Charles Campion: Food & drink notes

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Freeze frame

Forget the traffic-light labelling schemes to help you evaluate the amount of fat and sugar. Isn't it about time we had foods marked to show how delicious they are? For a right-on company whose aim is to feed children well and responsibly, My Little Company seems to have grasped the realities of the situation rather well. As proved by the Jamie's School Dinners furore, children are not going to tuck into food they don't enjoy, however beneficial it may be. My Little Froghurt is a frozen yoghurt ice cream that comes in three flavours – strawberry, mango and banana. About a third of each pot's content is organic fruit and there are no artificial additives. But best of all they taste really good, too good to be kept only for the children. Ignore the name and any funny looks and get a spoon.

My Little Froghurt, from Tesco nationwide, £3.49 per 500ml pot

Get cracking

With the walnut season underway, it's time to review your implements. Somewhat lacking the fortitude to continue with a favourite party trick – the one where you put two walnuts joint against joint in the palm of one hand and then cover it with the other hand squeezing mightily until they crack – it's clearly the moment to purchase a new nutcracker. As with all simple devices, when it comes to making the perfect nutcracker, there should be an elegance to both the design and engineering. WMF is a German firm and their glossy but practical tool has an undeniable whiff of efficiency about it. This is solid and dependable – think Mercedes Benz – but it also has a good heft and does the job well without fragments of shell stabbing your palms.

WMF Nutcrackers, £11 from good cookshops – stockists listed at www.wmf.uk.com

It's in the bag

This time last year I was writing about the rather good peppermint fondants made by Sir Michael Colman. Now he's added Peppermint Tea to his product range. Under "ingredients" it lists "Pure Black Mitcham peppermint leaf and oil" – which is hard to fault either for concision or purity. The result is a product with the convenience of a tea bag and the taste of real mint. Granted, this infusion won't have the magic of a bunch of mint picked on a summer's day, but it makes a very good November substitute.

From good grocers or order direct from www.summerdownmint.com; £3.50 for 30g pack of 25 tea bags

Oat couture

Ditty's Home Bakery is in Castledawson, County Derry, Northern Ireland, and the proprietor Robert Ditty is a third-generation baker who has mastered the difficult art of ensuring that even if his products are made on a large scale they all still taste home-made. These Irish Oatcakes are very good – solid, quite thick and nutty tasting, they have a sweet and rounded finish that would make them perfect to serve with a fully ripened blue cheese. The oatcakes are hand-made using rolled oats from County Armagh, plus buttermilk, flour, sugar and margarine. It's no wonder that Ditty's has been a consistent winner at the Great Taste Awards.

You can find Ditty's Irish Oatcakes at most good food stores, or order them online from www.irishgourmet.co.uk; £2.45 for a 150g pack

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