I’m a bit of a shopaholic. It used to be shoes, but now it’s food. My idea of window shopping is finding unique and wonderful food products made by small independents that catch my eye as I’m scrolling through Instagram. Try before you buy? Nah, I’ll take my chances, and I’ve discovered some of my favourite products this way. And now I’ve decided to share a few of them with you!
(Psssst… If you’re interested in seeing more, click here to check out my Liverpool Food Network Instagram Page!)
Root 2 Ginger Drink Mix
Deanne’s family have been making ginger beer for years… In fact this recipe is a quarter of a century old! Originally served up as a treat during festive holidays, Deanne now uses organic ginger and lemon to create her own mix for fiery ginger beer.
Deanne knows the health benefits of ginger, and during lockdown she embarked on a journey to perfect and bottle her family recipe, creating a brand new product – Root 2 Ginger. Let’s be clear – in it’s concentrated form, this stuff is pretty potent. It’s one for the true ginger lovers, the kind of drink you feel as much as you taste. It’s fiery and hot, and the perfect wake-up call on a sunny morning. It makes you feel alive!
Deanne’s concentrate is also versatile. Add hot water for a warming tea or mix it with ice and water for a refreshing long drink. It comes to life when mixed with soda and mint to create an instant mojito, and really comes into its own when added to a rum and coke. In fact, on the day I visited Deanne at Altrincham Market, her customers were all keen to share their own recipes!
Root 2 Ginger is proudly produced in Manchester, and with a website launching soon you can currently find Deanne at Altrincham Market every Saturday, or check out her Instagram page here!
JD’s Hot Honey
I ordered this honey on a whim after seeing a post on Facebook… Normally I’d run away from anything I thought might be a bit on the ‘spicy’ side, but I’m so happy I took a chance on this as it’s fast become a must-have product for me.
JD’s is a sweet honey infused with red jalapeno peppers (or habanero for the more adventurous!). Another product born out of lockdown, founder Jade was looking for an accompaniment to her own home-cooked pizzas, and after finding that her usual hot and sweet chilli sauces didn’t quite hit the spot, she decided to experiment with a jalapeno infused honey. Based in Yorkshire, Jade is passionate about using UK based suppliers for all her core ingredients.
I can’t tell you how many things I’ve drizzled this stuff on in the last few weeks. It adds a sweet and zingy kick to friend chicken, and it’s great with salad on a wrap. It’s the perfect accompaniment to pizza and last week I even found myself squeezing some onto a bowl of ice cream last week, just to see… I shouldn’t have been surprised to discover that it tasted incredible.
Uncle Chook’s Chicken Salt
I’ve spent 30 years looking for this stuff in the UK. Chicken Salt is an Aussie staple, and I’ve never understood why we don’t see it here in the UK because it just makes everything taste better. Chicken Salt originated in the 70’s as a seasoning for Australia’s favourite meal – the rotisserie chook. This bright yellow salt is sprinkled liberally over ‘hot chips’ in takeaways across my homeland, and despite its name it’s actually vegan!
Uncle Chook’s was founded by Sian, who met her other half Tom on a trip to Australia. On returning to the UK they were both surprised that they couldn’t get hold of their favourite product, so Sian decided it was time to start selling her own Chicken Salt.
A friend of mine, having witnessed my struggle to find good old chook salt here in the UK, kindly tagged me into a post on Instagram and I placed an order immediately before planning an entire menu around this beloved seasoning. A few days later I was tucking into roast chicken and golden chips topped with chicken salt and thinking that a Brexit trade deal with Australia might not be such a bad thing after all…
You can purchase your own chicken salt (and environmentally conscious refills) through the Uncle Chook’s website, and if you’re keen to brush up on your Aussie slang for when Boris lets us all back on a plan again, check out their hilarious Instagram page here!