We’re introducing a new series of blogs in which our lovely brand manager and foodie expert, Claire Roper, looks at what’s trending in the world of food. This month, Claire tells us about what caught her eye (and tastebuds) at this year’s Taste of London, The Big Feastival & new restaurants in London & Leeds.
Middle Eastern food
Summer is the time of year we start thinking about sunshine and summer flavours. For me, Middle Eastern food always brings a flavour of sunshine to my meals, not in the ubiquitous kebab perhaps but instead, I’m thinking whipped feta with Turkish dumplings (Asian style) and a smoked garlic yoghurt. Yum. The perfect food to sit in the sunshine and enjoy. Bala Baya at Taste of London really encapsulated this for me. It’s a Tel-Aviv inspired haunt which is a bakery by morning, pitta kiosk at lunch and a buzzy restaurant at night.
As well as a tasty treat, Tacos are also becoming somewhat of a fashion trend with the t-shirt slogan “Tacos Are My Life” filling our Instagram feed. Tacos are the perfect festival food – it is quick, easy street food and you can still dance while enjoying the handheld snack. Perfect as Faithless were performing on stage, much to the delight of the team at Breddos Tacos, while I made my order. I opted for a tuna sashmi taco with a black wrap, it was spicy and delicious! Fusion food at it’s best.
Cheese for me is pure happy indulgence! I would always happily pick cheese over a dessert so I was delighted to find at Taste of London that cheese has now officially become a dessert. I saw manchego cheesecake with a strawberry compote and what I’d call the dessert of my dreams; manchego churros with quince jam. I don’t think there could be a more perfect combination of flavours in this world. Biting into this, the tart nature of quince cut through the salty lightly fried churros. A perfect summer combo.
You’ll find there is “nann better” than a nann bacon roll in a morning. We were delighted to uncover the experiential concept Nannia by Frankie Goes to Bollywood at Feastival. Simply walk through the wardrobe to uncover a new world…….of tasty delights. My choice ‘son of a witch’ – a thrilling combination of bacon cream cheese and tomato chutney in a soft naan wrap. The perfect way to kick off the day.
The new barbecue
Sweet and savoury barbecue flavour are now officially a ‘thing’. This new popular flavour combination was everywhere at Taste of London but my personal favourite was a barbecue butterscotch sauce, which was delicious served with 72-hour barbecue beef rib.
After a few days into a festival, the body does start to crave some comfort and nourishment so I opted for the wonderfully named Budda Bowls. These colourful bowls are beautiful layered with vegetables, healthy grains, pickles and protein. It is now possible to get a hearty, pretty & satisfying salad at a festival, who would have thought! My body says thank you!
Gin, Pimm’s and summer cocktails
Gin really is on trend at the moment with gin bars popping up all over the UK. Add to this the rise of the cocktail bar (where I live in Leeds I’m pretty sure there’s a new one opening every week) and it’s definitely the summer of cocktail flavours. At Taste, Club Gascon was selling Pimm’s macaroons which were simply heaven to eat. When it comes to gin and Prosecco, I think these translate well into sauces – especially when paired with fish.
Not technically a flavour but new taste sensation perhaps. Crunch is a great way of adding interest especially to something like a burger. For example, the duck burger at the new Duck & Waffle Local has crunchy waffles on top. Alternatively, if you love pickled onion Monster Munch try the pickled onion crunch topping at Temper with the range of deliciously grilled meats.
These are just a few of the tastes I’ve been enjoying this season as part of my role At GLORIOUS! Foods – I hope you’ve been enjoying some great tastes this summer too.