“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pottically Correct

It's not often that one gets the chance to try something really new, but it's something I am always open to. That's why I'm happy to say I've just had the opportunity to try some cracking new ice cream.

It's called Pottical,  from an Old English word meaning 'inspired by alcohol'. Which might lead you to suppose, correctly, that this ice cream is of the boozy variety.

It's the brainchild of Matthew Freeman, who used to work for Tenterden's own Old Dairy Brewery,  and now makes ice cream. Yesterday he dropped me off some samples and I tried them all this morning before coming to work. What's that ya say? Ice cream for breakfast? No, my friends. Boozy ice cream for breakfast. What could be better? Oh, that's right - no artificial ingredients! Matthew uses just double cream, sugar, egg , cornflour and locally sourced tipples - that's it!

The first one I tried was the Gibbet Oak Discovery Cider ice cream, because I'm not overly keen on ciders in general. Having said that, the Gibbet Oak ciders I have tried have been really good. Plus, I had to try it first because Gibbet Oak Farm was where my grandparents lived when I was a nipper - Grandad was the orchard manager and their house was directly opposite the packing shed which is now the Farm Shop building. Gibbet Oak themselves have been in the news recently because of their recent launch of a new range of ciders. They even took over the White Lion Hotel one evening a couple of weeks ago and all their ciders were on draught.

Well, as soon as I opened the lid of the Discovery Cider ice Cream there was no doubt that it was made from real cider from that initial burst of apple aromas. I worried that it might be too strong of a taste, but the aroma subsided quickly and I plunged in to what turned out to be a delicate and creamy experience, definitely Discovery apples, but without the tart aftertaste that can sometimes happen with a cider. Think baked apples and cream and you'll be getting close.

The first one finished, I went for the Dessert Wine ice cream.

Even though it doesn't say it on the label, I can tell you that Matthew used Nectar, the dessert wine from Tenterden vintners Chapel Down Wines.

This is a gorgeous ice cream with lots of exotic fruity flavours from this very moreish wine. It's like something Heston Blumenthal would concoct for his Waitrose lines, but without the WTF? factor. A beautiful dessert. But I was saving the best till last. How did I know it would be the best?

Because it is made using an outstanding beer! Dark Side Of The Moo is an Imperial Porter, 7% abv, rich, dark, smooth and gorgeous. How could this not be an amazing ice cream?

Now I realise there are some people out there that actively dislike dark beers, stouts, porters, etc. but even those people might like this one, because its rich darkness gives the ice cream a coffee/chocolate quality, with a subtle hint of golden syrup cake in the background. And yes, I know it sounds like one of those terribly pretentious things reviewers say, but I got all that from the first spoonful. The rest, I quickly scoffed down.

I would gladly buy a case of this and eat it in one sitting. It's that good.

If you're interested in getting hold of some of this ace ice cream, you can contact Matthew in one or all of the following ways:

Phone: 01580 761230
Mob: 07856 478244
Email: matthew@pottical.com

or check out the website www.pottical.com

Tweet to Matthew at twitter.com/pottical

and he's even on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pottical/

Kooshti sante!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Food Bites

One of the great pleasures in going to Tesco supermarkets is to be had when you go there late in the day, say, an hour or so before closing. The reason why is because this is the time when a lot of stuff gets reduced in price, and especially at this time of year it's useful to pick up some reduced price bbq items you can sling in the freezer for use at a later time. For example, when it's a nice day and you can fire up the BBQ grill and pull out a couple packs of kebabs or burgers and hey presto! dinner is served.

It's also useful if you want to grab some breakfast items because they mark down unsold bread products that are baked instore daily, such as donuts and rolls, turnovers, etc.

Such was the case yesterday when we were in Tesco and there was one of these left.

It's a "Rise & Shine Breakfast Twist", a pastry filled with baked beans and smoked cheese. Or at least, that's the idea. I grabbed the item as it was marked down to a paltry 19p. Normal price is 95p.

I tried it this morning for breakfast. First thing I noticed was how tasteless and doughy the pastry is. Practically flavourless and quite chewy. And as for the beans and cheese, they seemed to have all gathered near the centre. So it was quite tasty in the middle, but a bit rubbish on each end. And it wasn't twisty at all. All in all it has the potential to be good, similar in style to a Stromboli, but Tesco need to up their game a little to make me buy another one. There is a Honey, Oat and Fruit Twist available too, and I can only hope it's more tasty than this.

This evening we ordered from Star Kebab and Pizza in St. Michaels. They are owned by Zafer Bayram who also owns the Quality Kebab van which is in Recreation Ground Rd every evening. Recently Laura and I have taken to ordering their Falafel Box and Falafel Burger, and they are delicious.

The Falafel Box consists of 4 freshly made falafels, on a bed of hummus (plenty of that!) and accompanied by a load of salad (red and white cabbage slices, sliced lettuce, onion and tomatoes). It's a lot of food for under £4! The Falafel Burger basically takes the contents of the box and sticks it in a bun, with a box of salad on the side, for £4.50. Delicious. If you're in the Tenterden area, you can order by phone or online at http://starkebabandpizza.restajet.com/

Not the actual Falafel Burger, but you get the idea.
Delighted to announce that the long-empty Wine Kitchen restaurant in Tenterden high Street is now open as Montalbano restaurant. http://montalbanorestaurant.co.uk/ If you go to  http://www.mytenterden.co.uk/pdf/voucher-Montalbano-Restaurant.pdf  you can download a voucher for 20% off your food bill  which is valid thru to the 6th August.
I stumbled upon their grand opening last night, there were crowds out on the pavement and it was jam-packed inside. There were free appetizers (delicious) and free prosecco being proffered by the friendly staff. It looks great and I cannot wait to go there for a meal.


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