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10 festive tasty treats made in Herts

PUBLISHED: 11:49 09 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:49 09 December 2014

Chocolatier Lassiters has over 100 years experience

Chocolatier Lassiters has over 100 years experience

Archant

Sandra Smith goes in search of delicious festive food for gifts and entertaining, all made here in the county

Curious Foods. Photo: Curious Foods Ltd 2014Curious Foods. Photo: Curious Foods Ltd 2014

With Christmas fast approaching there are gifts to buy and entertaining to organise, but you don’t have to look far for something special. Hertfordshire has a wealth of food producers eager to tempt you with their homegrown goodies. From chocolate to wine, cheese to pasta or jam to cupcakes, take your pick from these mouth watering products. You could even treat yourself, too.

Lessiter’s, Woolmer Green

For more than 100 years the combination of fresh local cream, Swiss chocolate and a commitment to quality ingredients has made Lessiter’s truffles scrumptiously popular. While deciding between the many tempting flavours such as Bucks Fizz or Raspberry and Champagne, readers are invited to try free samples of Rum Truffle Christmas Pudding. Just quote Hertfordshire Life when visiting the factory shop.

61 London Road, Woolmer Green, SG3 6JE. 01438 817338 lessiters.co.uk

Curious Foods, Tring

Mat Leaver’s enthusiasm for exploring flavours equals his passion for salami. In a converted outbuilding he sources pork from a nearby farm then ferments, cures and dries the meat. Reinventing this product is high on his list of priorities, hence the eclectic taste combinations he has created including tarragon, horseradish and coriander.

32 Miswell Lane, Tring, HP23 4DD. 07825 770599 curiousfoods.co.uk

Hertfordshire Cupcake Company, Bramfield

From vanilla to speciality flavours such as Black Forest gateau, these made-to-order cupcakes will tempt everyone’s taste buds. There’s a trio of sizes to choose from starting with the cocktail sized Mini, the ever popular Standard, and a Giant which provides a dozen helpings. You can even request your own customised decoration.

80 Bramfield Road, Datchworth, SG3 6RZ. 01438 798415 hertfordshirecupcake.com

Mr H’s Teashop, Hitchin

Handmade and homemade preserves and relishes using local ingredients and surprising combinations are available at this welcoming teashop. Raspberry and chocolate jam is a best seller but try also the hot pepper relish, chilli onions or crab apple jelly, each lovingly created by ex-army chef, Gary Crocker, who will readily adapt a product to satisfy customers’ (and their relatives’) tastes.

8 Bucklersbury, Hitchin, SG5 1BB. 07738 906773.

Wobbly Bottom Farm, Hitchin

The goats cheeses produced at this family farm – where milk is sourced from the 75 strong herd - vary from plain and creamy to those infused with nettles, ale or chillies. Cheddar lovers are also catered for - after storing for two years, flavours such as ginger or mustard seeds are added to this popular seller.

Pirton Road, Hitchin, SG5 2ES. 01462 433873 wobblybottomfarm.co.uk

Pearces Farm Shop, Buntingford

Heart-warming and nutritious – Pearces spicy soups made from the shop’s homegrown squashes are the perfect antidote to a chilly winter’s day. And to complete your seasonal feast with fare that contains the best local ingredients, why not tuck into its duck liver paté with cranberries, followed by mince pies with clementines and cointreau?

Hamels Mead, Buntingford, SG9 9ND. 01920 821246 pearcesfarmshop.com

Chiltern Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Wilstone

These flavoured rapeseed oils have a lengthy shelf life and retain all their natural goodness through the pressing process. They make the crispiest roast potatoes (to impress your Christmas guests) and come in a range of flavours including garlic and stir fry. Customers can even bring their empty bottles for refilling.

PE Mead and Sons Farm Shop, Wilstone Great Farm, Wilstone, HP23 4NT. 01442 828478 chilterncoldpressedrapeseedoil.co.uk

Ugo Foods Group, Borehamwood

From a small shop in Lodon’s Soho 85 years ago, this family business has grown to produce award-winning, gluten-free pasta while priding itself on using local ingredients and free range eggs. No additives or preservatives are included and the company is rightly proud of its generous 60-40 filling to pasta ratio.

1 Hertsmere Park, Warwick Road, Borehamwood WD6 1GT. 020 8207 0100 ugogroup.co.uk

Cinnamon Square, Rickmansworth

The traditional English bloomer is one of the UK’s most popular loaves. The unhurried approach of this Rickmansworth bakery, however, guarantees bread that is bursting with flavour. Master baker, Paul Barker, insists on a long fermentation process followed by oven bottom baking where the bloomer dough is stone baked on top of an oven resulting in a crisp base and delicious crust.

7-9 Church Street, Rickmansworth, WD3 1BX. 01923 720227 cinnamonsquare.com

Hazel End Vineyard, Bishop’s Stortford

‘We make the best sparkling wine in the world here now. Our climate is perfectly suited and wine making is gaining momentum,’ Charles Humphreys, Hazel End owner, declares. The vineyard may consist of a modest three acres yet it produces the award winning Three Squirrels which rivals any other sparkling varieties, both in taste and price.

Hazel End Farm, Hazel End nr Bishop’s Stortford, CM23 1HG. 01279 812377 corylet.com

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