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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Fruit 2 You and Lovepickle: Unexpected Eat-at-Home Food Recommendations from Inveterate Gad-about

Now, I'm uncomfortably aware a general perception exists that I am out on the tiles every night, putting away a three course meal here, a tray of cocktails there - and indeed, once a week or so, this may actually be the case. But all the other nights I cook, from scratch (no Findus horsey pancakes here), and have long been an advocate of the smug middle-class vegetable box - for years now I have rushed home on a regular basis to unpack my lastest treasure trove of muddy legumes with all the excitement of a child unwrapping a bike-shaped present on Christmas Day. I'm quite demanding when it comes to vegetable items though, and as a result have already parted company from the big two of the veg box world - one was too mean, one was too inflexible in terms of adapting the box contents (and BOTH were too muddy if we're being brutally honest - it got to the stage where peeling the veg became something of a lucky dip, with the household gathered round eagerly waiting to see what mystery item would finally be - literally - unearthed).

So for the last few weeks I've been dabbling with a new provider, Fruit 2 You. An unfortunate touch of language snobbery means that I can't usually bring myself to purchase from companies who employ letter or number homophones in their names, but this is a local business already used and recommended by several people I know (and trust), so I decided to give them a go. And thank goodness I did. I'm all for eating seasonal, local produce, but the sheer JOY of arriving home from work to a bright jaunty box including a pineapple, an avocado and some peppers made me want to skip round the kitchen singing some kind of hastily-composed song entitled "Mwah-ha! No more muddy parsnips for mee-eee" (although there were some nice, clean vegetable items along with the fruit and the salad). Prices are good for the amount you get (£12.75 for the essential mixed box you see here), and they're nice to deal with - so for now, they've got my custom.

Whilst we're talking about food (and, more specifically, my culinary ability - I'm aware some of you still don't believe me about this), have a little look at this...
The cheeky fella underneath is a chickpea fritter (made by my own fair hands - very easy, from BBC Good Food mag I think), and the reason he is looking so pleased with himself is the fact he is sporting a substantial hat fashioned from a blob of Lovepickle, a spicy Indian chutney made from tomatoes, chillies, ginger and garlic. I must sound the freebie-alert klaxon here and flag up that Lovepickle, an independent business based in Leeds, were kind enough to send me a couple of jars to try - there are four strengths of pickle and I received the mild and the hot (they also do a medium and a - gulp - extra hot). The mild is perfect - all the lusty saltiness of that lime pickle you get in curry houses but without the scary texture or overpowering tang; instead you get the sweetness of the tomatoes, the heat of the fresh chillies and a texture so smooth you could easily, I believe, utilise it as a dip as well as a pickle.

*pretends has not spent the week dipping Pringles straight into pickle jar every time walks past*

The mild packs quite a serious punch, meaning that the hot is a little on the spicy side for me - it has a hefty afterkick that Mr Liz has become most partial to, although even he thinks that the extra hot might be a step too far. Have a look at their website here - I shall certainly be buying from them in future. Now, if I can just find a way to combine this pineapple and these nice clean parsnips with my Lovepickle, I'm on to a winner...


Angela said...

Thank you for the kind comments Liz. Angela Fruit *To* you ;-)

Liz said...

Ha - that's MUCH better :)