Coronavirus is an earthquake for British food and beverage producers. With restaurants, pubs and office canteens closed, exports disrupted and Britons hoarded lockouts, discrepancies in the supply chain were created, along with temporary shortages and a large amount of product surplus. All this means farmers, fishermen, and processors need to look for new retail opportunities.
Aftershocks still echo. Lockdown wore off, but British food is far from normal. From supermarkets that sell seafood that was once meant for Michelin-starred restaurants to craft cheese makers who are weighing on the stock of food waste applications, British producers are in dire need of your support. For buyers, there are offers that can be obtained. But which products are affected by surpluses? And what interesting things can you do with this herb?
Shellfish and clam
Usually sold to top restaurants, shellfish and Dorset Shellfish Company shells (£ 10.99 / £ 13.99 respectively), which are approved by the Marine Stewardship Council, are available at 150 Waitrose fish counters. The supermarket said it offered “saviors” to the fishermen at the port of Poole involved.
Full of chili spaghetti with clams is an obvious dish for such clams, but Sai Deethwa, owner of the Birmingham Buddha Belly street food business, recommends “fried clams with roasted Thai chili – AKA nam prik pao – tons of Thai basil and a little oyster sauce and water to make liquor. It was incredible.”
In the Dining Room in Abersoch, Gwynedd, Si Toft’s owner-chef likes clams with fatter pieces of lamb, like rump: “Grilled in a frying pan then, while the lamb is resting, put the shells through the fat provided for two minutes with a little butter and cider, reduce it all and mash it on a sheep. This is amazing. “
At least the remaining chip-shop closure 95,000 tons of excess potatoes in circulation. Versatile varieties such as Markies, Agria and Eurostar – usually described as chipping potatoes because they are bigger and uglier than their retail cousins - circulate in the Morrison Wonky range and in other supermarkets. Potatoes like that are good for sauteing and making slices – or what Toft describes as “the absolute family tea king: dauphinoise coated in onions and meat”. And the secret to perfecting the mash? Butter. And lots of it.
The sudden halt to cask beer sales early in the year will, according to the British Hop Association, leave a 28% surplus of British hops like Goldings and Jester sitting in factories and warehouses – a surplus that could rise to 45% in the following 12 months. That will make it difficult for farmers to sell this year’s harvest or get contracts with hops traders for 2021 and 2022.
“If you don’t have a contract, you don’t grow. If you stop, you don’t come back,” said Ali Capper, a hop grower at Stocks Farm in Worcestershire. “If this surplus halves the price, will I grow next year? No. We risk a large proportion of hop farmers leaving the industry. “
The message is simple: drink more authentic beer made with English hops. Enter also into your cooking and cooking. “We use a half beer base in cheese sauce,” said Sam Grainger, executive chef at Belzan in Liverpool. “Yeast, the taste of the hoppy really pushed it.”
Usually, the British eat medium and large chocolate eggs. Smaller and whiter eggs enter factories, caterers, or fast food. But to cope with increased demand, Tesco provides excess white eggs and a Waitrose 12 mixed size box for 20p less than the equivalent weight of a uniform egg.
“I use small eggs in salads,” Toft said. “The Bloody Mary pickled eggs are amazing. Use equal parts vinegar and spirit passata, sprinkling sherry, celery seeds, turnips, a spoonful of sugar, salt, pepper, juniper and bay. Bring to a boil before allowing it to cool, then pour over the boiled eggs in a sterilized jar. “Nina Matsunaga, chef at Black Bull at SedberghCumbria also supports preservation by marinating raw skinless eggs in a 20% salt solution for five weeks before cooking: “Asian salted eggs are fantastic in ramen.”
With Easter and Eid al-Fitr celebrations calmer this year, and older buyers who prefer to often isolate at home, the sheep have a difficult lockdown. Restaurants and export markets open, gradually, but there are dangers, especially in September when the new sheep season comes, problems with the so-called carcass balance – where minced sheep sell well, but roasting joints and other cuts are ignored. The chef finds it confusing. “The boiled lamb’s breasts are amazing” – cover with tinfoil and cook for three to four hours at 180C (160C fan) / 350F / gas 4 – “as is the sheep shortrib,” Toft said.
Deethwa is a big fan of massaman lamb curry: “Because it is a little sweet, lamb is suitable for sour and sour – and you can slowly cook your calves, neck and shoulders because it’s nice and fatty.”
Cornish Cheese Co. sells 5kg sacks of frozen blue cheese – which is good for cooking – for £ 25 through the Too Good to Go food waste application, while Aldi, after buying four tons of excess stock, has launched 475g of mixed boxes from a small British cheese producer for £ 1 , 49. That illustrates how traumatic 2020 is for some artisan cheese producers.
In Belzan, Grainger was amazed that more people didn’t cook with blue cheese: “We make delicious wild mushrooms and baked egg dishes with them,” he said. “You can coat the salad with blue cheese dressing mixed with yogurt – good beets, as well as roasted peaches with blue cheese and parma ham.”
If you are fast, you will catch the back of the asparagus season at Waitrose, which stores bigger, smaller, fatter, thinner and curved asparagus which, historically, will be rejected. Toft recommends baking it gently: “Dress wisely, burn lemon” – scorch half a lemon, then mix juice with oil and salt – “or hollandaise containing bacon fat. You will make bacon fat through hollandaise instead of butter. It’s amazing at asparagus. “
In what he said was “an offer to ensure that domestic products were not wasted”, Waitrose had relaxed its rules on stains and bumps that would normally produce carrots and parsnips that were sold to mass catering outlets rather than carving out aisles.
If you have lots of carrots, Indian halwa desserts – 1kg of carrots to serve four (!), Although it varies based on the recipe – is one way to spread it. For those who lack a sweet taste, Mayur Patel, co-owner of the northern mini-chain Bundobust, recommends Sambharo, “a type of desi lettuce, served on the side of each curry”. Tempered mustard seeds, green chilies and a little bit of asafoetida in oil. After chilling, add lemon juice and stir through the grated carrots. Allow to soak for several hours before serving.
From Belzan’s carrot-top pesto (200g carrot top mixed with 50g Parmesan, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, one lemon juice, eight chocolate anchovies, 100ml oil and seasoning) to Buddha Belly’s green papaya papaya salad, where carrots add “sweet, crispy balance” “, This is a versatile vegetable. But faced with an ugly bag of carrots or parsnips, many of us will think of soup – so how do you make the soup sing?
You need, advises Elaine Mason, from the Union of Genius soup bar in Edinburgh, sour: “Lemon, lime, a touch of cooked vinegar. Parsnips like the sweet taste added with apples. Bake first if you have time, but eat with acids and spices such as coriander seeds, cumin and sumac. “And don’t forget the garnish:” The soybean-roasted seeds above add texture, salt and flavor. The beans that Harissa baked bring hot and crispy. “
Supermarkets sell hundreds of thousands of discount steaks at the top of the lockdown. With the restoration of uneven restaurants and turbulent markets, remain on the lookout for fatter bargains. Grainger recommends marinating cheaper steaks in “soy, fish sauce and palm sugar to get the caramel crust you get from expensive chunks with better fat”.
Cod, haddock, tuna and shrimp – often canned, often imported, often overfished – together with farmed salmon, make up 80% of the seafood eaten in the UK. If you want to broaden your horizons, now is the time. The fishing industry sells various types of seafood that were previously exported either directly, through independent fish sellers (Google Seafish’s Sea for Yourself campaign) or at supermarkets, at affordable prices. For example, Morrisons sells half the price of fresh king scallops (33p each), plaice (£ 3.50 per kilo) and dover sole (£ 10 per kilo).
It’s terrible because prices like that sound to fishermen, one of the main suppliers, Ocean Fish, considers this moment as an opportunity. (Cornish sardines are £ 5.99 per kilo at Waitrose.) “Supermarkets must play a role in supporting British fish,” said a spokeswoman, adding: “Selling larger volumes to supermarkets can even support a decline in market value for certain species. . “
Grainger soaks the sardine fillet in sherry vinegar before cutting the bread and frying it. Toft also makes it simple with dover sole: “The barbecue. You get higher temperatures, charcoal and smoky things happen. “Rub the skin off with oil, lemon, rosemary, and salt taste salt if you have something suitable.” Taste salt will lift the white fish. “
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