8 great food buys to add your shopping basket this spring

Ready to discover the food buys to know about this spring? Each month, the delicious. team test new products from producers big and small to give you our pick of the best. On April’s list? A brilliant jarred romesco (for when you haven’t got time to make it from scratch), the British-grown chickpea alternative the team are obsessed with – and dips that disappeared very quickly from the delicious. test kitchen. Scroll on to explore the rest…

8 great food buys to add your shopping basket this spring

1. Epicure Cook With José salsa romesco

Homemade romesco is a heavenly partner for fish, roast chicken or poached egg – anything where the hero flavour on your plate is gentle, ready to be enhanced by a punchy sauce. But let’s get real: if you don’t have time to roast loads of red peppers, laboriously peel them, whizz with almonds and so on, Spanish chef José Pizarro’s in-a-jar version is a tasty time-saving alternative (albeit with slightly less of a flavour hit than the homemade version). If you’re feeling flush, order a pack of acorn-fed, hand- slivered jamon Ibérico too – savoury, sweet, sublime. £4.29 for 130g, available from José Pizarro’s online shop


2. Bold Bean Co queen carlin peas

The delicious. team are converts to Bold Beans, as the quality is vastly superior to that of most tinned beans. Our new obsession? Queen carlin peas, the British-grown alternative to the chickpea with a delicate nutty flavour, grown by the renowned Hodmedod’s. From £4 for 700g, Waitrose and Bold Bean Co (subscribe for a regular delivery and save 15%)


3. Kentish Oils rapeseed oil

Olive oil is a Med-diet staple, but let’s hear it for British-grown rapeseed oil, too, which has to travel less far and is rich in good-for-you omega-3 and omega-6 fats. Award-winning Kentish Oils, cold pressed and filtered, come unadorned or in a variety of infused flavours including lemon, chilli, mint, basil and garlic. Individual bottles cost from £4.25 for 250ml, or you can buy a set of 4 x 250ml bottles for £18. Available from Kentish Condiments


4. Dima’s Vodka

Dima’s vodka from Ukraine is a patriotic triple-grain drink (barley, wheat and rye) whose trident symbol represents not just those three grains but the country’s coat of arms. When you take your first sip of this creamy, quietly spicy vodka, you should say “Budmo!” (pronounced ‘bood-more’), the traditional Ukrainian toast. It means “Let us be” – a sentiment that’s more meaningful than ever right now.

To really get into the spirit and drink Dima’s like the Ukrainians do, serve a pickle alongside – they throw in a bag of cornichons to get you started. Or buy a pickled martini set, with added Nick-and-Nora glass, mixing glass, jigger and bar spoon, and you can make Dima’s signature pickled martini recipe.

To give you an even bigger glow, £1 from every bottle sold (£5 from every set) goes towards first aid kits for Ukraine. Double budmo! Dima’s vodka, £35 for 70cl (including cornichons); large pickled martini set, £85, available from Dima’s Vodka


5. Mr Bao’s Dragon Oil

If you’re familiar with London’s bao bun meisters Mr Bao (in Peckham), you might recognise this chilli oil. It’s more sauce-like than many brands, with nubbly bits of fermented black beans, garlic and crispy onions for crunch. A tantalising topping to enjoy while counting down the days until your next pork belly bun with house pickles… £6 for 200g, available from Mr Bao’s webshop, House Special


Hot on the supermarket shelves

6. Biotiful Gut Health baked milk kefir drink

You doubtless already know about the gut benefits of kefir, the popular fermented milk drink, but this new baked version has the added USP of being super tasty, bringing a natural maltiness with no added sugar or flavourings. Breakfast time transformed… £2.95 for 500ml, available from Waitrose and Ocado


7. Odysea dips

We say dips are underrated. The taramasalata (not luminous pink), tzatziki and ajvar (made with roasted pepper and aubergine) from Odysea’s new range make for a speedy and satisfying mezze lineup – just add olives and flatbreads. They’re great as sandwich additions too. £3 for 200g, available from Sainsbury’s


8. Opies silverskin onions with turmeric & mustard seeds

These have been out for a while but they’re new to us. Tender, gently piquant from the mustard seeds, with a hint of musky pepperiness from the turmeric, balanced by a sweetness that works well with mature cheddar. £2 for 370g, available from Morrisons

Discover the rest of the delicious. team’s tried and tested food and drink recommendations.

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