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!"
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...
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!
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.
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
Takes 25 minutes approx.
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
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:
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
-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.
|Chef Mark Lloyd|
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:
|Had to snap this fast, it was eaten in seconds!|
|Some of the stands at the CLA Game Fair 2011|
|Chef Rachel Green|
|Chef Ralph Skripek loving our Fruity vinegars|
|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.
And all this on the night when our friends at
The Secret Supper Society served our Geranium Jelly
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!
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