If you are a cheese monster like me, you will most likely be a chutney monster too. Both are things that I try not to buy too regularly because otherwise I spend too many hours with my grubby mits in the fridge ‘just having a little bit’ until I am too full to enjoy dinner.
Having said that, as a treat or an indulgence, cheese and chutney is as good as chocolate for me. Throw in some crunchy bread and I’m in heaven, all be it with a tummy ache!
You can probably imagine that I was very excited on my way to meet Angharad of The Preservation Society in anticipation of what she had for me to try.
I first tried Chepstow based Preservation Society’s products at a pop up kitchen event in Rudry where her chilli jam was being sampled. It was wonderful so I was keen to find out what else she had been making. When I arrived for our meeting at Cocorico Patisserie, Angharad and her gorgeous little baby girl were already waiting for me with a table full of jars and some little spoons!
I wasn’t expecting the array of products, there was certainly a good range with chutney, jams, sauces and vinegar. Angharad sources all of her produce locally where possible and supplies some local businesses, sells at fairs and through Rudry Kitchen.
All products are made at home and they all have that lovely fresh homemade taste. They are also beautifully packaged with simple labels and quirky names. They looked especially attractive all together because of the wonderful colours in each jar or bottle. None of your browish unidentifiable goo here. The colours were bright but natural, a testament to the fresh produce used.
I started off (of course) with the chutney. I tried the Scrummy Scrump Jelly with Three Saints Cider and Sage, the Chunky Chutney with Untapped Ale and the Plum and Cuban Rum Jelly. All were delicious. I find that sometimes chutney with alcohol in them can be overpowering and drown out the other flavours but these all had a great balance.
I particularly enjoyed the cider one. Along with the plum, I loved it’s jelly-like consistency. It was beautifully sweet but the accompanying cider vineger cut through the sweetness giving it an edge. Beautiful. The other two were lovely too. I think the plum one would go especially nicely with duck or a gamey meat.
Chunky Chutney with Untapped Ale
After the chutney, I had another sample of the delicious Chilli Jam I had tried before along with some Preserved Lemons. I have tried all manner of rubbish chilli jams in my time, many of them in restaurants but this one was excellent. A fresh, bright orange colour with real seeds and a bit of a kick. The preserved lemons were also very good and after two weeks in Morocco recently and lots of tagines, I can confirm that they were very authentic.
Moving onto the sweet options, I tried some Rhubarb Coulis made with homegrown rhubarb which Angharad told me would go very nicely with greek yogurt and almonds. I also tried some Sassy Strawberry Preserve and an Apricot Almond and Ameretto Preserve. The strawberry preserve had chunks of fruit in it and wasn’t too sweet which was good but I personally prefer a thicker jam when it comes to strawberry without lumps, but that is just my preference, it was still very good.
The Apricot preserve however, was fantastic! The Ameretto was subtle with chunky apricots and crunchy almond flakes. It was a great combination to have the soft jam with the crunchy nuts. This was my favourite of the sweet preserves.
Next was a real treat. Anghrard’s fantastic Ravishingly Raspberry Vinegar. I had this at the pop up event in a Bellini which was beautiful but straight from the bottle it was even better. It is so delicious and so versatile. It would work perfectly on a duck salad and Angharad also said it goes great with goats cheese or in a gin and tonic, two more of my favourite things!
Much to my delight, I was given all of the products I tasted to take home except the raspberry vinegar which is in such demand it was the last bottle and there is a waiting list for more! I’m really not surprised and need to be added to that list.
I was very impressed with The Preservation Society and would definitely buy some of these products at a market or fair. For £2.50 a jar or 3 for £6 and £4 for the bottles, the price is right too.
Tempting me with some of my favourite things and then bringing along a cute baby was always going to make for a successful afternoon. I wish Angharad every success with her business and recommend her products.
My last mouthful was: The Ravishingly Raspberry Vinegar
Quality of products-
Diversity of range-
Value for money-
This months competition starts tomorrow with the chance to win a gift box of Preservation Society goodies!