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Piers and Lin du Pré are the owners of the Fleming 55 Play d'eau, based in Beaucette Marina, Guernsey in the Channel Islands at N49° 30’.197 W002° 30’.350.

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‘Best of Breed’ Cooking Ingredients

Cornish sea salt.
Until we tried this we hadn’t tasted real salt.
click to enlarge

This post is to list the ingredients we’ve found to be best of breed. As time allows, we’ll be adding more.

Salt

From Table to Maldon to Pink Himalayan – which salt for you?

Our first ‘salt revelation’ came when we were shown that weight for weight, you have considerably more salt by quantity if you use an unprocessed sea salt rather than a free running, chemically enhanced table salt.

Our second ‘salt revelation’ was realising there were many different real salts: Maldon, Pink Himalayan, Cornish, Welsh coastal, and the list goes on and on.

So, we lined up over a dozen salts and tried them, judging each for its salty taste and saltiness strength factor.

Burford Brown eggs
with their dark orange, luscious tasting yolks
click to enlarge

Cutting to the chase, Cornish Sea Salt harvested straight from the Atlantic at the Lizard peninsula won by miles. A beautifully pure salt taste with a high salt factor meaning you use less to achieve the same saltiness.

Sadly, there’s no salt from Guernsey – maybe there’s a business to be had?

Cornish Sea Salt is available from some of the major supermarkets such as Tesco and Waitrose.

Eggs

Now this is something we just stumbled on without thinking. A ‘Doh!’ moment.

If we needed eggs, it was simply a question of size – small, medium or large.

One day, the only eggs left on supermarket’s shelf were from Cotswold Old Leg Bar hens. Opening the box to check them, the eggs were smaller than usual, but more surprisingly the shells were blue – not the normal brown or white!

Maille raspberry flavoured vinegar
click to enlarge

Later, when we came to use them, the yolks were such a deep orange colour, and even better, when we came to eat them, the depth of flavour was so much more intense.

This led us to try other types, and the only other that’s a challenger is a Burford Brown. Taste-wise the same, size-wise it’s larger and with a dark brown shell.

So our recommendation is Burford Brown, followed by Cotswold Old Leg Bar.

Available from some supermarkets such as Sainsburys, Morrisons and Waitrose.

Vinegar

Having been served a mayonnaise that was so, so delicate and luscious, we were told it had been made with a Raspberry Vinegar. What a difference it made.

Since then, we have used Raspberry Vinegar for our own mayonnaise and vinaigrette dressings.

We’ve also tested various makes but there’s no doubt in our mind that Raspberry Vinegar from Maille takes the crown.

It can be difficult to find in the UK, but it’s everywhere in France, of course.

Olive oil

Colonna olive oil infused with organic lemons
click to enlarge

Now here’s an interesting one. From the many olive oils that range across the shelves, we’ve found a firm favourite which Lin uses in so many dishes.

Colonna Granverde.

This is a Sicilian extra virgin olive oil taken from the first cold pressing but with a difference.

Organic Sicilian lemons are added to the olives so both are pressed together producing an oil infused with a citrus zest and aroma. Perfect.

Available from Waitrose.

Guernsey Butter

Now here’s a delight you really must try.

Guernsey butter tastes of butter. Sounds crazy but just compare Guernsey butter with the butter you usually have and you’ll have one of those ‘Damascus Road’ experiences (well, almost) and you’ll realise what you’ve been missing!

Once you’ve opened a pack, there’s no need to keep it in the fridge. Just leave it out at room temperature. It keeps for weeks like that and is always at the right consistency to spread.

You can store Guernsey butter in the freezer for months if not years, and if you have the room I’d certainly recommend buying the June and July made butter since the cows will have been grazing on the fresh spring and summer grass.

The butter of all butters. A rich, deep yellow butter, that restores faith in how butter should taste
click to enlarge

Both salted and unsalted versions are made.

Do let us know how you get on with using Guernsey butter – hopefully you’ll never look back, and no, we don’t have shares in the Guernsey Dairy.

Waitrose usually stocks Guernsey butter.

Piers and Lin
from the Galley of
Play d’eau
Fleming 55

You can get in touch with us any time by using our Contact Form.

2 comments to ‘Best of Breed’ Cooking Ingredients

  • Hil

    As you know, I have been trying for ages to find Maille Raspberry vinegar-with no success.Ieven rang Maille and was told there was no such product! Having used it extensively I knew that was bunkum,but I still could not find any.I agree with you,Piers,I love it more than any other vinegar.I’ll see if I can find it in Italy.And the Colonna-there may be different ones in Italy,so I will see…And I will let you know what the eggs are like there..

  • Hil

    Definately no Guernsey butter in Italy,but I will let you know what local butter is like.The Italians use more butter than you think! x x

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