Get Cooking with Your Hamper

by Alice 11. September 2014 20:12

Lift the lid on one of our hampers, and you’ll not only find an array of tasty nibbles – you’ll also open up a world of culinary possibility!

From imaginative condiments to ingenious ingredients, the contents often inspire our whole family to get together and try making something new.   

Take the Trotters Honey Mustard and Summer Harvest Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil from our Artisan Harvest Gift Box, and voila! Simply shake these flavourful creations together and you’ll have the perfect salad dressing.

Strathearn Oaked Highland Gin

The star of this hamper may just be the bottle of Strathearn Distillery Oaked Highland Gin –we’ve found that it just needs spritz of tonic water to make a great accompaniment to your salad. 

If want to give your culinary efforts a little firepower, you’ll love the Hot & Wicked Artisan Hamper. Simply Add Chili have created a devilishly versatile melting pot of Strawberries, Scotch Bonnet and Habanero which can be used in everything from Asian to Mexican dishes.

For anyone aiming to keep their spread as Scottish as the artisan ingredients, why not combine your Thistly Cross Cider with the chilli paste to make a truly innovative broth for West Coast mussels? Go on, you might just be pleasantly surprised!

© Jana Reifegerste via Flickr Creative Commons

A tad more classic, The Whisky Sauce Co.’s Scotch Whisky Syrup from our Scottish Artisan Fayre box is the ultimate grown-up garnish. We love to drizzle it over everything from haggis, neeps and tatties, to Sunday Roasts and big beefy burgers. 

Ardent bakers, fear not, you won’t be left in a pickle! In fact, we predict any cake connoisseur will be a very jammy baker indeed when they get their hands on SuperJam’s delicious Scottish preserves.

Their 100% Strawberry Pure Fruit Spread promises to be the jewel in the crown of any Victoria Sponge, and also comes in the Hot & Wicked Artisan Hamper

© Carwyn Lloyd Jones - Dylunio Creadiglo via Flickr Creative Commons 

If you’re feeling adventurous – or you’ve been swept up by ‘superfood’ fever – the Blueberry & Blackcurrant 100% Pure Fruit Spread from the Scottish Artisan Fayre box also goes down a treat!

Sweet or savoury, simple or daring, our hampers have the potential to bring a totally different dimension to your cooking!

The Rhubarb Club's Tantalising Taste Journey

by Stewart 9. July 2013 01:49

When attendees of the Rhubarb Club woke up on the morning of the 6th June 2013 I bet they were unaware of the multi-sensory journey they were about to embark upon later that afternoon. The most senior of individuals from the hospitality, tourism and business industries transcended on the Prestonfield House Hotel to have their eyes opened, and (in some cases) taste buds amplified by one man - Ewan Henderson

(The fabulous decor of the Prestonfield House Hotel.)

Ewan, founder of Scotch Broth Events, is the first to link ground breaking science and avant-garde research with Scottish food and whisky. In his events he takes the palate on a journey of discovery and through his unique style teaches you how to experience new taste sensations.

Always keen for audience participation, Ewan made quick work to include The Rhubarb Club by conducting a test to see who the “Supertasters” in the room were. It was intriguing to discover that only 25% of the population are supertasters - those who have a unique ability and greater sensitivity for taste.

Any misconceptions the audience had about taste were quickly removed as Ewan explained about the debunked “Tongue Map” model and how more than 70% of taste actually comes from the nose.

(Despite the tongue map being debunked in 1974, there is still alot of misconceptions where the majority of taste comes from.)

This was later proven with another practical exercise in which the audience had to put a jelly bean in their mouth while pinching their nose.

(Discovering the science of taste. Source: www.stuartrussellphotography.co.uk)

The Rhubarb Club is a high level networking club run three times per year (February-June-October) by the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland (HIT Scotland). For more information about up and coming HIT Scotland events please visit www.hitscotland.co.uk . For more information about Ewan and his company Scotch Broth Events follow him on twitter @aNipandTuckin and visit the company’s Facebook page. Also if you like a wee dram then check out our food hampers that include some of the finest Scotch Whisky out there.

Have you ever been to a tasting event? Did you discover that you were supertaster or experienced a new taste sensation? If so let us know about it by adding your comments below.

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History of Luxury Hampers - The Highland Fayre Story Part 1

by Stewart 1. June 2013 01:39

Here’s a little bit of Highland Fayre trivia I bet you didn’t know about us… We haven’t always been in the luxury hamper game! In fact before we produced our first gift hampers some thirty years ago we were actually in the potato trade with two key customers, McCain’s and Walkers Crisps.

(The Original Highland Fayre Logo.)

In 1983, our founder Howard England made one of the most important decisions of his life to go out and pursue his own way in the potato merchant industry. Over the coming years he built himself a highly successful business, but by being so dependent on only two potato customers he was constantly mindful of the risks he faced.

It wasnt until 1985 that Howard spotted the opportunity he needed to diversify. While the wild salmon market was thriving, Howard began selling this delicacy and started building a luxurious, upmarket brand identity in the form of Highland Fayre. In fact while Howard can take credit for identifying and pursuing this new business venture, it was actually his wife Hazel who was the brainchild behind the name Highland Fayre during a family meeting one night.

(Highland Fayre began selling wild salmon before it entered into the Luxury Hamper market.)

After two successful years of being in the wild salmon market, Howard found the legs cut out from underneath of him. Due to the rise of large salmon fish farms in west of Scotland, there was suddenly a huge increase in the supply of smoked salmon and hence the “wild product” could not compete on price or volume.

Hope was not lost. With fire in his belly and his merchant instincts kicking in, Howard spotted a new opportunity to capitalise on… Luxury Gift Hampers.

BOOOOM! The 80’s were in full swing and with more and more people living extravagant lifestyles this gave fuel to the fire for Howard to start his own hamper business and produce upmarket luxury hampers. Having obtained an Off-Sales License for alcohol and sourcing suppliers for a new own label Highland Fayre range, he soon launched his luxury brand onto the market.

(One of Highland Fayres earlier Food Hampers.)

He would see his decision to pursue this venture pay off in the years to come. However, a deep recession was looming and in order to survive in a failing economy Highland Fayre would have to change its product offering and bring in some youthful innovation.

To be continued……

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Taste of Grampian Food Festival 2013

by Stewart 19. April 2013 22:54

The Thainstone Centre in Inverurie plays host to the 14th annual Taste of Grampian Food Festival on Saturday 1st June 2013. This one day event will see approximately 14,000 visitors discovering and sampling the highest quality food and drink the North East of Scotland has to offer. We are also proud to announce some of our suppliers will be in attendance. Local companies Cocoa Ooze, Ola Oils, Walkers Shortbread Ltd and Berry Scrumptious will all be showcasing their products and engaging with the public on the day.

Growing year on year, the Taste of Grampian 2013 is set to be the best yet with the introduction of a new sea food pavilion. Carol Fowler (Organiser) told Highland Fayre that the inspiration for this new addition came from Harrods Sea Food Kitchen in London. “The pavilion will be used to highlight the important contribution that Grampian's seafood sector makes to the economy as well as promote the extensive range of fish and shellfish which are landed at towns along the coast and processed here.

As well as this, the public will get a chance to marvel at the extraordinary cooking skills of celebrity chefs Simon Rimmer & Nick Nairn, plus watch cooking demonstrations by the Two Fat Laddies and award winning cook and food writer Lady Claire Macdonald.

The day plans to have something for everyone, so while mum is ogling Simon and Nick, dad can head over to the motor show with the kids.

However, if you can’t wait until then why not visit our website and get your hands on one of our Aberdeenshire inspired hampers. It will certainly give you a taster of the delights that are in store for you on the 1st June.