Styled as "organic superfoods", Plum Baby is the latest company to try to change baby food for the better. On offer are the likes of plum, pomegranate and guava; beetroot and apple with artichoke; squash and sweet potato; blueberry banana and vanilla. The recipes are carefully balanced to satisfy a baby's requirements for protein and energy - a good way to fire the first shots in that lifelong war against junk food. The polymer pots are 100 per cent recyclable, too.
Plum Baby is available at branches of Sainsbury's, Booths and Waitrose - a pack of two 100g pots costs £1.99
Spice of life
Seasoned Pioneers is a small and feisty company that has made its name selling fresh, authentic spice mixes in small foil pouches. Their new range is a series of cooking sauces, including a Moroccan, fennel and apricot tagine sauce; a Spanish pimentón bravas sauce; a Sri Lankan curry sauce (this one is chilli hot); and a Thai Penang sauce (almost incandescent!). Thanks to the space-age pouches, these sauces can keep for as long as a year.
Seasoned Pioneers cooking sauces, £3.50 each, from the Special Selection at Sainsbury's, or via www.seasonedpioneers.co.uk
Essence is a very grown-up cookery book - which is exactly what you would expect from David Everitt-Matthias, chef proprietor of Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham. At this remarkable restaurant, which somehow avoids the limelight despite having two Michelin stars, the food is elegant and innovative and the highest standards are maintained - and all with just four people in the kitchen! Every dish is worked out to the last detail, something that is reflected in the recipes, which are set out in a clear stage-by-stage style. Everitt-Matthias is also renowned for his use of "foraged" ingredients, which makes his recipes both interesting and original. Try braised blade of beef with nettle risotto and spring onions; or rose geranium cream with lychee sorbet.
'Essence' by David Everitt-Matthias, published by Absolute Press, £25
Emeyu is a rather swish company set up by Kristiane Blomqvist to market the very finest Chinese teas - delicate and elegant brews that can command a serious price tag (you could be looking at shelling out £25 for just 50g of an Oolong tea called "Phoenix Single Grove"). But Emeyu makes a real attempt to stress the philosophical side of tea drinking - the company tells us "that tea carries with it an ancient wisdom that balances imperfections and focuses the mind" - and also sells some very beautiful teapots. My favourite is the determined-looking, black, rotund pot called the "pivoine yixing teapot" which looks rather like a large sea-washed pebble. This is said to be the perfect pot to make oolong or pu-erh teas, as it is made from a special clay from the city of Yixing that takes on the flavour of the tea that is brewed within it.
Emeyu pivoine yixing teapot, £44.20, available from www.emeyu.co.ukReuse content