North by Northwest
North by Northwest
Wander through London's Borough Market and you'll notice that some of the best British food comes from the North West. So sidestep London, and find the finest foods from the region on home territory at the North West Food Lovers' Festival this weekend at the Westmorland Showground, Cumbria ( www.foodloversfestival.co.uk). Heroic local produce such as Howbarrow Organic Farm's veg and salad, Morecambe Bay potted shrimps, Mrs Kirkham's cheese, Richard Woodall's air-dried ham, Farmer Sharp's Herdwick lamb, Hawkshead Relish Co, and English Lakes Ice Cream will be on sale. There are demonstrations, a buffet lunch of exhibitors' foods, and a tent devoted to beers from local microbreweries.
If you want to look really slick, you'll have to look further than Tuscany for a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. And pay a little more. How about Argentina? Oliovita Unfiltered and Oliovita Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oils are the latest oils to hit these shores. The oils come from the San Juan province in western Argentina, and are made with Arbequina olives. £8.50 for 375ml from Harvey Nichols in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Leeds (0870 873 3833).
In a nutshell ...
You don't have to fire up the barbie to get smoke on your food. The Cheshire Smokehouse produces all sorts of smoke-cured delicacies: smoked duck and chicken breasts, hams and bacon, salmon, trout and other smoked fish. And nuts. As if macadamia nuts weren't irresistible enough already, try them smoked - properly over hickory woodchips. 100g packs for £3.75 from Waitrose; The Cheshire Smokehouse, Morley Green, Wilmslow. Call 01625 548499 for stockists.
Get a handle on the sleekest tray and carry away a modern classic from David Mellor, the master cutlery and kitchenware designer and manufacturer, at shops in Sloane Square, London (020-7730 4259) and Hathersage, Sheffield (01433 650220). But don't leave it too close to an open flame - it's made of beautiful birchwood. Designed by furniture-making scion Corin Mellor, and available from the David Mellor shops and online at www.davidmellordesign.co.uk, it's £47.50.Reuse content