Introducing Hebridean Sea Salt

by Alice 27. May 2014 02:42

Wind swept. Rugged. Remote.

 

The Isle of Lewis is arguably one of the most beautiful islands in the Outer Hebrides.

 

A whirl of white sandy beaches, heather moorlands and serene sea lochs, you can see why Lewis draws visitors from all over the globe.

 

Alongside beautiful landscapes and bountiful wildlife, Lewis is increasingly establishing a name as the island of food and drink.

 

 

Leading the way is Natalie Crayton of Hebridean Sea Salt.

 

Founded on the shores of Loch Erisort in 2011, Natalie was inspired to start her sea salt business after trying – and failing – to source a Scottish salt for cooking.

 

With the majority of table salts laden with additives and anti-caking agents – which can leave a bitter aftertaste – Natalie managed to create a salt that was locally sourced and 100% pure as well.

 

“When people try Hebridean Sea Salt for the first time they often think it’s quite sweet. Some people describe it like ‘eating the ocean’!


“The waters of Loch Erisort have Grade A certification, meaning they are cleanest you can find. No purification required! Our salt is locally sourced, just steps from our door, from some of the most serene waters and unspoilt landscapes in the world."


As well as Natalie’s Pure Original sea salt, the company have also diversified; creating a series of delicious naturally flavoured salts that include Peat Smoked and Seaweed Infused varieties.

 

 

“People are increasingly using naturally seasoned salts as a quick and easy way to add a burst of flavour to their food.

 

“We’re also seeing people becoming more adventurous with salt, full stop! One of our favourite recipes is the ‘Hebridean Sling’. Simply pour 6cl of peated whisky – such as Talisker – into a cocktail shaker. Add 2cl of cherry brandy and the juice of half a fresh lemon. Shake over ice and pour into a Peat Smoked Salt rimmed highball glass.”


We’re delighted to include Natalie’s wonderful salts in our new Artisan Range.

Scrumptious Mackies Crisps

by Alice 12. May 2014 20:31

Here at Highland Fayre we work with many brilliant Scottish producers and right up there with the best of them is Mackies Crisps.

Formed in 2009 as a joint venture, Mackies of Scotland and potato farming-family, Taylors, joined forces to create Scotland’s first premium crisp brand.

Starting out with just three flavours, the range now encompasses thirteen; inspired by Scottish flavours and delicious foods galore.

Among the thirteen flavours is the iconic Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper, Flamegrilled Aberdeen Angus and the nice and spicy, Scotch Bonnet Chilli Pepper.

 

We had a chat with Rebecca at Mackies who told us that her personal favourite is the good ol’ Cheddar & Onion. As a flavour favourite, Rebecca has them on a Friday night and has been known to devour a whole pack!

If you’re looking for something a little quirky – look no further than the Mackie’s blog where they invited Martine Nouet the “Queen of the Still,” to provide pairing notes for some of Mackie’s crisps and choice whiskies. Pop over to their website for a look

Rebecca explained how this luxurious crisp can be enjoyed at any occasion; the Mackies mantra being “any excuse for a bag of Mackie’s crisps! We’ve even tried pairings which include matching the crisps with different types of sandwiches…even whisky!”

Rebecca also explained how new crisps are devised:

“New flavours are developed through brain storming in the office and lots of taste testing! What’s important is remaining true to our Scottish roots. At the moment we’re exploring how we can bring a Scottish twist to our ridge cut range. It’s all down to the taste.”

On that Rebecca, we couldn't agree more. Now, where's that bag of Ridge Cust Roast Ham?

Say Hello to Cocoa Ooze

by Mhairi MacLeod 1. May 2014 02:45

If you go down (or up!) to Aberdeen today you’re in for a big surprise…a big chocolatey surprise!

Say hello to Cocoa Ooze. A luxury, award-winning chocolatier started by Jamie Hutcheon in 2008 at the tender age of 17.

In just six years, Cocoa Ooze has grown to a team of over 35 people and now has two wonderfully indulgent coffee shops where visitors can enjoy a slice of chocolate heaven.

We spoke to Louise from Cocoa Ooze to find out what inspires their chocolates:

“The Cocoa Ooze range has been inspired by generations of family recipes. We are always keen to put our unique Cocoa Ooze stamp on anything we make though. 

“Take our white chocolate and raspberry popping candy for example. These chocolates are one of our most popular products and is a contemporary twist on the traditional. We try not to overcomplicate our flavour combinations. The key is to keep things simple but done well.”

Chocolate making needn’t be a dark art however, as Louise explains:

“Our workshops are a great opportunity to learn the art of chocolate making. For those who would like to try chocolate-making in their own home, here’s a quick and easy recipe for you to try!”

Ingredients:

150g Cocoa Ooze milk chocolate (33% cocoa content)

50g Cream

Method:

·         Pour cream in a pan and weigh chocolate in a separate bowl

·         Wait until cream is starting to boil and pour over the chocolate 

·         Leave to stand for around 30 seconds

·         Stir to smooth consistency 

·         If not smooth as this point you will have to heat up slighty

·         Let it set in the fridge for around 24 Hours 

·         Mould into round balls and coat in chocolate, chopped fruit, nuts, cocoa powder or coconut as desired

Highland Fayre have long been fans of Jamie and his team’s work. Our personal favourites are Cocoa Ooze Chocolate snaps - super with a cup of coffee!