Healthista’s Stephanie Wickens reviews a selection of organic food from Farmdrop, a new online shop that delivers you healthy, in-season, locally-produced and mostly organic food straight from the farm
If you’re a London dweller, the Farmdrop online service helps you select your food from over 70 farmers and food makers. Once you’ve placed your order, the producers get to work digging, baking, and catching to get your order ready. They then deliver to your home via electric vans at a time and day chosen by you, for free. This means you get access to fresh, local, organic and home-grown foods without even leaving the house. It was intriguing and quite frankly, I couldn’t wait to review it.
They then deliver to your home via electric vans at a time and day chosen by you, for free
White Truffle Oil
As soon as I opened the White Truffle Oil bottle, the first thing I did was take a whiff. And let me tell you, it smelt gorrrrrgeous. Sweet and musky at the same time, the scent drew a picture of what I might smell if I were to wonder through a winding spice market in the middle of a desert. Its scent was dry, but sweet, exotic, and a little wild. After I was done stomping through my house and shoving it under the noses of each of my family members, I couldn’t waste anymore time in finding out what this truffle infused oil would taste like.
It’s scent was dry, but sweet, exotic, and a little wild
I boiled some pasta, and when it was soft and slightly chewy (just how I like it), I drained the water, and added a tea spoon of the While Truffle Oil. I then added a red pepper pasta sauce that I had bought from the supermarket, and cooked it on a low heat for a further five minuets, stirring constantly.
To finish it off, I grated some hard goat’s cheese, and sprinkled it on top. And as I suspected, it tasted heavenly. The white truffle oil added a mellow and earthy flavour to the dish, and its smooth texture was not too overpowering.
Tip: You could also use White Truffle Oil as a salad dressing for a more direct impact of its luxiourous taste
White Truffle Oil is available on Farmdrop for £9.00
Blackberry & Liquorice Jam
As someone who thinks of liquorice as a wicked dictator of taste buds, childhood memories of its powerful, and sometimes sickly flavour, haunt my nightmares. So when I discovered the existence of Farmdrop’s Blackberry & Liquorice Jam I admit, I was a little scared – ok a lot scared.
But as any amazing and professional reviewer would do, I stepped up to the challenge. Although, when I opened the jar and detected the sweet aniseed infused smell of liquorice I, as any respectable person would do, asked my mum to try it first. As she is an avid liquorice fan, I knew she would be willing.
The flavour of the blackberries was stronger, with a subtle a hint of liquorice
We made some toast, spread the jam, and she commented that it tasted fruity. I went in for the kill, and was pleasantly surprised. It did indeed taste very fruity, and not too sweet. The flavour of the blackberries was stronger, with a subtle hint of liquorice, just a slight kickback of it. Combined with the blackberries full flavour, I felt that the liquorice gave it a nice touch. It has been a refreshing option for breakfast each morning.
I can’t say if it has converted me to a liquorice lavish lifestyle, but it certainly opened my mind in being more adventurous with flavours in the future.
Blackberry & Liquorice Jam is available on Farmdrop for £4.00
The Farmdrop Fisherman provide them with organic salmon that they catch off the Scottish coast. You might roll your eyes when I say this, but i’m not a huge fan of fishy tasting food – I do like some things, honest. I decided to cook the two fillets for my parents, so after I dished it up, they chowed down to a lovely candle-lit dinner, whilst I lurked in a dark corner taking notes. I must say, when I cracked open the packaging for the fillets, I was overcome with the fresh and fishy scent that filled the kitchen. It made me think of walking along a scottish cliff face, breathing in the ocean air.
The Farmdrop Fisherman provide them with organic salmon that has been caught off the Scottish coast
But enough about that, let’s get down to the good stuff. I began by caramelising some freshly sliced lemons in the frying pan, (which smelled amazing), placed them on top of the fillets, and seasoned them with star ansie, olive oil, and italian seasoning. – I know, even my mouth was watering.
Once the fillets were wrapped in a parcel, I put them in the aga for roughly 15 minutes, and served them up with a potato and vegetable stir-fry.
They were plump, smelt super fresh, and surprisingly didn’t taste as fishy as I expected. My parents commented that they thought they were clearly good quality fillets, and that they had more of a natural flavour than supermarket salmon. And the caramelised lemon complimented them perfectly. They were also super filling, so there was no need to overload the plate with a mountain sized portion.
they had more of a natural flavour than supermarket salmon
I can officially say that salmon is now among my fussy list of fish that I actually like.
Organic Salmon Fillet is available on Farmdrop for £6.00
My love for garlic knows no bounds, I love the smell, and i’m obsessed with the taste. So you could imagine my excitement when I discovered the existence of black garlic, which is sold on Farmdrop via Mash – a family based company that have been producing both traditional and exotic fruit and vegetables for over 150 years. Mash are also known suppliers for many top London restaurants.
black garlic is a type of caramelised version of the white garlic
I had never heard of black garlic before, so I was intrigued. When I first opened the box I was greeted with an extremely pungent smell, which wasn’t particularly garlic-like. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the most inviting scent in the world, but I still couldn’t wait to give it a try.
When I peeled off the flakey, papery skin, I immediately thought that the bulb had gone bad. I knew it was supposed to be black, but it looked rotten, and all the bulbs were soft and squishy. It also had a powerful scent to it that smelled like it could have been mouldy. So of course, I consulted the portal that holds all of life’s most important answers – Google.
After some research it became apparent that black garlic is a type of caramelised version of the white garlic, and it had been through a heating process. There seems to be some debate around the idea whether black garlic could be considered a fermented food or not.
the flavour added a sweet, smokey, and subtle hint of garlic, rather than the strongly heated, and spicy textures of white garlic
I decided to add the black garlic to the vegetable stir-fry I cooked with the salmon fillets (see above). I added chopped potato, carrot, onion, and leek to a pan. The black garlic bulbs were so soft that I didn’t bother to chop them, I just scattered them in whole, and let the vegetables sizzle for about 10 minutes. Then I stirred in soy sauce, courgette, and chilli sauce.
Considering its pungent smell, and the fact that it was described on cooking websites to have a ‘powerful and aggressive’ flavour, I was expecting a full on round-house punch in the taste buds. But surprisingly, I found that the flavour added a sweet, smokey, and subtle hint of garlic, rather than the strongly heated, and spicy textures of white garlic. I also found that it didn’t give me the common and unpleasant side effect of ‘garlic breath’.
I found that it didn’t give me the common and unpleasant side effect of garlic breath
Black Garlic is available on FarmDrop for £5.00
Chorizo is one of my favourite meats. I love it in toasted bagels, chicken curry, pasta, stir-fries, and in pies, I just can’t get enough of it. So when Farmdrop sent me a cut of this spicy little treat I couldn’t decide what to cook it with.
Farmdrop’s hand made British chorizo’s ingredients contain pork, salt, spices, and sodium nitrate – a compound that is commonly used in the making of cured meat.
Farmdrop’s hand made British chorizo’s ingredients contain pork, salt, spices, and sodium nitrate – a compound that is commonly used in the making of cured meat
I decided to chop it in to small squares, and add it to a beef and mushroom bolognese. Although you might cringe at the thought of all that meat in one dish, let me tell you now, the chorizo and beef worked a dream together.
It contributed a gorgeously smokey flavour to the richness of the dish. And it didn’t make it taste too meaty, as I suspected it might have done.
Tip: No need to use oil when cooking chorizo as it releases it’s own spicy oil when heated.
British Chorizo is available on Farmdrop for £4.50
Dates are native to the dry deserts of Israel, where they soak up the extreme heat of the boiling sun for the majority of their lives – oh, to have the life of a date.
The Farmdrop dates were by far the biggest dates we had ever seen. They were soft, squishy, and bursting with natural sweetness, so whatever you do, don’t add any extra sugar with them.
They have a powerful flavour that I can only describe as fudge-like toffy-ness, yet still fruity
They have a powerful flavour that I can only describe as fudge-like toffy-ness, yet still fruity. I kept them to snack on every now and then, and found that they were super filling for such a wrinkly, sticky little fruit.
Medjool Dates are available on Farmdrop for £2.50 per 180g bag.
This Farmdrop order, including all foods I have reviewed in this piece, came to £31.75
For a wide selection of organic foods, check out Farmdrop, the online marketplace that delivers food straight from the farm across London.
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