This Is Summer: Food websites
Whether you need to check a recipe or buy unusual ingredients and homeware, we've chosen 20 brilliant foodie websites. Delicious ideas are just a click away...
Food news and features from around the globe form the agenda of this up-to-the-minute Sydney-based website. Cold Mud (a nickname for chocolate ice cream) covers both headlines and the offbeat – from the best schnitzel in Vienna to the potency of Siberian pickled tomatoes: "I felt like my head was exploding".
This slick US website "for people who love to eat" covers a huge area including equipment, healthy eating, techniques and tips, but specialises in recipes. It currently features "chilled no-cook foods that beat the heat", such as pea broth with lemon cream and tuna carpaccio with watercress salad.
Although presented in the Beeb's populist, all-things-to-all-men style, the food section of its website is a prodigious resource, ranging from video recipes (pot-roasted quail with Muscat risotto) to a glossary of food terms. The recipe archive is particularly impressive (six entries for sweetbreads alone).
The army of fans of the Windermere gadget company are nuts about this virtual catalogue. It contains everything you need – from picnicware to preserving pans, coolbags to cake-decorating equipment – and quite a bit that you might not deem essential (chef's hat: £7.50).
Click on "Food Matters" if you want to hear Hugh F-W's (left) views on seasonality, feeding the next generation, etc. But the site's recipes, from broad beans with chorizo to grilled chilli squid (the video is on YouTube), are as practical and tempting as you'll find anywhere.
Admirably dedicated and fabulously well-stocked, London's top cheesemonger also offers splendid mail order for those who can afford a quarter Stichelton unpasteurised blue cheese (£60), a whole Irish Gubbeen (£41) or a 1.8 kilo "Strictly Traditional" selection including Montgomery's Cheddar, Appleby's Cheshire, and Kirkham's Lancashire (£49).
As briskly professional as you might expect, Delia's wide-ranging website contains 1000 free recipes (you have to pay for a specialist service). Seasonal recommendations include "chilled Spanish gazpacho" (as if it came any other way) and salmon steaks with avocado and crème fraîche sauce.
Top class equipment for the professional/ ambitious amateur includes Emile Henry flame-proof ceramics (from £22.50) and WMF casseroles (£80), but the highlight is the knife section with top-flight brands such as Wursthof (around £80) and Tojiro Senkou (around £100).
The "Dining" section of the New York Times website is amazing in its range and richness. Assets include the "Minimalist Chef", Mark Bittman, on video (home bakers rave about his no-knead loaf and his Welsh rabbit is exemplary) and Frank Bruni, the world's most influential restaurant reviewer.
Starting with his own beautifully proportioned table cutlery (pieces cost around £10), this impressive website offers a carefully selected range from the top end of the market, including such covetable items as the Mauviel "M'stone" 20cm casserole (£63) and John Leach hotpot (£51).
Stressing authenticity, the glossy website of the top US food magazine Saveur currently features recipes for "entirely scrumptious" saltimbocca and ragu alla Napoletana. Elsewhere, it tells you how to weave a lattice pie crust and mix the perfect margarita. The prodigious archive merits in-depth exploration.
Top quality butchery by mail order, both chilled and flash frozen (but orders cannot mix the two). Products range from best-selling rack of lamb (£39) to a new "Singles" selection of lamb, pork and ribeye steaks in portions for one (from £22).
Some of the most practical and tempting recipes on the web come from the food writers of The Independent and Independent on Sunday, Mark Hix and Skye Gyngell. The massive recipe archive marches temptingly through the alphabet: anchoiade, beetroot cake, carpetbag steak...
Highly regarded by pros in the food biz, Matthew Stevens of St Ives offers sparkling fresh deliveries of 24 types of fish, including cod loin, Dover sole and lemon sole fillets; 10 types of shellfish, from live clams to cooked lobster and prepared dishes such as crab cakes and fish pies.
The Great Taste Awards Speciality Producer of 2007, Tracklements of Malmesbury, Wilts, have a home-made quality that puts them in a different league from most other pickles and relishes. For my money, Organic Fig Relish, Onion Marmalade and Cucumber and Pepper Relish are the outstanding items in an excellent list.
Pot maker to the gentry, Emma Bridgewater has expanded into picnic tinware. Available in polka dots and a word-based design called "Black Toast", items include a set of six tin plates (£20), a round tin tray (£5) and a sandwich box (£7.50). Other items in the summer e-catalogue include a plastic salad spinner (£9).
Advocating "diversity and locality in food and drink", Slow Food boasts 80,000 members in 90 countries. We might have been (appropriately) tardy to join in, but the UK now has 40 groups. The website outlines Slow Food's policies and achievements, such as the promotion of Old Gloucester Beef and Three Counties Perry.
Challenging the view of those who believe Melton Mowbray is the only place to get a pork pie, this site details the efforts of Yorkshire gourmets to find perfect renditions of this delicacy. Unsurprisingly, the pork pies of Slaithwaithe, Elland, Halifax and Bradford ring the bell for them.
Although known as a supplier of organics to the carriage trade, Daylesford's extensive and excellently sourced mail order list is surprisingly affordable. Temptations include rabbit, cider and mustard pie (£4.90), leek, bacon and blue cheese quiche (£7.50) and a four venison burger (£4.40).
An elegant treasure trove of high-style kitchenware for the well-heeled... If your life is incomplete without a Krups panini maker (£50), a Walter Gropius teapot (£140), Heal's leather place mats (£12) or an Elvis chopping board (£12), this is the place to come. And it sure beats travelling to London's Tottenham Court Road.
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