WIN a hamper of picnic goodies from Devon
PUBLISHED: 13:35 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 11 July 2019
Devon has all the ingredients for a perfect picnic: stunning views and a mouth-watering range of local produce to pack in your hamper, as CHRISSY HARRIS discovers
It proved very difficult to write this article before lunch. Researching freshly-baked artisan bread, locally-caught crab, creamy soft South Devon cheese, chutneys, scones, and award-winning pasties washed down with a glass of wine or a cloudy lemonade became all consuming.
I just wanted to eat and drink, preferably while sat on a beach/on top of a Dartmoor tor/in a forest clearing.
Picnicking is part of life here in Devon and we can certainly put on a good spread. Here are some ideas for your hamper:
Sandwiches: It's got to be Devon crab. "White meat, unpasteurised, with a bit of mayo and I like mine with a little twist of lime at the end," says Devon Life Food & Drink Hero Dan Garnett of Clovelly Fish. "You've got to have a decent, thick slice of bread," he adds. "And some sunshine."
Dougie Rayment of Red Dog Bakery in Beaworthy can certainly help with the bread. He says: "With its nutty texture and sweet brown flour, our seven seeded Country Grain works really well with the richness and complexity of Devon crab meat."
This county is blessed with an incredible selection of artisan bakeries. For a glorious loaf, try Jacka Bakery in Plymouth, the One Mile Bakery in Exeter or Stevie B's Bakery in Crediton.
Pickles and chutneys: You'll need a little something on the side. Andrea Laxon from Otter Vale recommends their piccalilli - the traditional accompaniment for pork pie. "It's made to Granny Otter Vale's recipe; with cauliflowers from the mouth of the River Otter when they're available - very local!" says Andrea.
Carrot and garlic chutney by Clare's Preserves has a distinctive Middle Eastern Flavour.
Cold meats: Try some Topsham Chorizo or some Devon Ruby biltong from charcuterie experts Good Game. Kitto's in Plymouth can supply top-quality Westcountry Hams. The Rusty Pig in Ottery St Mary has such delicacies as air-dried leg of goat and vanilla neck of pork.
Crisps: Burt's Potato Chips, based in Roborough, near Plymouth, are one of the county's most successful food exports. Their hand-cooked, thick cut chips have won numerous awards since the brand was launched in 1995. Try their Devon roast beef flavour for a truly authentic crunchy hit.
Pasties and Pies: Supplement your sandwiches with a pasty or a pie. Or both. Chunk of Devon, based in Ottery St Mary, is a go-to brand, scooping up loads of awards for their Devon pasties. Their steak version has won a Great Taste Award for eight years in a row.
Tom's ham hock and pea pie or butternut squash, mixed bean and cheese pie are just a couple from the range made by chef Tom Cull. He set up Tom's Pies, based on the family- run 40-acre farm in Clyst St Mary, nearly a decade ago.
For a sweet treat: Pick up some of The Devon Scone Company's finest from local shops, including the East Budleigh Shop or Dartington Food Hall.
You can order some award winning truffles and chocolates from Torquay-based self-taught chocolatier Leonie Rees. Her Chocolate Heaven Made in Devon treats include locally-sourced liqueurs.
To go truly native, how about some proper Devon fudge. The Devon Fudge Company, Plymouth, Roly's in Paignton or Suzy Sweet Tooth in Westward Ho! have plenty of choice.
Cheese, anyone? Round things off with a tasty selection of cheddar, blue and soft cheeses.
Sharpham's Cremet is a soft, mould ripened goats cheese enriched with cows' cream. Or try their Rustic, a semi-hard, unpasteurised cheese made with Jersey cow milk.
Quicke's Double Devonshire Truckle has a subtle buttery flavour. A slice of Devon Blue made by Robin Congdon, of Ticklemore Cheese, Totnes, would be perfect with a glass of wine or ale.
Speaking of which: what to drink? A flask of Devonshire Tea would be ideal, as would lashings of Luscombe's classic Sicilian lemonade or hot ginger beer.
But if the sun's out (and you're not driving anywhere) enjoy a chilled glass of Sandbar, a medium dry white wine from the Lyme Bay Winery.
Or break out a bottle of Sharpham's sparkling pink.
Salcombe Brewery's Pale Ale is apparently very compatible with summer al fresco dining, with an orange, pink grapefruit and anise flavour.
And a tot of Hattiers Rum would finish proceedings off nicely. Hic!
NOW WIN SOME PICNIC GOODIES
Many of the firms mentioned here have kindly donated some items to take on a Devon picnic: Sharpham Fizz, Otter Vale picallili, Salcombe Brewery's Pale Ale, Roly's Fudge.
To be in with a chance of winning, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by July 30 answering this question:
Which cartoon character often tried to steal picnic baskets from Jellystone Park?
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