10 of the best food & drink buys to brighten up January

The delicious. team sifts through scores of new products from producers large and small to bring you our taste-tested guides to the hottest food and drink buys. This month: chef-crafted pasta, cheeses to answer cold-weather cravings – and a great place to buy your haggis from ahead of Burns Night (25 January). Prepare to eat well this New Year…

10 of the best food & drink buys to brighten up January

10 brilliant buys to cheer up January

1 & 2. Totally tropical vibes

Bring sunshine into your January with the new sparkling pineapple drink from Cawston Press. The limited edition cans are sweetly pineapply with a thirst-quenching hit of grapefruit. Meanwhile, add an exotic touch to your snacking with Purely’s ethically sourced plantain chips. The lemon and salt flavour is munchingly moreish – perfect with a Friday night margarita. Cawston Press Sparkling Pineapple & Grapefruit, £20 for 12 x 330ml cans, available from Cawston Press; Purely Lemon & Salt plantain chips, £5.99 for 3 x 75g bags, available from Purely

A packet of Purely plantain crisps and can of Cawston Press pineapple and grapefruit drink


3. Go posh with your pasta

If you fancy a break from the cheapest spaghetti in the supermarket, here are a couple of treats. First, a dinner-party-starter talking point. Chef Albert Adrià is the brother of Ferran of El Bulli fame. His Atavi pasta has gone through the kind of processes that would boggle the minds of the scientists at Cern (with a price tag to reflect that!). Of the three varieties, most intriguing is the grassy Umami, which has undergone koji fermentation (the process used to make soy sauce) and goes beautifully with pancetta and pecorino. There are also Smoked and Sourdough versions. From £20 for 280g, available from Atavi

Meanwhile, back on earth, the Northern Pasta Co’s attractively packaged creations are made with British-grown, regeneratively farmed spelt (see more on regen farming below). Produced in Cumbria, they’re brilliantly chewy and satisfying. Most importantly, all the pasta shapes are heroic holders of sauce.
From £4.95 for 450g, available from Northern Pasta Co or UK-wide delis

A packet of pasta from Northern Pasta Co


4. Ooh, saucy!

We’re big fans of a put-it-on-everything sauce and this new brand, set up by London-based private chef and food writer Nina Parker, specialises in them. The Peanut Salsa is our favourite, fantastic on steamed or grilled veg or used to pep up a soup or ramen bowl, and we like the big jars, allowing you to dollop generously without worrying you’ll run out. Bonus: all the sauces are vegan as well as gluten, dairy and palm oil free. £17.90 for 2 x 300g jars, available from Nina Food

Two jars of sauces from Nina Parker Food

5. Easier healthy eating

Holland & Barrett is a high street stalwart, but we’re betting you’ve never done your food shop there. Now you can, as they’ve teamed up with small artisan suppliers to create a revamped H&B range including nut butters, cider vinegar and British grains (from Hodmedod’s) as well as chilled goods such as kimchi (from Eaten Alive, below), vegan sausages (made by Symplicity) and more. Available in stores and from hollandandbarrett.com

A jar of kimchi by Eaten Alive for Holland & Barrett


6. Gourmet game

Celebrating Burns Night on 25 January and fancy an authentic haggis? Fife-based Woodmill Game guarantees its ‘hill to fork’ products are wild, never farmed. If haggis (£13.50) isn’t your thing, try apple-stuffed pheasant with cider sauce (£11.50, pictured), venison joints (from £37.20) and more. All outstanding. Available from Woodmill Game

Apple-stuffed pheasant in packaging, from Woodmill Game


7. Not any old cheddar

Regenerative farming is about managing the health of the soil to lock in carbon. Cows roam free to churn up the grass and graze on biodiverse goodness. Groundbreaking Golden Hooves cheddar, with a good tang and pleasingly crumbly texture, has been joined by a vintage version, all crunchy lactic crystals and umami intensity. Mature, £3.95, and Vintage, £4.45 (both 200g), available from The Cheese Market

Cheeses from brand Golden Hooves in packaging


Hot on the supermarket shelves

The products to get you waltzing and whistling down the supermarket aisles (real and virtual)…

8. Pull of the mountains

Recreate the après-ski fun at home. Made from Alpine milk and ripened for eight weeks on spruce boards, these new raclette slices melt beautifully (also handy for lunchbox sarnies) and have subtle farmyard flavours. All you need is kirsch and some Europop! Le Rustique raclette slices, £2.85 for six slices (140g), available from Asda

Two halves of a cheese toastie being pulled apart, with strings of cheese in between, and a packet of raclette cheese slices in the background


9. Season with style

Flavoured salts are all the rage these days, but Maldon’s new garlic sea salt is one of the best we’ve tried. Rather than going down the garlic granule route, it has dried wild and roasted garlic in it for a more complex garlickiness. Use it alongside fresh cloves for knockout garlic bread. £3.50 for 100g, available from Amazon

A box of Maldon garlic salt on a bed of garlic salt


10. Michelin-star jars

Pre-made marinades for Indian cooking are convenient, but all too often create a pale imitation of the real thing. The Classic Tandoori marinade from Michelin-starred restaurant Gymkhana, however, is incredible. With a refreshingly simple (and recognisable!) ingredients list, it’s pricey but so good.£7 for 200ml, available from Ocado

A jar of curry paste from restaurant Gymkhana against a dark green background
Thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day? Food lovers will adore the gifts in our hand-picked guide.

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