Food & Drink: pizzas, beer and more

The Yorkshire Six Pack, on sale in Booths in Ripon and featuring two beers from Tockwith's Rudgate Brewery.
The Yorkshire Six Pack, on sale in Booths in Ripon and featuring two beers from Tockwith's Rudgate Brewery.

Food and Drink by Tom Hay

The other week, I got slightly excited that a Pizza Express pizza came topped with Peppadew. I should elaborate on why that is because, quite frankly, you need them in your life.

Many moons ago, I used to get my kicks by reading the Lakeland catalogue. While other teenage boys idolised football players and hung around vandalising parks, I lived in a hamlet and dreamed of kitchen storage solutions.

One day, I told myself, everything I own will be in a high-end airtight container. And they’ll all be from the same set.

It wasn’t a lofty dream, admittedly, but it was better than staring out of the window at a field full of cows, which was the main alternative source of entertainment.

Somewhere on the pages of that well-leafed catalogue, a jar of things called Peppadew was detailed. They looked like pickled peppers, so I convinced my parents to let me pick a pot. And I’ve loved them ever since.

They’re not pickled peppers, precisely, but a special little breed of chilli peppers which were discovered in South Africa in 1993. They’re popped into a mixture of sugar, vinegar, salt and spices, which means they cover a ludicrous number of flavour bases: sweet, sour, salt and heat, specifically.

They’ve been a store cupboard staple for me for over a decade – I chop them up and fling them onto pizza, into salads and sandwiches and pasta sauces, or just open the fridge and eat them directly out of the jar, which is probably not their intended use.

Or, as an especially deadly combo, I mix cream cheese and Feta and shove it inside. I can polish off dozens of those things.

So, like I say, you need them in your life. You can spot them in X section of most supermarkets.

Like eating things and talking to people?

Then you’ll probably like the two upcoming Christmas customer evenings at Weetons in Harrogate.

There’ll be seasonal tastings and the chance to chat to suppliers and try their products – and they take place on Wednesday, November 20 and Wednesday, December 4 from 6-8pm.

A complex, chestnut coloured best bitter with a memorable fruity flavour.

A rich and full bodied stout with a subtle chocolate finish.

If they sound tasty – and they do – then you might want to head to Booths, where a collaborative multipack of award-winning Yorkshire ales has gone on sale.

The ‘Yorkshire Six Pack’ features a pair of beers from Rudgate Brewery in Tockwith. Specifically, Battleaxe Bitter (4.8%) and York Chocolate Stout (5%), described above. The latter was awarded Champion Speciality Beer at York Beer Fest 2012.

Alongside them is Saltaire Blonde (4%) and Cascade Pale Ale (4.8%) from Saltaire Brewery, and Wold Gold (4.8%) and Angler’s Reward (4%) from Wold Top Brewery in the Yorkshire Wolds. Wold Gold picked up a 3 Star Gold in the Great Taste Awards this year, which is a ludicrously high accolade (lots of good stuff gets one star, far fewer things get two stars and virtually nothing gets three).

Booths buying manager John Gill said: “We are delighted to be introducing the new Yorkshire Six Pack into the majority of Booths stores. I am convinced that it will prove very popular with our consumers – especially in the run up to Christmas and the New Year.

“It’s the ideal gift, not to mention the perfect thing to take to a party,” he added for the benefit of people who don’t know what to do with beer.

Got something to say about Peppadew, Pizza Express, beer or anything else food and drink related? Email me at harrogatefood@gmail.com