At a party recently I was talking to a friend and sharing my anxieties how the world is shaping up around us. All the usual suspects were there: American / Chinese relations. Will Trump take military action in Nth Korea? Terrorism. Immigration Crises – why is it now seemingly impossible for more and more people to have a decent peaceful life in their own country? That was before we got on to the basket of worms that is ‘Brexit’. How I detest that word.
My friend looked at me, shrugged and said ‘..but what can you do about those things?’ You might as well get on with life……’
A few days after this conversation I attended one of the many great country shows that abound at this time of year. As owners of a packaging business it’s a great place to connect with small producers who form the bulk of our customers.
My friend’s words came back to me and made me re-evaluate my gloomy outlook!!. Here are a group of people who really get on with life. You only have to spend a little time with folk whose heart and soul is invested in what they do and your own energy and zest is reignited.
I met Karen Her company @PeckishKitchen make gorgeous pesto, relish, jams and chutneys. ‘So’, I said. ‘Tell me about your products?’ She lit up with passion and enthusiasm, telling me about her newest product – a very nice pesto – and urging me to trying everything on her display.
What would our workplaces (and economy) be like if most of our employees felt like that?
That conversation was replicated many times that day – artisan oil producers, sauces, jams, cheese, charcuterie, cake, biscuits. You name it, these people make it.
Many of these artisan producers handmake their products in their own kitchen – and proudly tell you so. They use quality ingredients and often labour-intensive methods. Usually it’s a family business with bottling and labelling going on late into the night before a show. Week after week.
Being an artisan producer isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, and for many, it’s a tough financial existence. They are fiercely independent. One of our customers that I met at the show told me how she’s currently faced with a dilemma – she’s been approached by a major supermarket chain with an offer to stock her product. Tempting – but her core values would be compromised: artisan, niche, independent, special.
We make packaging for many of these producers. When taking a brief about their packaging needs, they talk about how they want their product represented – it might be a three pack of jam or beer, but to them it’s as precious as a Fabergé Egg.
So, the next time you visit one of these shows, I urge you to talk to the producers, taste their products, share their passion and support as many of them as you can. They deserve it – and you’ll feel inspired!
Published on Bernie Walsh
You know how we love to champion good Yorkshire produce. On the recommendation of Paul Heyhoe at Blue Sky Baker I picked up a couple of jars of Peckish products on my weekly shop for bread. ‘They’re extraordinary’ he said ‘different from any other – really’. I raised an eyebrow. Jam’s jam, right? Turns out there’s jam and then there’s Peckish jam. The Blueberry and Liquorice is my fave, though the Drunken Plum is pretty special. Not just jam either – Pink Grapefruit and Prosecco Marmalade is a winner on my sourdough wholemeal of a morning, and there’s pickle too; Roasted Garlic is fab with Welsh rarebit, and recently launched is Pea & Mint Pesto and they’ve absolutely nailed it – it’s fabulous folded through pasta with a handful of parmesan.
Established in 2015, Peckish is a family business based in High Burton, and its genesis is a familiar story; Colin made pickled onions from an old family recipe and Francesa made wild garlic pesto, and with their partners they sat round the kitchen table one night with a bottle of wine, saying let’s do this for real, and Peckish was born. After 6 months of cooking and tasting they went into production, selling initially at farmer’s markets; now you can find them all over the place including (Angela Cahill sells them at her lovely smokehouse) and *NEWSFLASH* the spanking new deli at the magnificent Piece Hall in Halifax, where you’ll find their entire range. As a starter, scoop up the above and shove in a jar of Chuffin’ Hot Charred Chilli Chutney for good measure.
Introducing our new range of Pesto
A Yorkshire take on an Italian classic…
Bursting with the fresh flavours of springtime
Fantastic as a herb crust on white fish or rolled through hot new potatoes
Packed with rich red peppers, herbs and spices
Delicious with pasta and meatballs or as a Bruschetta base with mozzarella
A fusion of autumn flavours and warming Indian spices
Grill on to field mushrooms with breadcrumbs and Parmesan
or roast with vegetables and feta
Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 July 2017
The very best of rural life will be celebrated at the 159th Great Yorkshire Show 7.30-19.30
Look out for a new street food court selling a range of local and international cuisine including from the showground’s very own food hall and café Fodder. Chefs like Rosemary Shrager cooking up a storm live on stage throughout event and a fantastic array of products on sale in the food hall.
TV stunt horses will make their debut in the main ring while some famous faces will be making an appearance across the showground. RAF Falcons will perform a parachute display for the first time while exclusive new fashion designs will be modelled on the Great Yorkshire Show catwalk.
The ultimate summer day out!
Great entertainment and fantastic food in the biggest summer food festival to hit the Midlands!
Packed full of some of the best products and stalls in the UK and top chefs cooking up fresh recipes live on stage.
Looking forward to this weekends
SAT 27 & SUN 28 MAY
The two day festival is full of the finest food stalls Yorkshire has to offer and entertainment for all the family
This years is set to be the biggest to date with demos from
Levi Roots and Prue Leith
Don’t miss it!
Well we had a fantastic weekend at Harrogate Flower Spring Show
Thank you to everyone who came to see us!
The weather stayed uncharacteristically fine and sunny, the flower displays were delightful
and the products on offer were wonderful.
Make sure you put it in you diary for next year!
If you are like me you may be feeling a little disillusioned with world a the moment, lettuce shortages, struggling economies and disappointing world leaders do not encourage confidence… so lets inspire our own optimistic future by getting together and celebrating local produce and people! Give yourself a boost in these cold early months of 2017 by supporting and re-investing in your local area.
The 17th -19th February will see Wakefield’s fantastic ‘Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb’, where small businesses will gather in the centre of town, to offer wonderful produce from cheese and chutney and bread to beer. The 3 day event champions Rhubarb and the local producers that use it. There will also be live entertainment in the form of cookery demonstrations and street performers as well as workshops and taster sessions.
You may be wondering what’s the big deal? Well rhubarb is cultivated in an area of West Yorkshire called the ‘Rhubarb Triangle’ and this area has grown the best quality forced rhubarb for hundreds of years. It’s such a great product that Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb has earned ‘protected name status’ a credit given to only the best and most desirable products such as Parma Ham and Champagne. Today’s triangle is formed between Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell, however it was once much bigger and produced 90% of the world’s winter forced rhubarb.
Rhubarb thrives in wet, cold winters so is very at home in Yorkshire. It is an ancient plant that can be traced back to China in 2700 BC where it was used for medical purposes to reduce fever and cleanse the body.
To honour this remarkable vegetable Peckish Kitchen has created a Rhubarb & Custard Jam that will make its debut at Wakefield’s popular event, ‘We are excited to launch our new Rhubarb & Custard Jam at the festival, it is reminiscent of the popular sweets of our childhood and the combination of flavours make it perfect on toast for breakfast but also or with ice cream as a sweet treat’ Francesca, Peckish Kitchen.