Food & Drink notes

Chic by jowl; true Brit; sauce without fears; it's a fair crop
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Chic by jowl

Remember, we're assured French women don't get fat. So your mother will thank you for a Chère Maman cake from the exquisite Maison Blanc. Designed for Fête des Mères, it's a far-from-matronly sandwich of almond macaroons filled with vanilla-flavoured crème brûlée and strawberries, available this weekend only from Maison Blanc shops in London, Oxford, Chichester, Cobham, Guildford and Farnham (addresses on www.maisonblanc.co.uk) for £12.45.

True Brit

Impassioned, principled and packed with practical and inspiring recipes from making stocks to crispy duck pancakes, 'The New English Kitchen' by Rose Prince (£18.99, Fourth Estate) is the antithesis of some extravagant big name cookery books. It tackles food production issues and recommends alternative ways of buying conscientiously produced ingredients, interwoven with thrifty, nourishing but imaginative ways of cooking them so families can eat well every day of the year.

Sauce without fears

Buy organic and you should be absolutely sure that your brown sauce won't have a scintilla of Sudan 1 and that the ingredients are traceable and natural. Geo Organics' range of sauces and pickles, including Worcestershire sauce, malt vinegar, piccalilli and mango chutney, is mostly available from Waitrose. Now it has been joined by this classic brown sauce with the characteristic taste of tamarind, molasses, tomato, apple and dates that's the making of a bacon sandwich. Currently it's only available in health-food stores at £1.49 for 240g.

It's a fair crop

You can't begrudge the fair trade movement for giving itself 14 days when chips, honey, farmhouse breakfasts and sausages all have their promotional weeks. Until 13 March Fairtrade Fortnight is justifiably flaunting the growing number of foods and drinks including wines, rum and a coffee-flavoured beer (not to mention footballs) that guarantee a fair price and safeguard the future of the people who make them. Joining the other 700-odd products that carry the Fairtrade mark are coconuts (from Sainsbury's), avocados (in some Asdas, Sainsbury's, Tescos and Waitrose), clementines and lemons (Booth's, Tesco and some Co-ops). There are hundreds of events and meetings with some of the producers themselves. More on Fairtrade Fortnight on www.fairtrade.org.uk

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