15 Nov 2011

Forman and Field Gift Hampers

An email came asking if I would like to receive for review a sample hamper courtesy of Forman and Field - the answer is always going to be, yes please.

The hamper is delivered in a sturdy heavy duty box insulated with polystyrene. The contents are kept cold whilst in transit with gel ice packs to keep everything in tip top condition until you unpack. Receiving and opening a hamper is a joyous occasion it's such a treat. The hamper was large enough for the two of us, and packed and presented superbly, which added to my delight.

I was sent a list of useful Tasting Notes regarding the contents they had selected specially for me. I knew from reading food magazines they supply their smoked salmon to the finest restaurants. I hadn't realised though they also sell online products from the finest independent producers too.

I was spoilt with Genuine Wild Smoked Scottish Salmon which needs to be savoured more or less as is to fully appreciate the taste. I served mine simply with a few peppery leaves, a squeeze of lemon and a piece of brown bread. The salmon wasn't too salty or smoky, neither was it oily and tasteless, but simply melts in the mouth. I have yet to try the London Cure Smoked Scottish Salmon but I am looking forward to another indulgent treat when I try this too (it's in the freezer waiting patiently for Christmas).

Potted Lobster is something that I had not eaten before, it came in a small reusable kilner jar. This is a gold medal winner and one of their customers' favourites. This is cooked lobster, they pick out the best bits and pot it with clarified butter. The tasting notes suggest taking it out of the fridge to come to room temperature and serving this as a starter for a posh dinner party or, as I did, serving it on toast so the butter melts into the toast - I had made bread the day before the hamper arrived so that I had some homemade bread, this bread makes fab griddled toast to go with posh potted lobster. This was one of our favourite items from the hamper.

Hand Carved Alderton Ham from a family producer in Nottinghamshire. This was sliced and prepacked ready to serve. The ham had been steamed and baked on the bone with an old fashioned marmalade glaze, we ate this with a green salad and the ham was definitely the star on the plate.

A Selection of Neal's Yard Dairy Cheeses - when I go to London I always queue up to go in here and love sampling the cheeses whilst I am waiting. The selection of cheeses arrived in waxed paper, which is how I wrap my cheese too, and this was appreciated because it stops the cheese from sweating. Beenleigh Blue is a new cheese to me and has a strong tang, in my case though, too strong a tang. The Colston Bassett on the other hand is a creamy cheese I am used to eating and this can do no wrong on my cheeseboard. There was a cheddar and also Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire, these were superb in taste and very reliable choices for the cheeseboard.

Mrs King's Pork Pie one of Borough Market's real food heroes. This is the first time I have eaten this pork pie, I originally came from Melton Mowbray and all I have ever known are the pork pies which are made in the town.

The mince pies are made by Master Chef Michael Nadell and the pastry is buttery, soft, and the contents within will please and satisfy all mince pie lovers. Both the brownie loaf and banana bread are presented in little wooden loaf boxes, wrapped in cellophane and tied with ribbon. The brownie loaf is very rich and you only need a small slice to satisfy your brownie needs, the banana loaf was a little dense for me but Mr W said he enjoyed his. Pure Indulgence Chocolates from Paul Wayne Gregory are handcrafted dark chocolates for chocolate lovers, mine were vanilla pod, salted caramel and spiced praline, they were silky, smooth and superb.

Lemon Curd presented in a small reusable kilner jar, I ate this sweet, lemony curd on toast as a breakfast treat and it certainly didn't disappoint. The Christmas Pudding - this coming weekend we will be eating the pud, and to reheat, all we have to do is put it in the microwave for 5 minutes.

The hamper was a perfect introduction to some of the delights Forman and Field have to offer and because every item is premium quality you simply can't go wrong.

Disclaimer:  I was sent the product for the purposes of this review.