There is no denying the fact that the UK’s food and drink scene is flourishing at present. In previous decades, Britain was the butt of many a culinary joke about cooking, but it now has one of the most interesting and thriving food industries around the world.
Reflecting this, many consumers and businesses are keen to take advantage of the luxury food hampers now on offer. These collections of edible delights, often accompanied by delicious alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, can make superb gifts.
Some of the most sought after products among consumers are imported from overseas. For example, certain French pates and cheeses and Italian and Spanish cured meats are particularly popular among shoppers.
However, increasingly people are looking to buy British. This can help to promote the nation’s food culture, boost UK firms and it is good for the environment too.
Anyone who likes to purchase British foods may be interested to note that Anglesey sea salt and West Country beef and lamb have joined the list of foodstuffs to be given European Union protected food name status. This guarantees their origin and authenticity. To qualify for the West Country branding, beef or lamb will have to come from stock born, raised and slaughtered in Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset or Gloucestershire. In addition, it will have to be fed on a 70 per cent grass and foraged diet.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today programme, Somerset cattle farmer Ed Green noted it had taken nearly eight years to achieve the result. He added: “In the West country it’s the grass that we grow that makes the meat special. The point of the [Protected Geographical Indication] status is to brand a unique product, it’s not about making it more expensive, it’s about branding a product and selling a product which is important for exports.”
Meanwhile, Alison Lea-Wilson, from family firm Halen Mon in north Wales where Anglesey sea salt is harvested from the Menai Strait, revealed she is “delighted” that the company’s salt is joining other protected status products. She went on to state: “Consumers can now be 100 per cent sure that when they buy Anglesey Sea Salt they are getting a product which has been harvested and packed in Anglesey.”
Across the UK, more than 60 products have protected status. These include Cornish Pasties and Melton Mowbray pies, which both received the honour in 2009. Scotch whisky and Newcastle Brown Ale also fall into this category, along with Scottish wild salmon, Whitstable oysters, Bramley Apples and Stilton Blue Cheese.
A thoughtful gesture
For people who care about food and drink and who enjoy consuming it, luxury hampers can make ideal gifts. Consumers can hand them over as romantic offerings, housewarming presents and so on. Meanwhile, companies can give them as corporate gifts, helping to enhance their relationships with their clients and customers.
It is now simple for people to access these products online. Within a matter of moments, they should be able to find what they are after.
About the Author – Anna Longdin is a regular contributor to food and drink blogs and loves checking out the fantastic culinary treats available. Find out where she gets her inspiration by taking a look at Regency Hampers.