I was recently contacted by online supermarket, Ocado
who asked if I’d be interested in reviewing their new Welsh Shop
, which launched on 1st March in time for St David’s Day. The shop has been set up to help people to discover Welsh produce and support local producers through their grocery shopping, and Ocado are working with the Welsh Tourist Board to source quality producers.
Here are my 11 favourite food products from Ocado’s new Welsh Shop:
1) Edwards of Conwy Traditional Pork Sausages (£2.50 for 6/400g – currently on offer at 2 for £4)
Quite possibly the biggest sausages I’ve ever eaten in my life, Edwards of Conwy Traditional Pork Sausages were meaty, succulent and and well-seasoned, with a subtle hint of pepper. Made in Conwy, North Wales using British Farm Assured cuts of shoulder pork, these sausages are multi award-winning – and I’m not surprised!
They would taste great served in a sandwich or on a mixed grill, but I fancied doing something a little bit different with them and so I made a hearty sausage casserole using chickpeas, onions, garlic, onions and tomato sauce. It tasted fantastic and I’ll definitely be making it again. The recipe for this will soon be available in the Recipes
section of my blog.
2) Tregroes Butter Toffee Waffles (£1.45 for 8)
I’ve spotted Tregroes Butter Toffee Waffles in a few supermarkets and coffee shops before now but although they look really tasty, I’ve never got round to trying them. As the name would suggest, they are made in a small town called Tregroes in Llandysul, Ceredigion (mid Wales).
Like biscuits designed for dunking, these toffee waffles are round and flat with a soft toffee centre. Their shape means that you can rest them over a hot cup of tea or coffee to heat the toffee up before you eat them. This melts the toffee, so that when you bite into the waffle you get a sweet burst of warm, gooey goodness. I could also detect a hint of cinnamon.
I’m not a big fan of biscuits because of their crunchy texture, but I could really see me making a habit of eating Tregroes Toffee Waffles with my daily cuppa. Definitely one to buy again – especially at £1.45 for 8!
3) Bacheldre Organic Stoneground Strong 100% Wholemeal Flour (£2.25 for 1.5kg)
Milled at Bacheldre Watermill in Montgomery, Powys (mid Wales) this award-winning organic bread flour is made using high quality grain, grown locally using organic methods – the same ones that would’ve been used back in 1575, when the mill was first established! From start to finish the production process is certified by the Soil Association, ensuring an excellent standard of grain.
I had a go at making my own loaf of bread with this flour, and although it didn’t rise properly (I think I used a bit too much flour), it had a delicious, golden brown crust and a soft, grainy centre. It tasted lovely eaten warm, spread with lashings of butter.
I enjoyed making my own bread so much that I’m going to give it another go soon, perhaps adding some ingredients of my own like nuts or seeds. When I do, I’ll make sure I post the recipe on my blog.
4) Tan Y Castell Welshcakes (£1 for 6)
If you’re from Wales, you’re bound to have seen Tan Y Castell’s bakery products in local shops and supermarkets before now. Based in Narbeth, Pembrokeshire (West Wales) Tan Y Castell have been baking traditional Welsh cakes, bara brith and breads for 15 years.
These Welsh cakes are made to a traditional Pembrokeshire farmhouse recipe, using only the finest quality ingredients. They have a moreish buttery taste and contain plenty of juicy, plump raisins. My only suggestion for improvement would be to add a sprinkling of sugar to finish (although you can do this yourself at home if you like).
5) Edwards of Conwy Dry Cured Bacon (£2.50 for 200g – currently on offer at 2 for £4)
|Picture copyrighted to Ocado.com/Edwards of Conwy
Another product from Edwards of Conwy – this time, it’s their Dry Cured Bacon, cured by hand using thickly sliced British pork loin. This is a seriously thick, meaty bacon; you certainly don’t need to worry about tearing it as you take it out of the pack, as you do with cheaper kinds of bacon.
As far as I’m concerned, the best way to eat bacon is in a sandwich. So, I did just that. I made a delicious bacon sandwich on soft, white bloomer bread. I like my bacon to be slightly crispy, so I cooked it for a little longer than usual as it was so thick.
It tasted perfect – just what you need to wake you up in the morning and get you going for the day! However, at £2.50 for 200g this bacon is fairly more expensive than other varieties available, so I think I’ll be sticking to the supermarket’s own brand for now.
6) Rachel’s Organic Butter, (£1.75 for 250g)
No bacon sandwich is complete without ‘real’ butter. I smothered my bread in Rachel’s Organic Butter, made in Aberystwyth, West Wales.
I’ve always been a big fan of Rachel’s Organic products. I first featured them 4 years ago in a product review on this blog.
Based in Aberystwyth, West Wales, Rachel’s Organic dairy has been producing fresh organic yoghurts, desserts, milk and cream for almost 30 years.
Rachel’s Organic Butter has a rich, creamy taste with a mild salty taste. It tasted great paired with crispy bacon in a soft sandwich, but it also makes for a lovely treat stirred into mashed potato or served with steamed vegetables.
7) Hilltop Honey Infused With Cinnamon (£4.70 for 227g)
Hilltop Honey is made in Caersws, Powys (mid Wales) by Scott Davies, who began keeping bees for honey in his parents’ back garden back in 2011. The business grew into a success and Hilltop Honey now operates from a site in Caersws that is much bigger than the back garden Scott was used to!
This particular variety of Hilltop Honey is infused with cinnamon and it would taste divine drizzled over your porridge in the morning or stirred into a glass of hot mik before bed.
As I’m trying to eat healthier, I tused this honey in a recipe for baked bananas served with Greek yoghurt, walnuts and brown sugar. It was absolutely delicious – almost better than chocolate! I will be soon be uploading the recipe to the Recipes
section of my blog.
8) Lovemore Gluten Free Lemon Cake Slices (£1.99 for 5)
These gluten-free Lemon Cake Slices from Lovemore were amazing! I’ve never tried gluten-free cake, but I wasn’t expecting it be very nice. I ordered some to see what they tasted like, and if I hadn’t known they were gluten-free (and wheat-free), I wouldn’t have known they were any different to the kind of cake I’m used to eating.
The sponge was covered in a zesty, sugary glaze and each bite seemed to melt in my mouth, although it was slightly drier than your average cake.
9) Four Crosses Welsh Rarebit Mature Cheddar Cheese (£1.50 for 250g – introductory offer; will be £2.00)
I’m very excited about this cheese. Produced in Pwllheli, North Wales under GRH Food Co Ltd’s ‘Four Crosses’ cheese brand, Welsh Rarebit Cheese offers a handy short cut in making Welsh rarebit, which traditionally consists of cheddar cheese, leek, wholegrain mustard and ale, served on toast.
I tried out the Welsh Rarebit Cheese in this way, placing a few slices onto toasted bread and leaving it to melt under a hot grill for a few minutes. I could definitely taste the leeks and the ale, but the mustard wasn’t quite as strong as I’d have liked it to have been (being a fan of Y Fenni – the cheese that’s full of mustard seeds)!
Besides its obvious use as cheese on toast, Welsh Rarebit cheese could jazz up a jacket potato or brighten up a beef burger.
If you’re going to try grating it, cut off a chunk to grate rather than using the whole block – the cheese has a tendency to crumble as it’s quite moist compared to your average cheddar.
10) Rachel’s Organic Forbidden Fruits Yoghurts (£2.00 for 4 – currently on offer at 2 for £3)
I love Rachel’s Organic yoghurts, and these ones were no exception. Creamy, rich and fruity, they are perfect for snacking on in between meals or for a tasty after-dinner treat.
11) Edwards of Conwy 2 Welsh Beef Steak Burgers, 320g (£2.50 for 2 – currently on offer at 2 for £4)
Last but not least, it’s another product from Edwards of Conwy – two Welsh Beef Steak Burgers. Each weighing in at around 160g, these big burgers are made with prime cuts of Welsh steak to a traditional, award-winning recipe.
As soon as I opened the pack, I could smell the fresh onions in the burgers. You can grill, fry or oven cook them. I fried my burger but it took about 20 minutes to cook right through because it was so thick and meaty, so with hindsight I think it would be best use the grill next time.
I served my burger in a soft brioche bun with iceberg lettuce and sliced tomatoes, topped with mature cheddar cheese, accompanied by crispy French fries. The burger was really meaty and had plenty of bite to it; I’ll definitely be buying these again.
So, there you have it – my top 10 food products from Ocado’s new Welsh Shop. Since I placed my order the Welsh Shop has grown to include even more Welsh producers, like Halen Mon, Daffodil Foods and Colliers.
I was very impressed with the delivery service from Ocado. As a new customer, my delivery was free. Ocado text me to let me know the name of the delivery driver and his expected arrival time, and he arrived within the hourly timeslot I had chosen. He kindly carried the bags into the kitchen for me. where he explained that they were colour coded according to whether they needed to be kept in the cupboard, fridge or freezer. None of my items were missing and there were no substitutions. My delivery also came with a handy summary of the products I’d ordered, arranged by sell-by-date to help minimise food waste. Ocado’s delivery service was so good that I would consider doing all of my shopping through their website in future, dependent on future delivery costs and minimum delivery spend.
Have you tried any products from Ocado’s new Welsh Shop and, if so, what did you think of them?
*Ocado supplied me with a voucher to spend on food produce from their new Welsh shop. I was able to order whatever I liked and I was not obliged to feature all of these products or to write positive reviews about any products; I have only written about the products I was genuinely impressed by.
**All prices and promotional offers were correct at the time of writing, but may be subject to change