Easter may have been yesterday, but this morning I delivered a very special Easter Egg for a very special occasion. You may remember that last year I created a large Wedding Egg for a Bride and Groom to crack instead of cutting the cake, well this year I was approached by a lovely bride who had see pictures of the egg online. She wanted to present the egg to her husband as a surprise on their Wedding Day- Monday April 9th 2012.
Like last year Jenny Foord made a giant egg up especially for the egg to be presented in, I then had the task to make the huge egg. This year the Bride went for a “rough” finish to the egg instead of the chocolate flowers you’ll see on last year’s egg. The egg was then finished with a light green iridescent shimmer to represent Spring and a nod to Dee’s Irish roots.
I absolutely love the challenge of making these Wedding Eggs, every bride has a different reason for ordering one, they are an instant hit with the guests (probably because they get some of the chocolate), and it’s one of those requests I only ever get once a year. Jenny always does a fantastic job of making the egg cup and always asks if the Bride and Groom would like a special message or finish. The egg cups are a nice reminder and are perfect for planting or keeping things in afterwards.
If you didn’t know this week (10th-16th of October) is Chocolate Week; it’s a week to celebrate all things chocolate. Hopefully this week you’ll get the opportunity to try new chocolates whether it is bean to bar showing the true flavours of different beans or delicious
Importantly I hope everyone gets a chance to try chocolate which is single origin and ethically produced the difference in taste and quality is amazing.
To celebrate Chocolate Week I will be launching a new chocolate box called Shropshire Chocolates, all the chocolates are made by myself and are all available from Toot Sweets. The box will showcase local produce and flavours associated with Shropshire. The box will also showcase the work of a local artist called Norma Lamputt, who has specially designed the
front of the chocolate box. The box will be launched this Saturday at our shop in the Market Hall in Shrewsbury. Chocolates will be available to taste as well as information about each chocolate, and Norman Lamputt.
From tomorrow through to Saturday I will be sampling different chocolates from my wide range of Award Winning Chocolates and will be on hand to talk about all things Chocolate. I will also be running competitions for people based in Shropshire; these will be running on Facebook and Twitter. I will be giving away a prize everyday, which can be collected from our shop or in some cases sent in the post.
This evening while working on a few bits for the shop I started to think about local food. This weekend I will be attending the Welsh Food Festival, which is a fantastic festival highlighting great producers from Wales and many from Shropshire and the surrounding borders. Next weekend the Ludlow Food Festival will also take place, so this is partly why I’ve got the subject of local food in my mind.
I’m really passionate about locally produced and sourced food; having worked within Food retail for nearly 10 years, and producing my own chocolates for the last 2 years it’s something in my blood which I automatically look out for. I love finding out the history behind locally produced food, and do personally believe you can tell the difference when sampling food and drink which has been carefully produced within the area you live. Firstly the quality is usually better as it’s been grown or made in small batches; secondly each area has its own individual flavours. I know the UK is pretty small compared to other countries, so some produce and recipes do spread across
the nation, but all regions have their own way of making and serving.
I decided to ask my followers on twitter what flavour they thought best represented Shropshire, and I had several fantastic responses. I have decided to produce a poll, so I can tweet about this further and hopefully get some votes and comments. I would really appreciate any comments especially as I found tonight that several items featured highly on peoples tweets; these included Honey, Beer and Shropshire Blue.
Interestingly and pointed out by @ShrpshirePrune, Shropshire Blue doesn’t actually originate from Shropshire. After doing a little bit of research I found out that Shropshire Blue originates from Castle Stuart Dairies in Inverness, please click here to find out more. It’s now made in Nottinghamshire, and produced by Ludlow Food Centre. After a little more research and help on Twitter I have found out that Shropshire Cheese Company also make Shropshire Blue and have won several awards from the Heart of Fine Foods. @ShrpshirePrune also noticed no one mentioned Fidget Pie; the pie has been around for over 400 years and really is one of the unique recipes to come out of Shropshire. I can only presume Fidget Pie wasn’t mentioned because it’s not that popular. It’s definitely not as widely available as it probably should be.
I personally associate fruity flavours with Shropshire, but since asking the question on twitter I have started to think about all the other flavours, including the varieties of game we have on offer.
So if you have any comments of what flavour you think best represents Shropshire please let me know and if your suggestion isn’t already on the poll please add to it. I will be revisiting this topic regularly 🙂