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Embellish with Hawkshead Relish from the Lake District.
The finest British artisan foods are really worth stocking up on, especially at times like this when you can’t get out to the shops so easily. I’m making use of the time when I can’t travel myself to explore some of Britain’s best – products like Hawkshead Relish.
Made in Cumbria, at Esthwaite village near Hawkshead, this range of products is a real favourite of the Hairy Bikers. Dave happily says
“Hawkshead Relish has the most amazing range of products, but the story of this family business is also extraordinary. Their products are so versatile and are truly part of the cook’s armoury. They are creative, but above all really tasty, and the business is a great ambassador for Cumbria”
While Si goes for the short and to the point statement.
“I Flippin’ love Hawkshead Relish, there’s nothing they do that I don’t like”
I can add my own endorsement – I’m happily munching my way through a jar of roasted vegetable relish, a wonderfully versatile condiment made of roast onions, tomatoes, yellow peppers, aubergine, courgette and garlic all mixed up with spices, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and Halen Mon smoked salt. It’s the kind of ingredient list I’d put on my own jars if I could get my act together and actually make a relish myself. It’s also free from additives, nuts and gluten and suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs.
What’s particularly endearing for me about Hawkshead is the story of how their business got started. Originally the owners, Mark & Maria Whitehead MBE ran a Lake District Café. They made their own relishes, pickles and preserves using locally sourced ingredients and traditional recipes. While the Café was very popular, visitors started wanting to buy the products to take home. So popular were they that when Foot and Mouth struck the region in 2001, the resourceful couple set about establishing their relish business, moving into a 16th-century barn near the village and producing for the wholesale market.
To this day, everything is handmade, though now there are over 100 products, all handmade in traditional open pans. I’m particularly intrigued by the black garlic ketchup, launched in 2017 and their current best seller. It’s made by slow-cooking garlic over 45 days to produce a sweet black caramelised mixture that can be turned into ketchup. Then there’s the award-winning classic Westmorland farmhouse chutney. And of course, a whole range of relishes including the delicious roasted vegetable relish which is light enough to just perk up my homemade cheesy leek and chicken quiche yet would not be out of place with a cheeseboard or as part of a ploughman’s. They hold over 60 Great Taste Awards – an amazing achievement!
The old Café has been turned into the Relish shop, looked after by the couple’s eldest daughter and their younger daughter looks after social media and marketing. They also employ 25 local people and are really a key part of the community. I suspect that had a big part in their joint MBE’s in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in 2011. They also celebrated their 20 years anniversary in 2019, with a royal visit by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Now, you can buy all their products online and, if you want a way to cheer up your cooking, I’d recommend popping over to their online shop and putting in an order. Right now there’s free postage on all orders over £25 too.
And they’ve also offered us a cookbook and selection of four condiments as a prize for one lucky London-Unattached reader. All you need to do to enter is to pop over to their shop, pick out your favourite and tell me in the comments below which one you’d most like to try and what you’d use it for.
Just follow the Rafflecopter through as normal.