When you run a small business, I think it is especially important to take time out to get new ideas and see what else is going on in the world. I have had just such an experience today as I made what is becoming an annual pilgrimage to the Specialty and Fine Food Fair at Olympia in London. Around 700 food producers under one roof, all passionate about their products. Inspiration at every turn, and great to see what new trends are coming up.
This year there were lots of different oils and nut based products, fabulous ethically sourced fish & seafood, vegetable based snacks, plenty for vegans and lots of gluten/dairy free ingredients. Standout products to my mind were a delicious passionfruit gin liqueur from Riverside Spirits (www.riversidespirits.co.uk); gorgeous banana ketchup from Rubies in the Rubble, an interesting company which uses surplus fruit & vegetables to make their chutneys & pickles; Canadian maple vinegar (rather like balsamic) from Pure Maple.
I’m now buzzing with ideas of how to use what I have seen and how to introduce those ideas into my menus.
Perhaps the deep fried insects I tried are a little too ‘out there’ for most people’s tastes though….