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Snape hosts a 'mini Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival' this weekend

PUBLISHED: 20:00 20 December 2018

Father Christmas arriving at Snape  Picture: Snape Maltings

Father Christmas arriving at Snape Picture: Snape Maltings

Archant

On Saturday, December 22 it's the annual Snape Christmas Farmers' Market with loads of Suffolk food and drink to buy and sample.

Bracey's Bees at Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers' Market  Picture: Snape Maltings Farmers' MarketBracey's Bees at Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers' Market Picture: Snape Maltings Farmers' Market

It’s your last chance to stock your fridge and cupboards this weekend – so go local and support this ‘mini festival’ in Snape.

Snape Maltings’ Christmas Farmers’ Market can be likened to a miniature version of the site’s famous autumn food and drink festival.

Dozens of Suffolk’s best producers descend on the grounds for the event, which brings together almost everything you could need to eat and drink your way through Christmas Day and beyond.

This year the market takes place on Saturday, December 22 from 9.30am to 1.30pm. From chocolates and spirits, to cheese, meat and puddings – you can meet the artisans behind some of our county’s most iconic edible treasures.

Fishers Gin at Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers' Market  Picture: Snape Farmers' MarketFishers Gin at Snape Maltings Christmas Farmers' Market Picture: Snape Farmers' Market

Let’s take a look at what’s on offer!

Chocolate

B Chocolates, based close to Snape, will bring their exquisite handmade chocolates, including award-winning, gently chewy caramels made with local honey and Maldon salt before being hand cut and enrobed in dark chocolate. That’s not to mention the chocolate thins filled with chunks of honeycomb, the liquid honey caramels, or seasonally changing truffles. Also taking part in the market is Tosier Chocolate, named as one of the rising stars in the UK chocolate world in 2018. A real labour of love, each single origin bar is made with the highest grade of cacao, and produced in Suffolk from scratch. Taste the difference in bars such as the Acul Du Haiti 2016 Harvest, which is tart, fruity and complex. If you thought dark chocolate was bitter, think again.

Truly Traceable pies at Snape Christmas Farmers' Market  Picture: Snape Farmers' MarketTruly Traceable pies at Snape Christmas Farmers' Market Picture: Snape Farmers' Market

For the dog

We can’t forget our furry friends at Christmas – in fact some of us will lavish them with more attention than our family! Barkers of Suffolk will be at Snape with tasty titbits for your pooch including dog-friendly chocolates and treat biscuits. Why not?

Cakes and bakes

Boyton Old School Farm and Kitchen will be bringing along artisan savoury pastries, as will Great Glemham Bake, whose sausage and nossage rolls (baked in the Aga) are quite renowned locally.

Award-winning pies, from venison and ale to partridge and pear come from Truly Traceable. Lynn’s pastry is sensational and there are no shortcuts when it comes to ingredients or technique. All the ingredients are as local as possible and everything is made from scratch, including sauces, stocks and slow-braised gravies.

After some pre-Christmas nibbles? How about marmite, fennel, grain mustard or chilli straws from Newlands Cheese Straws?

Or are you following a gluten-free diet? If so, look out for Jakes Bakes, who will be bringing all kinds of cakes, pies, tarts and more, all made without gluten and with dairy-free and vegan options too.

If something more indulgent is on the agenda, Rosa Farine Patisserie bring the finest sweet delights inspired by baking all around the world, from Italian baci filled with Pump Street chocolate, to marzipan filled Dresden christolen brushed with French butter and sugar, and peanut pretzel brittle.

While Cocoa May are coming along with their handmade brownies, made with rich Belgian chocolate in flavours such as salted caramel and chocolate orange.

Chutneys, relishes and more

A jar of honey is handy to have around at this time of year, for drizzling over porridge, smothering on toast and using in succulent glazes. Bracey’s Bees of Framlingham will be at the market with honey collected from their more than 90 hives in east Suffolk so give it a taste.

The twin brothers behind Burch & Suffolk are bringing their handmade preserves in flavours such as rhubarb, rose and cardamom.

And Olga of The Quince Tree will showcase her own recipe pickles and unusual preserves plus fudge – maybe even mincemeat flavour as sold at the Leiston ice rink.

You can’t go home without a jar of cranberry sauce from Stokes, which is one of the very best on the market, balancing the sweet and tart flavours perfectly and packed with real fruit pieces.

Plus you can sample everything from chickpea, coriander, lemon and chilli, to duck and truffle with brandy and garlic pate from Stowmarket’s Suffolk Pate Company.

Cheese

Christmas isn’t complete without a cheeseboard and we certainly have some fine options in Suffolk. From Fen Farm Dairy and its beautiful Montbeliard cows, comes the Crickmore family’s Baron Bigod. Revered in the cheese world, this melting, buttery, bloomy, mushroomy raw milk fromage is similar in style to a brie de meaux and is just dreamy. From the same farm comes maker Julie’s St Jude’s – a smaller, creamier, sweeter raw milk cheese.

Suffolk Smokehouse will be bringing along cheeses too, given the flavour treatment in their smoker. As well as a plain smoked cheddar, there are varieties covered in single blend smoked chillies. Oh, and they also sell smoked pates, seasonings and olives.

To drink

Last year Fisher’s Gin brought marmalade infused with their spirit so hopes are high they’ll do the same again this weekend. The gin is inspired by the wild Suffolk coast, infused with rare shoreline herbs, from the fennelly spignel to ‘Christmas scented’ bog myrtle.

The Tiny Tipple Company have something a bit sweeter in store with their infused spirits flavoured with East Anglian soft fruits and hedgerow bounty. The strawberry and vanilla rum is delectable, while the blackcurrant brandy is just the thing to serve pre-Christmas dinner, drizzled into a glass of fizz.

If beer’s more your thing, try one of the interesting, proper craft German beers from The Krafty Braumeister of Leiston. These all-natural beers have no added sugars, and have not been filtered.

Or try a drop of cider from the Harleston Cider Co, which also produces a Fire Cider (unfiltered apple cider vinegar infused with chillies, turmeric, horseradish and more) which owner Ken says is just the ticket to help kick a winter cold.

Then there’s fruit juice, fresh from the farm at High House up the road – as well as pick and mix apples and pears and homemade preserves.

Meat

If you’ve not settled on turkey for your Christmas table, head over to see the team at the Kenton Hall stall where their 100% purebred English Longhorn beef in a variety of cuts and centrepiece-worthy joints will be available to buy. Raised on grass in very high welfare conditions, the beef is hung for a minimum of 28 days and butchered on the farm.

Lane Farm will be there with their award-winning sausages, ham and bacon for your festive table, as well as charcuterie from their own brand Suffolk Salami.

And there will be wild boar coppa, salamis, pancetta and more from the New England Boar Company.

Look out too for free-range Suffolk chicken from Sutton Hoo – and try their new chicken sausages which are some of the juiciest ones around, seasoned with a blend of Cumberland spices.

Or furnish your table with something a bit more exotic from the Wild Meat Co – be that venison, a game bird or maybe a nice bit of squirrel?

And the rest

Less naughty snacks can be found with Munchy Seeds, whose blends are packed with good nutrients. The latest limited edition blend is Cinnamon, made with roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds. But we rather like the decadent Choccy Apricot – sunflower and pumpkin seeds with chunks of apricot, all covered in Belgian chocolate.

Newbourne Farm, near Ipswich will have your seasonal veg sorted.

And buy Middle Eastern delights from Yoxford’s Tabbouleh Tal.

There – that’s all you need for Christmas Day sorted.

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