggiano is still an excellent ingredient to enjoy as part of a charcuterie or cheese board, paired with top- quality wines, or enjoyed as part of a (virtual!) aperitivo with friends. Stocked by all major UK supermarkets and local delis this cheese is perfect in recipes including Lentil and Parmigiano Reggiano Tabbouleh and Fennel and Prosciutto di Parma pasta bake.
In need of an energy boost after too much Netflix binging and the occasional afternoon nap?
A healthy, natural alternative to traditional energy drinks, Füd has launched in two delicious flavours - Berry & Coconut and Pineapple & Ginger. Füd combines natural caffeine, B-vitamins and electrolytes with real fruit juices to deliver a completely natural energy boost.
You may have heard the name? Füd’s launch follows founder Philip Udeh and co-founder Jess Gould pitching their product to potential investors on BBC2’s Dragons’ Den in March. Philip founded the brand after struggling for years with chronic fatigue due to sickle cell anaemia. Disillusioned by retailers stocking mainly sugary or artificially-sweetened energy drinks, he started a journey to create something better.
The drinks contain no added sugar, no sweeteners, and are naturally low in calories (7kcal/ 100ml for Berry & Coconut and 8kcal/ 100ml for Pineapple & Ginger). Füd contains the equivalent caffeine to an Americano coffee (or a Red Bull), so we all know it will give you the desired kick.
Buy Now: Fud
DRTY Hard Seltzer
We might not be going to Marbs, but there is still a chance to reduce the carbs.
With the hard seltzer category booming in the US, DRTY is looking to catalyse this drinks trend in the UK with their 4% ABV, ‘zero-carb’ hard seltzer. These sparkling water, carb-free alcoholic drinks are available for purchase now in-stores, online and come in two flavours: Raspberry Rosé and White Citrus.
What is a Hard-Seltzer, we hear you mumble? Hard seltzer is an alcoholic beverage containing sparkling water, alcohol, and natural fruit flavours. DRTY have created a carb-free (YAS) alcohol base by fermenting a fruit mix with high attenuation yeast to leave no residual sugars and carbohydrates. This is then blended with purified sparkling water and natural fruit flavours to create 4% ABV drinks that are 0 sugar, contain 0 carbs and are 90 calories per 330ml can.
Buy Now: Ocado and Amazon
Price: £2.20 per can / Offers On MultiBuy
Prodigy is a chocolate brand that aims take our favourite chocolate classics and make them healthier.
With the slogan ‘Eat No Evil’, Prodigy has a range of plant-based treats: Coconut Cahoots, Peanut & Caramel Cahoots, Chunky Chocolate, Chunky Orange Chocolate. Cahoots and Chunky Chocolate bars are made with natural ingredients, have significantly less sugar compared to mainstream chocolate bars and up to 30% of the daily recommended intake of fibre.
With that much fibre, this bar was never going to be a snack you were going to graze on. Flavoursome, yet very filling, these are the perfect sweet treat to curb your cravings - and will definitely see you through until dinner.
Price: £1.75 per bar
Offer: 10% off your first order if you sign up their mailing list
Chatting Food Contributor: Ellen Pope
Self-confessed potty mouth, mother of guinea pig and eater of 99.9% of food (don't bring me marzipan and tell me it is food). Ellen is the founder and Editor of Chatting Food Magazine and on a one-woman mission to talk food at everyone. Usually found tweeting, eating, sleeping, repeating.