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Christmas Shopping with Local Food Producers.

The most commonly asked question of the moment must be ‘have you started your Christmas shopping yet’. This year, I’m making gift baskets with a selection of hand picked items from some of the local food producers in my area. It’s a great way to support local business and avoids the over priced and over wrapped gifts available in the supermarkets and department stores.

There’s such a great selection of products available from small local producers and these can usually be found at Farmers markets and independent shops, with many also available on line from the producers websites.

In  the first of a short series of posts, I’ll be writing about some of my favourite local producers and the quality products that will make great Christmas gifts.

Jams, preserves and chutneys make great gifts at any time of the year but are also ideal to give at Christmas. Perthshire based producer ‘Perthshire Preserves’ is well known at Scottish farmers markets and is one of my favourites. From their base in Callander, Iain McKenzie and Kate Thornhill  a make wide range of products that are ideal to give as Christmas presents. Well recognised for their excellent quality, this year the Hot Banana Chutney was awarded one star at the Guild of Fine Foods ‘ Great Taste Awards’ and the Seedless Blackcurrant conserve won a gold medal at ‘The Jampionships’.

Marmalades, churneys and flavoured drinks

Marmalades, churneys and flavoured drinks

Handmade, and using only the finest ingredients, the impressive range includes preserves, jellies, marmalades and chutneys. Iain and Kate also make a range of  flavoured gins and vodkas that are sold regularly at some of the farmers markets they attend.

Many of the products are seasonal and with Christmas fast approaching there are a few delicious festive flavours in the range. The Christmas  Marmalade with the added flavour of cranberry and the lightly spiced Christmas Chutney, flavoured with cloves, cinnamon and a touch of rum, make an ideal pairing as a gift, or as part of a larger gift box or basket. Also in the festive range, there’s a Cranberry and Orange relish, a trio just perfect for serving with festive food.

Great Christmas gift ideas

Great Christmas gift ideas

For the spice  lover there is Curried Tomato and Chilli Chutney and a fantastic award winning, Hot Banana chutney. Add to a gift box or basket with the Chilli oil, and again, another ideal gift. This spicy pair of chutneys are two of my favourites and  I always serve them as an accompaniment with our Saturday night curry.

There’s a varied selection jams, preserves and conserves to choose from including, Strawberry and Pink Champagne Conserve, Raspberry liqueur Conserve, Plum and Lemon Conserve and Strawberry Conserve with Black Pepper.

Something to suit every taste

Something to suit every taste

The selection of marmalades  includes, Three Fruit Marmalade, Pink Grapefruit and Ginger, and for the whisky lover, Deanston Whisky Marmalade.

Although the products can be bought individually, there is also the option to have a bespoke hamper, gift box or bag, filled with your own choice of  products.

Bespoke hampers and gift boxes

The full range of products and list of stockists is available from http://www.perthshirepreserves.co.uk.

As an alternative, orders can be emailed in advance  to http://www.info@perthshirepreserves.co.uk and collected from the following farmers markets

Friday 6th December – Falkirk

Saturday 14th December – Crieff

Sunday 15th December -Stockbridge

Saturday 21st December – Perth

Sunday  22nd December – Clarkston

Sunday 22nd December – Stockbridge

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