The outfit Nordic Delicatessen, which specialises in Scandinavian delicacies, hasfor the first time this year created a Christmas hamper full of Nordic delights. On their list you'll find two rather good extra jams (the "extra" bit of the title refers to the high fruit content). The cloudberry and lingonberry jams are both made to traditional recipes from wild berries picked in the Dalen area of Sweden and both contain less than 40 per cent sugar. The lingonberry jam will give cranberries a run for their money when served with turkey or cooked meats. Both work well on toast, and you can boast that they have special qualities from ripening under the midnight sun!
Nordic Delicatessen Wild Cloudberry Extra Jam, £3.75 for 227g; Wild Lingonberry Extra Jam for £2.99, 227g. Available in selected branches of Tesco or from the online delicatessen at www.nordicdelicatessen.com
Andrew Wilkinson is a pioneering and truly organic farmer in Northumbria who has discovered amazing, ancient tall-straw wheat varieties that out-perform modern hybrids every time. Wilkinson has set up a flour mill where the grain is ground slowly between stones avoiding over-heating and nutrient loss. Currently the Gilchesters Organic range includes a 100 per cent wholemeal flour; a farmhouse flour; a classic unbleached white flour; a blended white flour for Italian breads; a fine double-milled durum wheat semolina flour for pasta; and a rye and spelt mix.
Gilchesters flours: £2.50 per 1.5kg, available from Booths supermarkets or mail order from www.gilchesters.com
Beyond Nose to Tail is the sequel to Fergus Henderson's first book, Nose to Tail Eating, and it is a stunning little item, co-authored by Justin Piers Gellatly (he is the baker at St John, Henderson's restaurant in Smithfield Market, London). The new book certainly puts the quirk in quirky. Who could fail to be fascinated by recipes for "confit pig's cheek and dandelions" or "burnt sheep's milk yoghurt"? The photographs by our own Jason Lowe are works of art, the recipes are practical, and despite plying the culinary tributaries rather than the mainstream, there is plenty here you will want to try out.
'Beyond Nose to Tail', by Fergus Henderson and Justin Piers Gellatly, £17.99, Bloomsbury
Rated by Roux
If you've been lucky enough to dine at Le Gavroche recently, you probably didn't give much thought to just what kind of pots they were using in the kitchen. But it's a safe bet that Michel Roux junior has pondered that choice long and hard, so his endorsement of Lafont ovenware will be the result of a painstaking trial. Lafont is an old established French firm (depuis 1879) and they are justifiably proud of their "Exclusive Porcelain Enamelled Cast Iron Cookware" range. These pots come in a bewildering array of different sizes and several different colours. They offer even heat distribution and an enamel coating that is very durable; so you can wield that green pan scourer to your heart's content. Lafont ovenware is not cheap (the apple-green casserole shown here costs around £70), but they perform really well.
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