The Fine Food Company
The Fine Food Company is an established speciality fine food wholesale supplier to the catering industry, based in Somerset. We deliver to Dorset, Wiltshire, Bath, Bristol, the Cotswolds, Devon and Hampshire supplying a wide range of fresh, ambient and frozen wholesale food products of the highest standard. Our produce is sourced fresh, and handpicked direct from speciality food markets and manufacturers.
We regularly visit New Covent Garden & Smithfield Market, London and Rungis Market, Paris to source and supply a comprehensive range of wholesale food products to our customer requirements. Our suppliers include local specialist food producers for specific products such as game, meat, dairy and all seasonal produce.
We understand the importance of service and operate a reliable next day delivery service with no minimum order. We also provide a next day courier service to areas outside our standard delivery zones.
We pride ourselves on delivering the best speciality fine food to some of the most exclusive hotels and restaurants in the south west of England.
May 20, 2014
May 13, 2014
Jun 03, 2013
What's good in JULY
The classic and cool cucumber - try pickling them as a delicious addition to burgers or sandwiches, or whizz them up into a cool and creamy soup. Not forgetting a few slices of cucumber make a perfect addition to a cool glass of Pimms.
With their range and depth of eye catching colours, they are visually very appealing but it is the wonderful flavour and aroma that sets them apart. They are typified by the array of variety types, shapes, colours, sizes and flavours.
Any large, meaty, pink-red to deep-red heirloom makes a substantial bed for the playful combination of cherry tomatoes and Bing cherries. Although we love the fragrance of anise hyssop, mint, basil, or tarragon will also work nicely.
These beans can be chopped and added to rice dishes, sprinkled with sesame seeds as a side dish for Asian-style recipes, or served as a traditional British 'veg' with roast dinner.
Borlotti Beans (Coco Beans)
Pop them out of their shells, blanch them, add to finely diced shallot and garlic, finish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with fish or chicken.
After cooking, season the cobs with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with lots of melted butter. Alternatively, cut the kernels straight off the cob and use in a recipe for a spicy salsa, with heaps of chilli, coriander and lime juice, or simmer in stock with chicken or crabmeat for a sweet Chinese-style soup. Liven up brunch with sweetcorn fritters, popular both in America and Australia, and serve with a zesty lime mayonnaise, tomato salsa or rashers of crisp bacon.
Green almonds have the briefest whisper of a season in the spring before their shells harden and start looking (and tasting!) more like the almonds we know and love. They are tart and crisp and subversively addictive around cocktail hour.
The raw baby leaves of the coloured types look stunning in salads, and though they dull a little on cooking, a pile of young leaves, wilted and buttered with stems still attached, is still handsome on a plate. The adult plant gives you two vegetables in one: the crisp, robust stems and the abundant, delicately ruffled leaves. The leaves, though, taste of pure, iron-rich vegetabliness, somewhere between a mild kale and spinach. It's a powerhouse of nutty, green-leaf flavour, so pair it with feisty partners: olives, cream, tomatoes, spices, strong cheese and smoked fish. It will not let you down.
Baby Globe Artichokes
Try a great little all-rounder - tray-baked artichokes with almonds, breadcrumbs & herbs. This brilliant stuffed artichoke recipe is a lovely antipasti or the perfect side for meat and fish. Or trout & artichokes with almonds, breadcrumbs & mint, all wrapped up with smoky bacon. This is a really great way to spruce up trout for a special dinner – the flavour combinations are amazing.
Gooseberry recipes are a quintessential summer treat: Try gooseberry purée with mackerel or roast pork. Or pair them with elderflower for delicious gooseberry pies, tarts and crumbles. The high pectin content in the fruit makes an ideal gooseberry jam.
How about chilled white peaches poached in rose syrup, or baked peaches with crushed amaretto biscuits. Baking peaches will make even slightly hard and unsweet peaches delicious! Warm, soft with their sugars concentrated - they are a joy. Or perhaps a savoury and sweet chicken and grilled peach salad.
Make the most of blackberries whilst they're in season with delicious recipes for blackberry jam, homemade blackberry liqueur and blackberry scones. Also find savoury recipes such as blackberry and spinach salad, pork chops with blackberry-port sauce and more.
Blueberries release lots of juice when cooked, which makes them a versatile addition to a variety of dishes. Add the lush, dark berries to muffins, cheesecakes and pancakes or combine them with apple in a crumble, and with other soft fruit in a glorious summer pudding. Cooking blueberries with a splash of water and a sprinkling of sugar will yield a delicious compôte to serve with Greek-style yogurt. Out of season, dried blueberries are excellent for making muesli. Frozen blueberries make a nutritious, lavender-hued smoothie
There are so many things you can do with rhubarb - Danish rhubarb cake with cardamom and custard, vanilla-fried rhubarb on sugar brioche, grilled rhubarb with calves' liver, horseradish cream and chard, pan-fried mackerel sandwich with rhubarb coleslaw or even fennel basted pork chops with rhubarb.
We have Trompette, Girolle and Mousseron mushrooms, all looking good.
These have delicate, parmesan and blue cheese aromas with intense, mushroom flavours. Most often though, dried trompette mushrooms are rehydrated in warm water, and are then pulled into long, thin strands and used as a delicate garnish for scallops, white fish or beef. The trompettes are also delicious when stirred into risotto, or even blended into a trompette tapenade and slavered on crusty bread.
These have a deliciously nutty and peppery flavour that works well in risottos, sauces or even a chicken and mushroom pie. Perfect paired with similarly rich flavours such as pheasant, chestnuts and bone marrow.
These have a rich, intense flavour – similar to porcini, but with more pronounced hazelnut notes. These mushrooms work well in slow-cooked dishes like casseroles, as they retain their robust flavour, and the slow-cooking softens their hard stems. Also try them in a sauce to top fish or chicken dishes or stir into durum wheat pasta.
What's good in AUGUST
What's good in SEPTEMBER
What's good in OCTOBER
What's good in NOVEMBER
What's good in DECEMBER
What's good in JANUARY
Pink Fir Apple Potatoes
Almost the latest maturing salad variety, taking 22 weeks for perfection, but well worth the wait as they have an amazing flavour. Very knobbly tubers, just wash and cook whole, hot or cold.
A delicious nutty taste like chestnuts, prized in France for its flavour for over 70 years. Steam in their skin and serve hot or cold.
A type of 'floury' potato resembling a black truffle in appearance. Amusingly they retain their dark violet colour when cooked, and are at their best steamed or boiled, mashed, roasted or in salads.
A more subtle flavour than normal red beetroot, and is great garnish with its vibrant golden shine. The leaves are delicious too!
The unsung hero of the vegetable world, knobbly, odd-shaped celeriac has a subtle, celery-like flavour, with nutty overtones. You can mash or roast; use it in slow-cook dishes or in its classic form as a remoulade.
What's good in FEBRUARY
This vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a variety of sunflower with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a ginger root. The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty. Brilliant roasted whole.
Purple sprouting broccoli
The purple-green florets of this variety of broccoli have a slightly wild look and grow on slender, leafy stems of varying lengths. Perfect with pasta, chicken and fish.
Kale and Cavolo Nero
Both kale and winter cabbages such as cavolo nero (black cabbage) go well with guinea fowl and duck. They're also great crispy as a garnish for soups and hearty stews.
Grown mostly in Mediterranean countries, blood oranges have a distinctive dark-red rind and flesh and taste tarter than regular oranges. How about an orange salad served with seabream and fennel?
Perfect in a classic rhubarb fool or a comforting crumble, rhubarb is also delicious in savoury food. Try it with fresh mackerel or roast pork.
A handful of truly wild mushrooms are still available including Yellow Chanterelle, Girolles, Pied de Mouton and Trompette de la Mort.
The Bramley is rightly recognised by chefs and home cooks alike as the best apple for cooking. Grown only in Britain, the Bramley’s unique qualities make it one of the most versatile ingredients; equally at home in a savoury stir fry or a traditional apple pie.
Originally known as “Swedish Turnips”, but also known as turnips or “neeps” in Scotland, and rutabaga in the USA, swedes are a staple of many casseroles, stews and soups and of course amazing mashed with butter and black pepper.
Sometimes the forgotten member of the brassica family, turnips have a deep nutty flavour and are equally good grated through salads. “Turnip tops” can be cooked in the same way as spring greens. Well worth a try.
What's good in MARCH
A member of the cabbage family, kale comes in two forms: kale, which has smooth leaves, and curly kale, which has crinkly leaves. Make your own Kale chips, remove the central stalk, and then oven bake leaves with olive oil and salt for 20mins.
Leeks are very versatile and work well cooked in various recipes or as a side dish. Two of the world's most famous soups, Scotland's cock-a-leekie and France's crème vichyssoise, are based around them.
Serve spring onions in salads, or sprinkled over Chinese dishes (particularly steamed fish), or stirred into raita or traditional Irish champ (mashed potatoes speckled with chopped spring onions). They can also be brushed with olive oil and chargrilled whole.
Spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable. The bitter flavour is distinctive - you either love it or hate it - and particularly complements dairy products and eggs.
Spring Green Cabbage
A squeaky-leaved spring green cabbage is a thing of beauty and vitality. Fragrant and nutty, this cabbage is perfect in spring, crispy salads and also great in bubble and squeak, with smoked bacon and a poached egg.
Often thought of as just ‘a bite on the side’, the humble radish, with its crisp, crunchy texture and distinctive peppery bite, is a deliciously versatile snack or ingredient, perfect for adding a subtle kick to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.
Jersey Royal New Potatoes
There's no mistaking the taste of Jersey Royal New Potatoes. Their unique flavour comes from Jersey's rich fertile earth, gentle climate and the way our farmers grow them. They've been doing it for generations. And every time you taste a Jersey Royal you can tell.
Borage is a plant with blue flowers that was introduced to Britain by the Romans and grows wild in some areas. Its leaves, flowers and stalks are edible and taste a little like cucumber. Borage leaves are good in salads, yoghurt or cream cheese mixtures, or served with shellfish.
Sorrel leaves are generally large, bright-green and arrow-shaped with a smooth, crisp texture. Sorrel has a remarkably bright and even tart flavor. Many people liken its taste to lemons, which makes sense since there is a real note of sourness in there.
Particularly good at the moment and much more pungent and flavoursome than its curly cousin, often called Italian parsley. Stalks for the stock pot, leaves for Salsa Verde or mixed with garlic and lemon zest to make Gremolata.
What's good in APRIL
Although the season is very short, British asparagus is well worth the wait for its unbeatable flavour and freshness. Asparagus can be lightly steamed or boiled to bring out the fragrant flavour, which can be enjoyed simply covered in butter or dipped in Hollandaise sauce. Or for something a bit more special why not try Griddled Scallops with Asparagus, Crème Fraiche and Sweet Chilli Sauce, or for an Oriental twist try Pan Fried Duck Breast with Asparagus and Toasted Sesame Soy Dressing.
In the UK, wild garlic has many peculiar identities - 'bear's garlic', 'devil's garlic', 'gypsy's onions' and 'stinking Jenny' are just some of them. It's no surprise that this seasonal ingredient is called so many names - it gives off an incredibly pungent smell in the wild. Unlike common cultivated garlic, it's the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs. The taste is more delicate too, similar to the flavour of chives. Wild garlic can be stirred into risottos or omelettes, added to soups or used in sauces to accompany meat and fish.
When it comes to a salad leaf that is truly good for you, look no further than watercress. Bursting with vitamins and minerals, this peppery little leaf is one of our natural superfoods – and tastes great too. Pile it into sandwiches, toss into salads, use it to make a wonderful watercress soup or watercress sauce, wilt into pastas or stir fries, it’s incredibly versatile – but don’t just leave it to languish on the side of the plate as a garnish
Delicious roasted with spices like cumin and coriander and served with a good sprinkling of sea salt and a squeeze of lemon or try making a lighter cauliflower cheese by parboiling and then roasting cauliflower florets on a buttered roasting tray with a sprinkling of Parmesan. The cauliflower stalks make great Crudités.
This peppery leaf is also known as arugula. It’s a dark green salad vegetable, popular in Mediterranean countries. The leaves have a slightly bitter, peppery flavour and are gathered when they’re young. Rocket makes a delicious addition to salads but can also be used to make soups and to replace basil in pesto. A bed of rocket is a good base on which to serve grilled poultry or fish.
Morels are wild mushrooms found all over the British Isles. This distinctive mushroom has a pitted honeycomb-like fruit body and is hollow inside. It can only be found in the wild and is highly prized. Morels can be stewed, added to omelettes or eggs en cocotte, or chopped up and used in sauces to serve with steak. Or simply fry them in butter or olive oil and serve on toast. They are often used dried (but never raw) and are excellent in all mushroom dishes and as additions to stews and casseroles. They’re particularly good with chicken and are considered among the best mushrooms, along with ceps and chanterelles.
What's good in MAY
Westland’s Growing Mix
Westland’s growing collection is the newest addition to the expanding Westland’s range of ingredients. This collection is Micro Leaf and Cress products grown soil free, conveniently supplied still growing and presented in a punnet. Grown in the UK, the collection has been designed for use by Chefs in demanding kitchens. The freshness and flexibility of this collection make an ideal ingredient or garnish to compliment any dish. The punnet contains Purple Radish, Broccoli, Daikon, Purple Shiso, Green Shiso and Red Amaranth.
The first garlic crop of the season, known as ‘wet garlic’ because it has not been hung up to dry, is in stock now. The huge juicy cloves give wet garlic a particularly creamy flavour, and the texture is quite different from that of dried garlic. The internal skins have not formed so the whole head can be chopped and used as a seasoning. The heads can also be roasted whole and the creamy cooked garlic is delicious spread on toast or mixed with butter and used on vegetables or in baked potatoes. The flavour is strong, but smooth and not at all bitter. While the stalks are fresh and green they can be cooked like leeks or finely sliced and used to make soup, omelettes or garnish salads.
Although the season is very short, English asparagus is well worth the wait for its unbeatable flavour and freshness. It is incredibly versatile, quick and easy to prepare and cook and there is no waste. How about salmon cooked in rapeseed oil with asparagus and wild garlic, Thai asparagus soup or fried egg, chorizo and asparagus?
May sees the official start to the British berry season with milder temperatures, longer days and more sunshine - the perfect conditions for enjoying British berries including strawberries. The best thing is that strawberries can be enjoyed when dining al fresco as part of a main course or dessert, straight from the punnet at a picnic, or just simply with cream or ice cream. Strawberries – a great accompaniment to summer!
Red watercress — although maroon is more like it — has even more peppery bite in its green-veined pointy leaves than regular watercress and, its growers say, more antioxidants. Use it raw in salads, because cooking turns the red to dark green. The watercress is grown on farms across Dorset and Hampshire and in Spain and Florida during the winter months.
Whether it’s candy, purple, white or golden we have the beetroot you choose for your menus.
Candy beetroot is an eye-catching garnish and is a fantastic addition to any salad. Beautiful served whole or cut diagonally through the middle to show off those mysterious pink and white rings. Once cooked, the flesh becomes pink throughout.
A favourite in 1970's British salads (served cooked and pickled in vinegar), beetroot is a root vegetable with dark, purple skin and pink/purple flesh. It has also enjoyed something of a deserved comeback in recent years, its earthy, rich and sweet flavour and vibrant colour lends itself to a variety of both sweet and savoury dishes. You could roast it, chop it and dress it with walnut oil and chives, or perhaps bake it in olive oil and cumin seeds, then dot with feta and bake again. Simply delicious!
This unusual variety of beetroot has tender pure white roots which are mild but very flavourful and sweet. Useful in cooking as it won't turn everything else purple! Particularly good with fish and poultry.
Golden beetroot has a more subtle flavour than normal purple beetroot, and is a great garnish with its vibrant golden shine. Popular in the 19th century, it is in vogue again in the fine dining restaurants today. How about roasted in a salad with chives, feta and honey vinaigrette. The leaves are delicious too just wilted down in a pan with lemon juice, butter and well-seasoned.
We have Girolles, St George’s, Mousserons and Pied Bleu mushrooms, all wonderful varieties of wild mushrooms. Which one will you choose?
Girolle mushrooms are apricot yellow, woodland variety with delicious nutty, peppery notes. The caps have a ridged underside, with a slightly chewy, slightly fibrous stem. Also known as Golden Chanterelles, girolles grow in clusters at the base of woodland trees and are hand-picked over the spring/summer months. Perfect paired with rich game dishes.
A firm white fleshy mushroom with a meaty texture. St George’s mushrooms have a strong aroma and work very well with poultry. These mushrooms are mainly found in fields, roadsides and grass verges. Traditionally this mushroom starts appearing late April and is generally available until June.
This petite little mushroom is available in the spring and again in the autumn for a limited period. These are the mushrooms of legend as they grow in circles in the woods, called 'fairy circles'. As the mushroom colony matures, the circle expands outward into larger and larger concentric rings. Now, the mushrooms are found in forests, woods and even lawns, where they are perceived as a nuisance. This is a mushroom that thrives in damp and moderate climes. Possessing a little brown or tan cap, this mushroom also has a thin, edible but tough stem. A full-bodied flavour.
Pied Bleu mushrooms, also known as the Blue Foot mushroom is a gilled capped mushroom with spores. Its stem is thick fibrillous and stained with deep lilac and its cap is flat with a smooth top surface and purple wavy gills on its underside. They have a strong flavoured and a pungent aroma, and tastes good when prepared in game dishes.
What's good in JUNE
Pod, purée and serve with a little fried garlic; blanched podded broad beans and peas, add some fried onion and serve with grilled halloumi and torn mint leaves. Top and tail very young broad beans and serve whole, in their pods, with a chunk of pecorino and some bread.
Ohh, yes peas! For those sunshine days and cosy evenings why not try pea, spinach and potato cakes, Cajun pea and potato salad with spring onion dressing, pan fried salmon with a pea and citrus crush or perhaps simply peas on toast.
When they are young, try them lightly cooked in butter, braised or roasted or even eaten raw in salads. The main crop turnips which are larger and coarser and more similar to swedes can be boiled and mashed or used in soups and stews. As the bulbs get bigger so the flavour becomes more pronounced.
Closely related to the pak choi, this leafy green Chinese vegetable belongs to the cabbage family - though tastes nothing like cabbage! It has long green slightly ribbed leaf stalks and soft, oval green leaves. The leaves and stems are best suited to brief stir-frying or steaming so they retain their mild flavour. It’s cracking sautéed in butter with pine nuts and bacon.
Dark-green winter cabbage with attractive, crinkled and blistered leaves and a robust flavour and texture. Steam, boil or braise, add to hearty peasant soups or stuff rolled-up whole leaves with a savoury minced meat and rice mixture.
Cook and drizzle with olive oil or melted butter or a handful of grated parmesan; add to a cheesy pasta bake; stir-fry in groundnut oil with chopped garlic and dry fried cashews, adding a drizzle of toasted sesame oil to the pan just before cooking ends.
Courgettes – Green and Yellow
They can be sliced thinly and eaten raw, cooked on a griddle, in a stir fry, or fried in a light batter as chips, grated and added to a quiche, or dressed up in a creamy lemon sauce and served with pasta, Recipes for courgettes come in as many shapes and sizes as the vegetable itself: varieties of this summer vegetable can range from small and flying-saucer shaped, to dark-green and tennis ball-sized, to long and yellow.
Although the season is very short, English asparagus is well worth the wait for its unbeatable flavour and freshness. It is incredibly versatile, quick and easy to prepare and cook and there is no waste. How about asparagus, pancetta and parmesan linguine with chive cream or maybe beef and asparagus salad with honey dressing, radishes and cherry tomatoes?
Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable. The leaves can be either flat or slightly ruffled, and are a bright green when young, deepening to a more intense colour when older. The bitter flavour is distinctive - you either love it or hate it. The milder, young leaves can be eaten raw in a salad.
With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of the strongest-tasting salad leaves available. It has a pungent, slightly bitter, peppery flavour and is highly nutritious.
There are several different varieties, and whilst they are not necessarily related to each other, they tend to share some common characteristics - notably the attractive russet colouring, a sweeter flavour, and flesh which is firm rather than crunchy.
A member of the rose family, raspberries have a wonderfully intense, sweet taste, and many consider them to be the finest flavoured of all the berries. They are an essential ingredient in the classic English dessert, summer pudding, and their flavour combines well with that of other berries. How about summer pudding trifles, raspberry millefeuilles or even a raspberry sangrillinis?
This succulent, fragrant fruit is as beautiful as it is flavourful. Dip whole strawberries into melted dark chocolate and set aside until firm, then serve as a tasty canapé at champagne receptions; the berries will complement a rosé bubbly. Garnish summer salads with slices of strawberries, stir the berries into meringues and whipped cream to make Eton mess, or sandwich them between sponge cakes or pastries such as millefeuille. Alternatively, sprinkle a few drops of balsamic vinegar or a dusting of freshly ground black pepper sparingly over strawberries to enhance their flavour.