M&S is one of the truly uber British brands that I would miss terribly if I ever moved to another country. Whilst they do offer worldwide tastes like sushi, Indian foods & Chinese delights, what they do really well is finding the absolute best of British farmers & producers products and bringing them to us at a great price. For example the famous Cornish Cruncher cheese, in its distinctive black packaging. Its an award winning cheese that Marks & Spencer discovered and now sell all over the UK.
This summer M&S launched their Tastes of the British Isles range, which covers almost every section of the Food Hall. They have curated speciality foods from every corner of the UK, including classic puddings, regional bakery items and a whistlestop tour of British cheese varieties. It's a range to be proud of, as it shows the world that Britain has such a wide selection of amazing foods and dishes, with tastes for every palette.
Every few weeks M&S invite me along to Sprucefield to pick items to feature on here, so it seemed about time I shone a light on some of the Taste of the British Isles products.
First, the sweet treats. I know any time I want to bring a dessert along somewhere I always head to M&S. The quality of their cakes is far superior to other supermarkets. Saying that, I'm not a huge fan of their own brand chocolate. My Scottish pal Michael advised I bought the giant chocolate buttons, but sadly even those didn't do it for me. I do like their fancy little bars, like the lemon mousse or cappuccino flavour bars, and you can't deny that Percy Pig is the King of the Gummies.
I'm a sucker for a scone with cream and jam & in the fridge section I came across a scone pack that came with both jam & clotted cream. I also liked the look of these strawberry & cream infused scones. All I need is a big pot of tea with these and I'm set.
Whitby buns are doughnut shaped buns with a lemon curd filling. We had tried the berry version last time, so picked the lemon this time around.
I've never seen a blackcurrant Swiss roll before, but if it's from M&S it's bound to be delicious. The little stripe in the cake is very cute and the £2.50 price tag is brilliant value.
I'm not a frequent yoghurt eater, but sometimes I just take a wee notion and have a yoghurt week! I love some of the unusual flavours here, treacle & clotted cream, rhubarb & custard, and as for the 'Sussex lemon pond pudding', well I'm not very sure what that is, but I'm sure it will taste great. There are further flavours in this range I haven't featured, and they are all on offer at £3 for five.
Sometimes you want an after-dinner dessert but not something humongous, so these little tartlets are just the ticket. They are also available in a lemon meringue variety and cost £2.50 or are two for £4 mix and match with lots of other bakery items.
I chose the Eccles cakes not for my own house, but for my Dad. He's been buying Eccles cakes from Marks and Spencer for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately as a child I was put off them for life by my Dad trying to discourage me from eating his supply, telling me they were called 'Flies' Graveyards'. So I can't eat raisins or sultanas to this day, funnily enough!
The Tastes of the British Isles range also has a wide variety of savoury offerings. M&S stock more different types of Scotch Egg than I've seen anywhere else! After the success of the Cornish Cruncher cheese, they've expanded the products its a base for. I picked up this delicious Cornish Cruncher terrine, which will blow your socks off.
The Marks & Spencer cheese aisle is a place of wonder for cheese lovers. If there is such a thing as a cheese enthusiast, then they'll love the range of British cheeses M&S currently has on offer. I picked a twist on the classic Cornish Cruncher, a block with balsamic onions though it. My absolute favourite cheese right now is the Blacksticks Blue variety. They also sell it in a soft spreadable cheese, and I've been known to demolish a tub of it within 24 hours, it's just too good!
And look! Blacksticks Blue sausages! I'm not really sure how cheese infused sausages work, so if you want to see how they turn out, keep an eye on my Instagram as I'll show you how they turn out on there when I've cooked them.
M&S are famed for their Lochmuir salmon, and these BBQ glazed fillets are perfect for late summer dinners. Served with a big green salad its a good option for healthy eating folks.
If you're feeling more like fish and chip shop style grub, they have a wide variety of different battered or breadcrumbed fish. You can buy family sized packs too.
Finally, also part of the three for £10 deal on meat and fish, how tasty does this gammon look with its ale chutney flavouring? Well done, M&S, always something new and wonderful to try.