Summer is upon us at last. And what better way to celebrate than with chocolate, more chocolate, and GIN. Three of my favourite things! Below you’ll also find newly kosher chutneys and pickles, vegan caviar, and a revolutionary garment that makes modest summer dressing both easier and cooler.
Of course the big ‘new kosher’ news since my last round-up is that several varieties of Hovis bread are now kosher KLBD. This means that if you live outside London or Manchester (or anywhere else with a kosher bakery), getting kosher bread is now even easier. Take your pick between Hovis (KLBD) and Kingsmill (SKA) 🙂
So, without further ado, here are some new kosher products that you may not yet have come across. Enjoy!
R & M Fine Chocolates
My Mum very kindly (and selflessly!) offered to try out these luxury handmade dairy chocolates for me, as they’re currently only available in Manchester. The truffles and pralines are all made by Raanan Malkin, who recently relocated to Manchester from Israel. Raanan is dedicated to creating high quality pralines and truffles using only natural ingredients and no preservatives, which means that the shelf life of the chocolates is quite short – so eat them quickly! As Raanan says, “Who can hold good pralines for more than a few hours?!”
My Mum really enjoyed trying out her selection of these artisan chocolates, although she thought some were a little sweet for her taste. She struggled to match the contents of the box to the descriptions on the side, but since they were all delicious, it turned out not to be too much of a problem! Flavours include orange, lemon, cherry, matcha, and roasted nuts, among others.
A box of 12 pralines costs £10, and the chocolates are certified kosher (Cholov Yisroel) by the Manchester Beth Din. They are available at selected kosher shops in Prestwich, and can also be mail ordered. For more information, visit R&M Fine Chocolates.
Kennard’s Artisan Chocolates
More chocolate related news! I tried Kennard’s Artisan Chocolates at Gefiltefest, and was pretty impressed. Their dairy-free range is completely parve and vegan and focuses on high quality dark chocolate with a selection of interesting fillings, including pineapple & nana truffle, mixed nut tiffin, triple espresso, strawberry fondant, and peanut butter truffle. They also make bars of dark chocolate with fruits and nuts.
I loved the crunchy nut tiffin, although my favourite is still the spiced fruit cup I had at Gefiltefest – like a deliciously chocolatey charoset!! DH was impressed with the peanut butter truffle which he thought had a great balance of sweet and salt flavour.
Kennard’s chocolates are certified kosher by SKA (and also certified Vegan by the Vegan Society), and are available from selected kosher outlets in London, including Kosher Kingdom (Golders Green) and B Kosher (Hendon). They are also available to mail order via their website, along with a range of gift baskets where their chocolates are paired with wine and/or honey. Start planning your Rosh Hashanah gifts now!
Also at Gefiltefest, I tried the Vegetarian Caviar Club’s products, and I found them intriguing to say the least.
The ‘gourmet seaweed pearls’ come in three varieties – red, black and wasabi, as shown above – and while not exactly a store cupboard staple, I think they will be useful for adding a touch of ‘wow’ to fancy starters, party food, and sushi, for instance. I really don’t like the way real salmon roe bursts in your mouth, so I much preferred these veggie pearls which have a slightly different texture. Being made of seaweed though, they do have a salty marine flavour – quite fishy, despite being completely vegan.
The Vegetarian Caviar Club products have the Badatz Beit Yosef hechscher, and all three varieties are available from the web shop at vegcaviar.com priced £5.99 a jar.
If you like Indian food, then you’re in luck! Geeta’s authentic Indian chutneys are now available for kosher consumers, certified KLBD. The range includes Premium Mango Chutney, Mango & Chilli Chutney, Mango & Ginger Chutney, Lime & Chilli Chutney, Pomegranate & Mango Chutney, Aubergine Pickle and three ‘squeezy’ chutneys – ideal for squirting onto a (veggie!) hotdog or burger fresh from the BBQ.
I tried the mango and ginger chutney which was absolutely delicious – I only meant to have a taste and ended up eating several spoonfuls of it! I also tried the aubergine pickle, which is drier and has a less ‘jammy’ texture than the chutneys. Although it is labelled ‘medium’ I found it to be quite a bit hotter than the chutneys, probably due to the lower sugar content. It was still delicious though! Geeta’s suggest mixing it with yogurt or mayonnaise to make a dip, which sounds like an excellent suggestion.
Geeta’s chutneys are available from supermarkets and independent stores across the UK, and cost around £2 per jar. You can also buy online from the Geeta’s foods website.
Chase Vodka and Gin
Williams Chase make a wide range of award-winning spirits, all of which have recently been certified by Kosher Federation. The range is based around Chase Vodka, which is distilled from potatoes grown on the family’s single-estate farm in Herefordshire. As well as being bottled for sale, this spirit is also redistilled with local botanicals to create Williams GB Gin, and with fresh elderflower blooms to create Chase Elderflower Liqueur.
I was sent samples of these three spirits, and found them all extremely drinkable! The vodka was smooth and warming, the gin delightfully dry. But my favourite of the three was the Elderflower Liqueur, which is like English summer in a bottle. It is wonderfully fresh, gently sweet and deliciously floral, and is terrific topped up with sparkling water or even fizzy white wine. I expect it would do fabulous things in a summer fruit trifle, too.
Other drinks in the range include Rhubarb Vodka, Marmalade Vodka, Oak Smoked Vodka, Seville Orange Gin, and Pink Grapefruit Gin. They are available from supermarkets, independent stores, and via their online shop.
A bit of a departure this, but I thought this product was such a good idea that even though it has nothing whatsoever to do with food, I wanted to share it with you. Wingz are basically sleeves that can be worn under a sleeveless top or dress when you don’t want to expose your arms. Brilliant!
I have umpteen sleeveless summer dresses, so to cover my arms I end up putting a t-shirt under, or a cardigan over, neither of which is a perfect solution. The extra layer is all very well in the winter but at this time of year it’s a bit of a shvitz, to say the least.
However, now I can stay cool and keep my arms covered! Here are some pictures of me modelling my Wingz while keeping cool in a lovely light summery linen tunic.
What a genius product! Wingz come in a range of lengths, styles, fabrics and colours, so there are plenty of options to add sleeves to every sleeveless outfit. You can find out more details (and buy online) via the Wingz website.
And that’s your lot! I look forward to bringing you news of more new kosher products soon. Don’t forget to subscribe or follow me on Facebook to get regular recipe updates as well as kosher food news.
And if you have a kosher product that you’d like me to feature on family-friends-food, please get in touch!
See you again soon. Take care, Helen x.
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Note: I was sent some of these products to try, but all opinions are my own.