Christmas Stars

We’ve been out and about throughout the year meeting new producers and sampling tasty new products, so we thought we’d put together our top 10 selection for 2013. Remember there’s no scientific analysis or formal tasting involved in our decision making process – just a genuine “we like them because they taste great.”

So here we go… in alphabetical order!

Artisan chocolates and confectionery range produced in North Wales. There are so many flavours in their chocolate range it’s difficult to choose a favourite but a personal preference for dark chocolate edges the Lemon & Lime and Chilli & Cocoa Nib ahead. Great range of Christmas products too!

Blaenafon Cheddar Company
Award winning range of handmade cheeses flavoured with local ingredients including Welsh wines, ales and spirits. We particularly like the chilli infused Dragon’s Breath but with over 15 flavours to choose from there’s one for every taste. Check out the limited edition Christmas Pudding Cheese!

Caws Teifi Cheese – Seaweed
Teifi cheese is a Gouda style cheese produced by artisan cheesemakers Caws Teifi. Available with Nettle, Cumin, Sweet Pepper, Garlic & Onion plus our favourite, Seaweed, made with Welsh laverbread.

Celteg / Celtic Country Wines Ginger Chutney with Ginger Wine
If you enjoy the rich intense flavour of ginger this chutney, spiced up with a little of Celteg’s ginger wine, is the ideal accompaniment to the Boxing Day cold meat platter. The team at Celteg also recommend it as the ideal ingredient to add spice to a curry.

Coedcanlas – Artisan Produce
We discovered this range of artisan food products at Cardigan Bay Seafood Festival where we met Nick. Specialities include the range of Wild Welsh Honey produced from their own bees but we also love the Sicilian Lemon Marmalade.

O’Donnell Bakehouse – Irish Stout Brownie
A superb range of homemade brownies including the famous Irish Stout Brownie. We were able to sample all the flavours at our Welsh Menu Live in Swansea festival and the Sea Salt Caramel was our top choice.

Shelly’s Shorties
A melt in the mouth range of luxury Welsh shortbread biscuits available in 8 flavours. We particularly like the Strawberry with Black Pepper and Pistachio with White Chocolate. Also available to order as Wedding Favours.

The Mumbles Pate Company
The Mumbles Pate Company produces homemade chicken liver pates with extra zing. We first discovered the range at the Gower Chilli Festival and love the flavour combinations on offer including Tequila, Lime and Chilli; Orange Liquor and Brandy plus our favourite – Vodka and Cranberry.

The Preservation Society
An outstanding collection of award winning homemade preserves, pickles and chutneys. Our favourite used to be the Ravishingly Raspberry Preserve but now the range is so extensive we really can’t choose – the Buttery & Boozy Mincemeat and Pokey & Perky Pickled Onions sound like a must for Christmas though!

Tudor Brewery
Jaime and the team from this award winning family run brewery joined us in Swansea for this year’s festival, so we had a perfect opportunity to sample the range! A great selection of real ales with something to suit every palette it’s difficult to say which is the best, however the award winning Blorenge Golden Ale is very drinkable. Quote from a family member who favoured the Sugarloaf Real Ale, “Now that is a real beer – tastes like a beer should!”