Branston Pickle …it’s turning Japanese

Branston pickleThe somewhat very British Branston Pickle is turning Japanese!

Food conglomerate Premier Foods has agreed to sell the pickle brand for over £92M to Japanese company Mizkan (more information about them here) according to reports in the business press. The two companies have struck a deal before as Mizkan also purchased Sarson’s (the vinegar company) for £41M earlier this year. The uniquely British condiment will still be made at a factory in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk with Mizkan agreeing to continue pickle manufacturing at the site for at least 15 years.

At home, we’ve recently become reacquainted with Branston Pickle having not bought any for probably a few years. Our children were asking what it tasted like having seen an advert for it so we bought a jar and it’s been something of a hit with our two!

I got the jar out of the fridge earlier to see what goes into making a jar of Branston. The somewhat lengthy ingredients list includes:

  • carrots
  • rutabaga (swede or turnip to you and me)
  • onions
  • cauliflowers
  • marrows
  • gherkins
  • apples
  • sugar
  • vinegar
  • spices
  • lemon juice
  • tomato paste
  • garlic extract

Who knew that there were so many ingredients!

I like it on cheese on toast or in a cheese and ham pitta bread. How about you?

World Porridge Championships 2012: English beat Scots

golden spurtle winnersAn Englishman has won this year’s World Porridge Championships after beating off competition from the Americans and the Scots no less.

The Golden Spurtle (a spurtle is a traditional, rod-shaped utensil used to stir porridge) is awarded annually to the maker of the best-tasting traditional porridge. The competition has been running since 1994 and is held at Carrbridge, Scotland.

This year’s worthy winner is Benedict Horsbrugh, a 45 year-old Londoner now living in Germany. He is pictured (centre) alongside Speciality Trophy winner Laurie Figone from California for her dish called Italian Pinhead Torta and People’s Choice Award winner John Boa for his creation hazelnut honey swirl.

Mr Horsbrugh began making his own porridge as a child after failing to be impressed with his father’s mix. He said: “When I was nine I was inspired by Tom Baker in the book Doctor Who and the Loch Ness Monster. He has a disagreement with Sarah Jane about making porridge, and I learnt that you just need to use a pinch of salt.”

Now that autumn has arrived porridge makes for a great, healthy and energy-rich breakfast. Rather than giving you a potential sugar high-low that you can encounter with breakfast cereals, porridge offers a low GI start to the day. Having said that, Tour de France winner and Olympic gold-medallist Brad Wiggins is rumoured to have a bowl of porridge before he goes to bed!