Squisito opens a shop

Reversing the trend of rural Post Office and shop closures, my local Italian deli Squisito is opening a new butchers and delicatessen in Yelvertoft  village, on the outskirts of Rugby.

Squisito Deli

The Squisito rural shop will stock their own and local produce from farms around Rugby, plus a selection Italian basics from plum tomatoes to olive oil and the pick of award winning English cheeses, local breeds and charcuterie from our fellow Midlands producers. The shop is due to open by December.

 

Squisito’s Sausage Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy fifth birthday to Squisito! The Italian Deli, from Monks Kirby near Rugby, will be at the Kings Heath Farmers Market on Saturday running their own sausage Olympics. This is line-up from Alex and Sara.

“Unfortunately the British Banger has been disqualified after testing for artificial substances and the presence of rusk, so the runners this Saturday will be :

Lane 1 – Tuscan Sausage (pictured) from the rolling hills of Tuscany in central Italy. 93% local meat handmade on Saturday morning with Chianti, Squisito smoked fennel, garlic and black pepper. Tipped as the favourite.

Lane 2 – Napoli Sausage from the volcanic Southern city of Napoli in Campania. It’s spicy but not hot and made with 93% pork, Squisito smoked paprika, coriander, garlic and southern Italian red wine. Red like a Napolitan sunset and just as good in a sauce.

Lane 3 – Toulouse Sausage from the South if France. Having a good Olympics despite some underarm issues this mild and popular sausage is 93% meat and 5% white wine with a bit of sea salt and white pepper, nutmeg and a tiny bit of fresh herbs.

Lane 4 – Mexican Chihuahua – Small and with bite this South American chorizo is made made with tequila gold and wine vinegar with Squisito smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, a pinch of cumin and Jamaican Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce (Ever wondered why Usain Bolt runs so fast?) The hot favourite this 93% pork chorizo fires up any tapas or baked bean dish. 

Lane 5 – Luganega Sausage from Mantova in Italy made by the metre with 91% pork, 3% Grana Padano cheese and 4% Italian white wine and a smidgen of salt and pepper. If you think Alfas have smart wheels come and look at these.

Lane 6 – Nero Pudding with a Lancashire mother and an Italian father this blood sausage mixes the best of Bury with Italian good looks. Leading contender for the English Breakfast but looks good on a pizza with créme fraiche and a bit of apple.”

Supper Clubs

When I told friends that I’ve been researching Supper Clubs, their responses ranged from intrigue at trying something new, to trepidation of dining at a secret location with strangers.

Historically born out of out of paladares of Cuba, cities including London, New York and Amsterdam were quick to popularise the idea of Supper Clubs. As a pop-up dining experience that caters for individual tastes, Supper Clubs have evolved as an alternative to ordinary restaurants or stuffy dinner parties. With a recent survey by YouGov revealing that 40% of us now think that dinner parties are too expensive, time-consuming and stressful to bother with, Supper Clubs are most definitely here to stay.

 I am lucky enough to have a great Supper Club close by in Warwickshire. Inspired by the idea of sharing good food, every month Alex and Sara Chambers throw open the doors of their home for the Squisito Supper Club. As owners of Squisito Deli, the couple extend their love of Italian cuisine to foodies who join them for a five course meal.

Squisito Supper Club menus make the most of fresh seasonal produce that is also prepared with the Slow Food ethos. Frolesworth free range chicken with green olives and Squisito preserved lemon, Sardinian pecorino with pink peppercorns and Warwickshire honey have all featured on their menus.

 Squisito is the only Supper Club that I am aware of in Warwickshire, but there are a few more running in Birmingham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tan Rosie Caribbean Supper Club is a chance to sample Caribbean dishes from Jamaica, Grenada, Trinidad and Cuba in the hosts’ living room in Erdington. Chef Monica says that their Supper Club is “a great way to eat fantastic home-cooked food, meet new people and broaden your knowledge of Caribbean food in a fun, friendly and safe environment.” You can also try their recipes at home from their new book, Tan Rosie Caribbean Supper Club Recipe Book for £8.99 on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over in Bearwood, baked scallops and prawns in saffron cream and duck in balsamic syrup with dauphinoise potatoes were main courses for the first R & R Supper Club held at the end of May. Cake maker Rachel (one of the Crafty Muthas) and professional chef Richard have teamed up to run a new monthly Supper Club for up to 20 people. Rachel says that guests can expect “a five to six course meal served over a good three to four hours with background music, atmospheric surroundings and plenty of chat!”

So what makes a successful Supper Club? Genial hosts who genuinely food and cooking, a popular cuisine and chance to try something new seem to be the winning combinations. With a bring your own drinks policy, you can expect to pay around £25 for a truly memorable Supper Club evening.

Enjoy the experience and check http://www.supperclubfangroup.ning.com to find your nearest Supper Club or follow foodies on Twitter.

National Picnic Week

 

 

 

 

 

We are in National Picnic Week so I’ve added some new food products to the Shop page from Squisito Deli, Rachel’s Cup Cakes, Berryfields Farm Shop and Napton Water Buffalo, that are perfect for dining al fresco and picnics.