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50 Food Stars to celebrate the future of UK food and drink

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We are very excited to report that the Government, and specifically DEFRA, have launched a new initiative in which we are included.

Fifty of the country’s most promising food and drink entrepreneurs have been recognised as Food Stars for their contribution to the UK’s growing economy. These 50 are proud entrepreneurs and innovators who showcase the best of British foods. You can read more about the initiative and see a list of all the others involved on the DEFRA website.

The official launch is on Thursday 26th February 2015 and we will be there to see the start of this exciting new idea. Do follow developments on social media using #50FoodStars.

This comes at an exciting time for us, as we are just about to launch our new (significantly improved) website and online shop, followed by our whole new range of "fruitier" recipes in Spring. More on this soon, but here is a teaser of our beautiful new bottles. We think all this news is worth celebrating, so here is some Raspberry Vinegar in a glass or two of Prosecco: "honky tonks!"

Womersley's new bottles available from Spring 2015

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We are seeing stars, GOLD STARS!
 
 
Following some very helpful feedback from all of you, we have been spending a lot of time over the past few months adjusting our recipes so that they are all more fruity and less sweet. We have reduced the sugar we add by around a quarter. It was these recipes that we entered into the Great Taste Awards this year with the intention of getting feedback BEFORE going into full production. We hope to have our whole range available in these new recipes before the end of the year so that you can indulge yourself in time for Christmas!
 
Watch the video made by BBC Radio 2's Nigel Barden on our Home Page.

With remarks from the judges such as those below, it seems we are thinking along the right lines!
 
Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli Vinegar wins Great Taste Gold
 

Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli Vinegar won Gold***

Top 50 Foods and The Nigel Barden Heritage Award and Golden Fork Award 

 
"Crystal clear vinegar aroma of both raspberry and chilli. Good sweetness level. A perfect balance of raspberry and chilli allowing the the vinegar flavour to come through as well."
"This vinegar has a wonderful aroma. You can smell the raspberries and chilli. The vinegar is light in colour. This vinegar has a wonderful flavour. The raspberry is on the front of the palate followed by the warmth of the chilli which is gentle but builds nicely. We loved this product..."
 
Raspberry Vinegar wins Great Taste Gold

Raspberry Vinegar won Gold***

"A beautiful coloured vinegar with a lovely clarity. The raspberry aroma is incredible. The raspberry flavour and sweetness come through beautifully at the front of the palate before the acidity of the vinegar kicks in. The balance of this vinegar between sweetness and acidity is just perfect. The judges were all very excited about this product."


Orange and Mace wins Great Taste Award Gold

Orange and Mace won Gold*

"We like this - good balance of acidity from the vinegar and a freshness from the orange. The mace nips in at the finish in a very pleasant way."
 
 
 
 
 
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A rather lovely article about us appeared in Country Life magazine this week, 19th February 2014. If you would like to order from us after reading this article, just give us a call:


Country Life 19.2.2014

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Tomorrow, we will be featured in the Telegraph Magazine! The Blackberry harvest has been good this year and the Telegraph are showing a small family business who use blackberries for such a delicious vinegar.

The online version is already available on the Telegraph site if you would like to have a read. The photographer came to take pictures of me in my home town of Chipping Norton and used one of me in front of the Soda deli for the article, my local Womersley stockist.
We have a few great online shops if this article inspires you enough to want to buy a bottle and you will find those on our Where to Buy page. We also have over 400 outlets around the UK and you can find your nearest using the map on our website. From next Spring, we hope to have our own online shop. Do sign up to our Newsletter if you would like to be kept in touch with the timing for that.

Lastly, do rest assured that, unlike the wording in the article, we don't just "chuck all the ingredients into a bucket," we put them in very carefully...

 

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We are delighted to report that our Raspberry Vinegar has just been awarded Highly Commended at the prestigious 2013 FreeFrom Food Awards in the Grocery Ambient category. Our Raspberry vinegar was one of over 340 products that were entered for the FreeFrom Food Awards, a record 37% increase on last year!

 

A team of 50 expert judges tested freefrom products across 15 categories including Plant ‘Milk’, Spread, Cheese & Desserts; FreeFrom Breakfast Cereals; Grocery; Ready Meals; and Savoury Biscuits and Snacks. In order to be eligible to enter the awards the products must be free from one or more of the ingredients (including wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, nuts and soya) that trouble so many people. It is estimated that globally between 220 and 250 million people suffer from food allergies (World Allergy Organisation) and this figure is continuing to rise. 
 
Rupert Parsons from Womersley attended the Awards and commented that “for those with a restricted diet, it is a bonus to have a key ingredient to enhance your dishes so we are particularly pleased that the first vinegar my father made has proved so popular in the FreeFrom diet.” 




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The Winter months can be a bit quiet for many of us Artisan Food producers, so this is a good time to try to generate a bit of publicity. So I was delighted when Vanessa Kimbell invited me to join her and presenter Kevin Saddington for their live radio show, "Kitchen Garden" on BBC Radio Northampton on Sunday morning.  We had a jolly good discussion all about the history of Womersley, the making of our fruit vinegars and a couple of recipes too, below. I "met" Vanessa on Twitter and have corresponded with her for many months, finally meeting her properly at the Real Food Festival at Earl's Court last year. I can still picture her first approach to our stand, beaming smile and enjoying all the food treats in the hall. Sure enough, we had a jolly good chat and I discovered Vanessa was once a grower of lavender but, as can happen when handling plants with strong essential oils, she suddenly became so sensitive to it that she can no longer use any at all....which is a shame, since my favourite vinegar dressing is our Lime, Black Pepper and Lavender! The Orange & Mace proved a real winner with Vanessa, though, as you can hear on our soundcloud widget.

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During the show, Kevin played some appropriate Sunday morning tracks (and Abba's Dancing Queen!) while we all had a taste of our sausage casserole recipe (using our Blackcurrant and Rosemary) which we'd had at home for supper the night before as well as our own Lemon Drizzle cake recipe using our Lemon, Basil, Bay & Juniper to make it really moist and delicious...

Sausage Casserole with Womersley Blackcurrant & Rosemary Dressing

 SERVES 4

Takes 25 minutes approx. 

Ingredients: ·        

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil·        

8 Thick Pork Sausages·        

1 Medium Red Onion, cut into thick slices·        

2 Braeburn or other eating apple with the skin left on, cored and each cut into wedges·        

1 ½ tbsp Womersley Rosemary Jelly·        

300ml/ ½ Pint Chicken Stock (can be made using a stock cube)·        

1 ½ tbsp Grainy Mustard·       

2 tbsp Womersley Blackcurrant & Rosemary Dressing 

 

Method:  ·        

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the pork sausages and fry for about five minutes, turning them so they brown all over. Add the onion slices and continue to fry until the onion and sausages have turned a dark gold, stirring occasionally.

Turn up the heat, add the apple wedges and stir them in carefully until they have glazed in the pan juices.·        

Stir the Rosemary Jelly into the chicken stock until it is dissolved, then add the Blackcurrant & Rosemary Dressing and mustard. Pour this in to the pan and cook on a high heat for 5 minutes.·        

Reduce the heat and leave to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes until the sausages are cooked and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy gravy. Serve with your choice of rice or potatoes and veg



Lemon Drizzle Cake with

Womersley Lemon, Basil, Bay & Juniper Vinegar Drizzle

Ingredients for the cake: 

125g butter

75g caster sugar

2 large eggs

Zest of one lemon

175g self raising flour

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons milk

Ingredients for the Drizzle:

2 tbsp lemon juice

100g icing sugar

2 tbsp Womersley Lemon, Basil, Bay & Juniper Vinegar  

 

Method:-

-Pre-heat oven to 180°C/ gas mark 4

-Butter and line a loaf or cake tin (make sure the lining goes well up the sides of the tin)

- Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs and lemon zest and beat well

- Add flour and salt, folding gently until mixed

- Add milk and mix in- Spoon cake mix into prepared tin

- Cook for 45 minutes until golden and skewer comes out clean  

For the Drizzle:

(Make just before the cake is due out of the oven)

- Put icing sugar, lemon juice and Womersley Lemon, Basil, Bay & Juniper Vinegar into a small saucepan

- Heat gently until the sugar is dissolved and the vinegar has reduced the mixture to a viscous drizzle

- When cake is ready, take out of the oven and pierce it all over with a skewer. Pour the drizzle all over. Make sure the cake is totally cooled before taking out of the loaf tin or it will crumble. 

Note: For a Gluten free cake, use Gluten Free flour and add extra milk.   

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Jo Thoenes  

Listen out for a guest appearance we have with Chef Mark Lloyd on BBC Radio Oxford's "Jo in the Afternoon" programme this Friday between 1 and 2 o'clock.


Chef Mark Lloyd  





Mark is a keen forager and will be talking about the Autumn harvest to be found by getting out there and making the most of the countryside and all that it has to offer. We will also be looking at how you can use your finds to make various larder essentials like fruit vinegar. This will hopefully be where I might get a chance for a word or two!
 
 
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On a lovely warm, sunny day in April, we welcomed Sheila Dillon and Dilly Barlow to my mother's house to record part of a special programme they recorded on Vinegars. We were also joined by Seafood Chef of the Year 2009, Rob Green.

Rob Green, Sheila Dillon, Rupert Parsons  

On a break from his excellent restaurant, Green's of Whitby, Rob cooked the most amazing dishes to tempt us all and here they are, in full for you now:

Oysters with red onion and
Womersley Golden Raspberry & Apache Chilli Dressing
Ingredients
1 small red onion
4 oysters
50ml Golden raspberry and Apache chilli vinegar
Method
Finely dice the red onion and marinade in the vinegar for at least 1 hour
Open oysters and spoon over the dressing and onions


Smoked salmon with fresh herb salad and
Womersley Lime, Black Pepper & Lavender dressing
Ingredients
Use a quality smoked salmon for this dish.
Mixed garden herbs (chives, parsley, thyme) dressed with a little virgin oil
Lime, black pepper and lavender vinegar to taste

 
Method
Slice the smoked salmon thinly, sprinkle over the herbs and drizzle over the dressing. Leave to stand at room temperature for around half an hour. 
The action of the Lime dressing on the smoked salmon makes it really succulent and brings out a fabulous flavour in the salmon.




Hot smoked Whitby Seafish salmon with English asparagus and Hollandaise made with
Womersley Lemon, Basil, Bay & Juniper Dressing

Serves 2 as a starter
Had to snap this fast, it was eaten in seconds!
Ingredients
1x 250g fillet of hot smoked salmon
8 English asparagus spears, washed and trimmed

For the hollandaise

250g melted unsalted butter
2x egg yolks
75 ml Womersley Lemon, Basil, Bay & Juniper dressing
 

Method
Place the salmon fillet in a pre-heated oven (180°C)
The salmon is already cooked, so we are just gently warming it through.
Place the Asparagus in a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 2-3 mins until just tender, sprinkle with sea salt and keep warm.
 
Whisk the egg yolks and dressing in a small mixing bowl over the pan of water which we used to cook the asparagus until it starts to thicken and go slightly pale. Slowly whisk in the melted butter until you have a thick rich hollandaise.

Place two of the asparagus spears on a serving plate and half the oak smoked salmon on top.
Place two more asparagus spears on the salmon and spoon over the hollandaise.


Sautéed Whitby queen scallops with Yorkshire chorizo, spring onions & chilli with aWomersley Cherry Vinegar butter sauce.

Serves 4
Ingredients
32 Queen Scallops, shucked, cleaned and washed. Wash and reserve the shells
¼ of a Yorkshire chorizo diced
3 Spring onions, sliced
1 Green chilli sliced, seeds removed
25g Cold, unsalted butter, cubed
75ml Womersley Cherry vinegar
Virgin oil for cooking
 
Method
Pre heat a non stick pan over a high heat. Add a little oil and wait until it starts to gently smoke. Carefully add the queen scallops. Leave for 30 seconds then add the spring onions, chorizo and chillies. Toss the pan and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
De-glaze the pan with the cherry vinegar and reduce by ½. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
Place the scallop sauté mixture into the shells on a serving plate and spoon over the cherry vinegar butter reduction.



Marinated strawberries with ground black pepper and
Womersley Strawberry & Mint dressing
Method
Wash and chop the strawberries in half. 
Cover with strawberry and mint vinegar and a few grinds of black pepper. 
Leave the strawberries at room temperature for 20 mins before serving. 
This is particularly good for slightly under-ripe strawberries as the action of the vinegar makes them lovely and sweet and tender.
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Lots of families and foodies turned up, did some shooting, shopping and munching and were spoilt for choice with hundreds of stands ranging from ethnic clothing and tax planning to gunshops and fine foods.
Some of the stands at the CLA Game Fair 2011
Chef Rachel Green
Chef Ralph Skripek loving our Fruity vinegars
The cookery theatre was fortunate enough to have the very entertaining chef, Rachel Green doing a couple of demonstrations on the Friday. Rachel was her usual flamboyant self as she used our Lemon, Basil, Bay and Juniper Dressing to add succulence and flavour to salmon fillets wrapped in foil and baked in the oven.
And, to show how versatile it is, Rachel also used the Lemon dressing to tenderise and enhance the flavours of the mixed vegetables she prepared to go with her main Duck dish; though this was nearly ruined as Rachel went to entertain the audience, leaving a worried Alex Albone (Piper's Crisps) to tend the pan! Also doing demonstrations was chef Ralph Skripek who specialises in doing Game recipes at food and county shows. We were delighted to welcome him to our stand afterwards, not least because we were at opposite ends of the show ground (about 20 minutes walk through the crowds)!


 
The stand we shared with Cotswold Gold
 

We had three long and very busy days on the stand, too. We decided to share with our friends at Cotswold Gold, to show how the mix of a good quality extra virgin cold pressed rapeseed oil and our fruit vinegars makes an excellent dressing. We used our Taste Award winner, Blackberry Vinegar for the first day, then had to switch to the equally intensely fruit flavoured Raspberry for the other two days after we sold out of Blackberry!

Next year's CLA Game Fair will be held at Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire.

 
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We are delighted to report that we have won 3 awards today at the Guild of Fine Foods' annual 
Two Gold** 
 
One Gold* 
Blackberry Vinegar

 

 

And all this on the night when our friends at
The Secret Supper Society served our Geranium Jelly
looking wonderful:

My father, Martin Parsons, was particularly pleased with his "sweet and heat" blend of Golden Raspberry and Apache Chilli so, on this one year anniversary since he died, he would have been particularly pleased to see his recipe honoured in this way.

The Geranium we use was a gift from a friend many years ago and my father tended it for the rest of his life, taking cuttings every yea. So this is another lovely story rounded off in his memory.

Our Blackberry Vinegar was used by Stephanie Moon for her pigeon Breast starter on BBC2's Great British Menu this year. She has already written to us to say:

"Brilliant news Rupert,but I'm not suprised Blackberry won Gold it is Fab! Stuff."
We increased the amount of blackberries we use for this recipe this year and we now use the fruit grown on the farm where we have our office, so less than one food mile!




  

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***PRESS RELEASE***

We are delighted to have the following fantastic Chefs, Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes and Dining Pubs already signed up for our Yorkshire Day Yorkshire Pudding initiative – but we would love to haveYOU on board too!

* The Abbey Inn, Byland Abbey
* Tim Bilton, The Butchers Arms at Hepworth
* Farmer Copleys, Purston, Pontefract
* Lionel Strub, Fennel, Wetherby
* Fodder, Harrogate
* George & Dragon, Aysgarth
* Harvey Nichols, Leeds – Fourth Floor Café & Bar
* Chris Kelly, The Kaye Arms, Grange Moor
* Michael Hjort, Meltons Too, York
* James McKenzie, The Pipe & Glass
* Rudding Park, Harrogate
* Ashley McCarthy, Ye Old Sun Inn, Colton, Tadcaster
* Andrew Pern, The Star Inn, Harome
* Tickton Grange, Beverley
* Weetons, Harrogate
* Ashley McCarthy, White Swan, Wighill, Tadcaster

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