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Cheshire Life Taste Test - Picnic party pieces

PUBLISHED: 18:44 22 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:32 20 February 2013

Cheshire Life Taste Test - Picnic party pieces

Cheshire Life Taste Test - Picnic party pieces

We asked chefs from the Dun Cow Dining Inn in Knutsford to test locally-made picnic treats. Chefs Marc Mattocks and Jimmy Dennitts give us their verdict.<br/>COMPILED BY THALIA THOMPSON

Whether its a trip to Tatton Park or Beeston Castle, a day on the beach in North Wales or a walk in Delemere Forest, take a picnic and make it a day to remember.


We asked chefs from the Dun Cow Dining Inn in Knutsford to test locally-made picnic treats. Chefs Marc Mattocks and Jimmy Dennitts give us their verdict.


COMPILED BY THALIA THOMPSON

Savoury Snacks


Best on test
★★★★★
Orchard Pigs
Toulouse pork pie
2.20 each
Made in Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham
01978 753778
www.orchardpigs.co.uk

These handmade tractor wheel shaped pies look fabulous and they taste as good as they look. Underneath the crisp golden pastry is top quality sausage meat with a gutsy garlic flavour. The texture is superb.

The pies dont have the traditional jelly topping but the meat is so well flavoured you really dont miss it. Absolutely

Highly Recommended
★★★★
Mama Ks
Salted tortillas with ranch dip and roasted salsa

Tortillas 2.00 130g, dips 4.00 250g
Made in Christleton
01244 336412
www.mamaks.co.uk

These homemade tortilla chips are a world away from the usual mass produced brands and the accompanying dips are very well seasoned. The ranch dips a real crowd pleaser with just the right amount of garlic and a child friendly sweetness. The salsa has a good spicy kick and a lovely roasted, almost caramelised flavour.

Highly Recommended
★★★★
Nice n Spicy
Punjabi savoury nibbles and dip

1.50 100g
Made in Chester
07798 746 6804
www.nice-spicy.co.uk

Wonderfully crunchy and very more-ish, these are speckled with cumin seeds giving them a good warm flavour.

The fresh tasting yogurt and mint dip complements them perfectly, cutting through any slight oiliness. Perfect for nibbling all afternoon at a picnic.

Also Recommended
★★★
Annes Patisserie
Salmon and dill quiche

7.95 , serves 6 - 8
Made in Flint
01352 763562
www.annespatisserie.co.uk

A starter with a difference, this generous portion of black pudding has a good crumbly texture and a toothsome chew. The mustard sauce cuts through the sweetness and is subtly spiced with star anise and coriander.

Something Sweet


Best on test
★★★★★
Annes Patisserie
Cherry Bakewell

7.95, serves 6 - 8
Made in Flint
01352 763562
www.annespatisserie.co.uk

Crisp pastry spread with a nicely sharp cherry jam. The jam contrasts well with the sweetness of the light and tender frangipane sponge topping, itself studded with juicy cherries. You can argue about whether these tarts should be iced or sprinkled with almonds but you cant fault the flavour here this is superb.




Highly Recommended
★★★★
Orchard Pigs
Fruit, oat and seed bar

1.00 each
Made in Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham
01978 753778
www.orchardpigs.co.uk


Great texture to this top class flapjack. The seeds give it a good bite and theres a nice variety of juicy fruit. Full of buttery, nutty flavour and with a toothsome chew, you could almost convince yourself that this was good for you.

Highly Recommended
★★★★
Veggie Fayre
Pecan and maple syrup brownie

1.60 each
Made in Rosset
01978265607
www.veggie-fayre.co.uk

Dense, moist and very chocolaty, these have a generous sprinkling of pecans. The chocolate is top quality with a deep bitter taste perhaps too intense for children but very good indeed if you like dark chocolate.

Highly Recommended
★★★★
Whiteys Gourmet Popcorn
Original and cinnamon sweet

2.00 110g
Made in Northwich
0771 415 5384
ww.whiteys.co.uk

Spherical shaped gourmet popcorn, popped in an open pan. The original flavour tastes both salty and sweet and should be a hit with everyone. We really liked the cinnamon flavour too. This has a touch of salt, but the warm sweet taste of cinnamon predominates.

Cider and Perry

Best on Test
★★★★★
Rosies
Perfect Pear Perry
2.50 330ml
Made in LLandegla, Denbighshire
01928 790 222
www.rosiescider.co.uk

A pale coloured, light and refreshing perry with a sweet smell. On a hot summers day this would be fantastic served over ice, maybe with a squeeze of lime. Very quaffable and a perfect refreshing picnic drink.

Highly Recommended
★★★★
Eddisbury Fruit Farm
Cheshire Cider

2.50 568ml
Made in Kelsall
0845 094 1023
www.eddisbury.co.uk

A light golden, cloudy cider almost pearlescent in the glass. You can practically taste the variety of apples it made us think of Bramleys and green apples. Theres an appealing sharpness and a slight sparkle, just enough to lift the drink without being over-fizzy. At 4.5% this is lighter than many ciders too.

Also Recommended
★★★
Triple D Cider
3.00 500ml
330ml
Made in LLandegla, Denbighshire
01928 790 222
www.rosiescider.co.uk

With an attractive amber colour and a gentle fizz, this medium cider is crisp and refreshing with golden caramel notes and quite a dry finish.



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