I love going to local markets and seeing all the fresh and local produce on offer. But sometimes when the weather isn’t looking too bright or when it’s easier to go to my local supermarket, venturing to a food markets isn’t always on my mind which is a shame.
To my surprise, earlier this week I was contacted by Lydia at Caprera who invited me to try a selection of produce from their website. Caprera is essentially an online artisan food marketplace which offers a variety of independent producers. From oils and cured meats, to cakes, gin and hot chocolate – there’s a bundle of special items just waiting to be discovered.
After exploring their website, I was so excited and eager to see what goodies would be in my little parcel. Much to my surprise, I didn’t have to wait long.
CNWC Crackers – Sweet Red Chili, £2.99
The first thing which struck me about these crackers was the fun and colourful box. The friendly text echoes the whole ethos of the crackers (I know that’s a strange thing to say) of being all about homemade goodness.
Made in Wales, the crackers have a real punch to them. I received the sweet red chili crackers and with every crunch, the hot chili tingled my taste buds. Even with such a strong flavour, the crackers were really light.
With a variety of other flavours including toasted seeds and garlic, sea salt and sweet onion, I can’t help but think they would make the perfect addition to any party – or indeed your glass of wine & cheese board!
Nim’s Melon & Orange Fruit Crisps, £1.25
I’ll be honest with you – when I want crisps, I want the real deal. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that Nim’s fruit crisps were part of my parcel as I have been wanting to try them for some time.
“So what are fruit crisps?” I hear you ask – they are essentially thinly sliced, fresh fruit which is air dried rather than fried. Created by Nimisha “a health conscious mum”, the fruit crisps are very full-on in terms of flavour. Nimisha wanted to find a healthy alternative to crisps, but for it to actually have a depth of flavour. A win-win situation if you ask me!
I received a pack of the melon and orange crisps and I absolutely loved the melon slices – I could eat an entire pack of those alone. I liked the orange slices, but found the citrus flavour was very strong and sometimes a tad overbearing. Nim’s fruit crisps also come in apple, pear, pineapple and kiwi, or simply pineapple flavour and I’m already eyeing up all of those flavours!
The Hungry Chef – Thai Green Chilli & Coconut Relish, £3.50
As an avid watcher of Come Dine With Me, I’ve noticed the popularity of one dish in particular – the Thai green curry. So when I scooped up the little green jar from The Hungry Chef, I was surprised to see it was a Thai green chilli and coconut relish.
I’m not the biggest fan of coconut, nor the Thai green chilli aspect. However, I couldn’t help but be lured into the authentic smell and taste of the relish. Described as being “inspired by the world”, I found this little jar to be an honest and real taste of Thailand. It can be used as a marinade, in soup or added to a big wedge of stir-fry vegetables.
Yare Valley Oils – Oak Smoked Rapeseed Oil, £3.95
And finally, the last item in my parcel was a super creamy, oak smoked rapeseed oil from Yare Valley Oils. It’s a luxurious, smooth oil with a soft, yet smokey taste.
I drizzled the golden oak-smoked oil over our salad and found it made everything that little bit more succulent. It’s now found a home next to my top seasonings & oils, and I can’t wait to glug it over my roasted potatoes, along with a little drizzle of honey for a smokey-sweet kind of taste.
If you’re looking to try some independent producers or fancy treating your friend, loved one or family, then I would highly recommend checking out Caprera’s website. There’s a great blog which offers kitchen inspiration, delicious recipes and ‘how to’ articles. I was pleasantly surprised by my package and feel the marketplace offers a whole range of goodies perfect for every season, occasion and foodie!
If there’s one thing I love about Caprera it’s that behind every product, a great story is told and it can’t help but make you smile.
A big thank you to Caprera for sending me the products to review. As ever, all thoughts are my own.