Shop of the Year announced this week

mmm glug shop of the year 2018 finals

Grainger Street-based mmm… and glug… is one of just ten shops across the UK to make it to this week’s Guild of Fine Food’s 2018 Shop of the Year awards.

Judges from the guild, which recognises excellence in independent retail, recently visited the Newcastle store and carried out mystery shopping exercises, before announcing their overall winner in London this Thursday evening.

Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.

She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.

“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.

“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers, has helped us reach this stage.

“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.

The Guild’s judges, which included Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, have rated and scored mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.

This Thursday (20 September), the judging will reach an exciting finale when Simone Clarkin and others from the world of fine food gather at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winner of Shop of the Year 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop, demo kitchen and event space in early 2019.

Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top in North East and Cumbria in the prestigious RateBeer.com awards.

The awards to breweries, pubs and retailers, sees beer lovers from dozens of countries rate their favourite tipples and where they buy or drink them.

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mmm… and glug… in UK Shop of the Year finals

mmm glug shop of the year 2018 finals

mmm… and glug… is one of a handful of grocery shops across the UK to make it to the finals of the Guild of Fine Food’s 2018 Shop of the Year awards.

Shop of the Year mmm glug logoJudges from the guild, which recognises and promotes excellence in independent retail, will visit the Newcastle store and carry out a series of mystery shopping exercises, before announcing the overall winner in September.

Owner Simone Clarkin, is delighted to be recognised for such a prestigious award, especially at a time when independent high street shops face pressure from supermarkets and out of town retailers.

She said: “When we originally opened our Grainger Market store back in 2008 we wanted to get people in the north east and beyond to think about what they eat and drink – and where it comes from.

“Over the past ten years, we have expanded twice within the Grainger Market and then in late 2017 into the city centre – all done during a climate of huge retail uncertainty.

“It is great to know that our efforts to provide great food and drink, and hopefully even greater customer service and advice to shoppers has helped us reach this stage.

“We really hope that our ethos of being there to provide easy access to good food and drink to the region can help us to bring this prestigious award back the north east.

The Guild’s panel of highly experienced judges, which includes Edward Berry of The Flying Fork, Stuart Gates, who has worked for both Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, award-winning retailer Tracey Colley and Georgina Mason from Gonalston Farm Shop, will rate, score and feedback on every aspect of mmm… and glug… before agreeing to a winner.

On Thursday, 20 September, Shop of the Year 2018 will reach an exciting finale when the world of fine food gathers at the Guild of Fine Food’s London base, to find out the winners of Shop of the Year 2018.

mmm… and glug… expanded its business with a move to larger headquarters in Newcastle city centre in late 2017 and plans to launch a ‘click and collect’ online shop during its tenth year in business.

Earlier this year mmm… and glug… came out top in North East and Cumbria in the prestigious RateBeer.com awards.

The awards to breweries, pubs and retailers, sees beer lovers from dozens of countries rate their favourite tipples and where they buy or drink them.

Want to know more?

Sign up for news about our food, drink and tasting events …

Opal Sunshine tasting at mmm… and glug…

mmm… and glug… is hosting a free tasting on Saturday, 5 May with Opal Sunshine, so customers can taste her hot, fresh and zingy pepper sauces.

Opal Ward is Belizean – and her beloved Belize is her spiritual home, her roots and her inspiration for cooking.

Belize is such a beautiful country. with its pristine lush natural terrain, extensive marine wonders and its diversity.

As the only English speaking country in South America, the Caribbean Sea rests to the East, Mexico to the North and Guatemala to the South and West.

With a population of approximately 368,000 (tiny right!), it stretches just 174 miles long and 68 miles wide.

Opal Sunshine hot sauces at mmm… and glug…

It was about a year ago when Opal was at a food festival selling her Belizean tamales, and instead of buying a shop bought hot sauce she decided to make her own.

Opal started with the ‘Original Hot Sauce’, which took a lot of time and testing (and tasting).

Initially, she took a family recipe and experimented to create a balance of heat and more importantly flavour.

From the original came the ‘Lime-anero’, a heavily infused lime flavoured pepper sauce with plenty of heat and full of flavour.

The mildest of them followed – Opal’s ‘Mayan Mango’. a fusion of mango, lime and ginger – great flavours which fuse beautifully together.

A sweet, fresh milder sauce. Yet still hot.

Want to know more about Opal Sunshine?

More tasting events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm unless otherwise stated)

  • Friday, 11 May – 40 Kola: Taste the new north east made ‘proper’ Kola (11.30am to 3pm)
  • Friday, 11 May – Masons Gin: Taste Yorkshire-distilled tea and lavender gins (4pm to 7pm)
  • Saturday, 12 May – Parlour Made: Taste award-winning local cheeses, including Durham Camembert
  • Saturday, 12 May – Durham Gin: Taste locally-made Durham gin, vodka and liqueurs
  • Saturday, 19 May – Consett Ale Works: Taste Consett’s classic ales, as well as their newly launched beers
  • Friday, 25 May – Lisbon Wines: Taste our small producer Portuguese wines with Victor.

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Ananda’s Gourmet spice kits at mmm… and glug…

Ananda's Gourmet spice kitsThis Saturday (17 February 2018) we are holding a free tasting of Ananda’s Gourmet Indian curry spice kits at mmm… and glug…, with Indian-brewed beers to match.

Ananda’s spice packs are pre-mixed and perfectly proportioned to recreate the authentic flavours of India.

Each kit has its own shopping list (for any fresh ingredients) and an easy-to-follow recipe inside.

Ananda will be tasting her:

  • Paneer Masala
  • Hyderabadi Lamb Korma
  • Goan Prawn Curry
  • Indi Burgers.

We will also have the full selection of Ananda’s vegetarian, chicken, lamb and fish spice kits for you to choose from.

White Rhino Brewing Co.

We will also be tasting our new ‘White Rhino’ Indian-brewed IPA and lager on the day (over 18s only).

White Rhino Brewing Co, India’s first craft brewery, was set up by a team 
of young brewers with the aim of bringing both quality and variety to the Indian beer market.

Their goal was to make 
beer for India that would stand up to an international standard.

Want to know more?

Other tasting events at mmm… and glug… (all from 1pm)

  • Friday, 2 March – Spanish Cava tasting: Taste our amazing Villarnau Cava (Hint: ahead of Mother’s Day)
  • Saturday, 16 June – Firebrick Brewery tasting: Taste Firebrick’s Blaydon-brewed beers and sort the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Little Turban curry sauces at mmm…

Little Turban sauces at mmm

‘Little Turban’ (aka Harj) is an artisan producer of modern regional Indian cooking sauces available at mmm…

Their vision is to introduce real authentic, regional flavours and aromas from around India to your dining table.

Little Turban’s products reflect the diverse flavours, aromas, spices and tastes India has to offer.

Each of their cooking sauces is inspired by a regional classic steeped in tradition and influenced from past generations and rulers.

Little Turban at mmm…

Rich and aromatic Lababdar Curry

A meal fit for Royalty!

A rich sauce made with a cashew nut paste, cream and butter for that decadent experience.

This dish originates from the Mughal era and has stood the test of time as a truly rich royal dish from Hyderabad.

Rustic and hearty Kashmiri Rogan Josh

The famous Rogan Josh created in the way it was orginally created with freshly ground Kashmiri chillies.

These chillies give this sauce a deep red colour.

Combined with a blend of aromatic spices and tomatoes this sauce is a umami hit, which gives it an amazing meaty taste.

Creamy and aromatic Makhani Masala

Creamy, rich and well spiced is the only description for my version of the famous Butter Chicken made famous in Old Delhi

Little Turban was inspired to recreate it with his special blend of tandoori spices.

A real must for lovers of Butter Chicken and for those that enjoy a little spicy kick.

Hot and spicy Naga and Mango Curry

Little Turban’s take on the classic chicken curry but with a bit of kick.

This smooth sauce is combined with a special garam masala blend, naga chilli and mango pulp.

This combination gives the sauce a great balance of heat and sweetness.

A must for chilli lovers.

Creamy coconut Goan Fish Curry

Inspired by Harj’s (aka Little Turban) trip to Goa.

This creamy coconut based sauce brings together a blend of complex spices together which embodies the coastal flavours of Goa.

It’s great with with fish and seafood, as well as chicken, lamb, beef and pork.

Meet the producer – Little Turban’s sauces are already hugely popular with our customers at mmm… so come and try one yourself from 1pm on Saturday, 11 March with Harj himself.

Want to know more?

Kwan’s Kitchen stir fry kits at mmm…

Kwan's Kitchen at mmm...

Kwan's Kitchen family photoKwan’s Kitchen, award-winning Chinese condiments and stir fry kits at mmm… can help you create restaurant quality dishes at home in minutes.

The Kwan family knows a thing or two about the Great British taste for Chinese cuisine.

For more than three decades, they have been preparing authentic Chinese food that excites the taste buds of their restaurant clientele.

Originally from Guangdong province in South China, Kwan’s Kitchen take inspiration from the vast array of Chinese cuisine on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.

Kwan’s Kitchen at mmm…

Spicy Szechuan meal kit – this spicy kit uses a delicious blend of tomato and garlic combined with Kwan’s award winning Szechuan chilli oil to give you a true taste of Sichuan cuisine.

Kwans_Kitchen_spicy_SzechuanBlackbean and garlic meal kit – this stir fry meal kit uses freshly ground blackbean and garlic combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend and Szechuan chilli oil.

Aromatic curry meal kit – this kit uses a fine blend of herbs and spices combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend and Szechuan chilli oil.

Sweet chilli with sesame and coriander meal kit – this Sweet chilli stir fry kit uses a delicious blend of fresh red chillies combined with Kwan’s award-winning salt and pepper spice blend.

Unlike commercial sweet chilli sauce Kwan’s don’t dilute the chillies with water or saturate with sugar.

How to use the kits – simply choose your favourite meat and vegetables, follow the simple three step process and you have a restaurant quality Chinese meal in 10 minutes!

Salt and pepper spice/hot salt and pepper spice – Kwan’s traditional family blend of five spice, ginger and garlic has been used in Kwan’s restaurants since 1978.

Experience authentic Chinese flavours with this versatile seasoning blend.

Want to know more?

Simone’s crunchy jalapeño panko poppers – a mmm… recipe

Jalapeño poppers

 

Crunchy jalapeño panko poppers
Serves 3
Every summer we stock UK-grown fresh chillies and as soon as they arrive our thoughts turn to one thing – jalapeño poppers!
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Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
50 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. Makes 12 poppers
  2. 6 fresh jalapeño chillies – ideally large, plump ones
  3. 170g of a good strong cheddar - grated
  4. 3 tbs of cream cheese
  5. Plain flour
  6. One egg – beaten
  7. A cup of breadcrumbs (we used our Japanese Panko as it is extra crunchy).
Instructions
  1. Cut the top off each chilli and use a thin bladed knife to remove the core and any seeds.
  2. Cut each chilli in half down the length of the chilli to make a shell.
  3. Take the cheddar and cream cheese and mix together in a bowl using a fork
  4. Optional – you can spice up the mix a little by adding a dusting of paprika or black pepper. But we prefer to keep it totally cheesy!
  5. Use a teaspoon to spoon the mixture into each shell and press down with a (clean) finger. It’s messy but fun!
  6. Cover the chillies with cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes
  7. When you are ready to cook the chillies remove from the fridge.
  8. Roll each of the chilli shells in plain flour, then the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs to cover them.
  9. Put on a baking tray into a pre-heated (180°C/356°F) oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to ‘escape’.
Notes
  1. These bite size delights are named after the ‘pop’ of warm melted cheese you get when you bite into them.
  2. You don’t have to just use jalapeños – our serenades, pardons and other chillies work just as well.
  3. We even had a customer last year making ‘chocolate habanero’ poppers – spicy!
  4. Serve with a chilled pilsner (we love Wylam Brewery’s Bohemia) and a spicy chilli jam (we love the tingly kick of Mr Vikkis Cumbrian-made chilli jam).
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/
The jalapeños and Panko breadcrumbs for these jalapeño poppers are available from mmm…
The eggs came from the Grainger Market.

More recipes from mmm…

Moz’s ‘She Devil’ BBQ Sauce – a mmm… recipe

Moz's 'She Devil' BBQ sauce
An easy to make at home BBQ sauce that has a bit of a spicy kick!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion, coarsely grated
  2. 3-5 Isle of Wight garlic cloves, finely chopped
  3. 4 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  4. 250g Stokes Tomato Ketchup
  5. 4 tbsp molasses sugar
  6. 2-3 Cool Chile Co dried chipotle chiles
  7. 275ml Wylam Bohemia or Loco No1 (or similar pilsner/lagered beer), plus extra if needed
  8. 250ml water, plus extra if needed
  9. 1 tsp mustard powder
  10. 1 tsp mild red chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  11. 1 tsp ground cumin
  12. Maldon Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  13. 4 tbsp Aspalls Cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together, with only half of the vinegar.
  2. Bring the boil in a large pan (the beer will foam when it boils, so use a bigger pan than you think you need)
  3. Simmer for 30-45 minutes with the lid off, until it forms a thick dark sauce.
  4. Stir every few minutes and if it starts to stick, add more beer or water.
  5. When the sauce is thick and shiny, add the remaining vinegar and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper as necessary.
  7. Allow to cool before serving with your favourite barbecued meats.
Notes
  1. You can also pour over ribs, sausages or chicken wings just before they’re finished cooking for a nice spicy glaze!
Adapted from Adapted from Good Housekeeping, and Moz’s brother Ciaran
Adapted from Adapted from Good Housekeeping, and Moz’s brother Ciaran
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/
All ingredients are available from mmm… and glug…

The fresh vegetables came from the Grainger Market.

More recipes from mmm…

Moz’s Chiles en Nogada – a mmm… recipe

Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada
Serves 6
Chiles en Nogada consists of poblano chilis filled with picadillo, topped with a walnut-based cream sauce giving it the three colours of the Mexican flag: green for the chili, white for the nut sauce and red for the pomegranate.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. Sauce
  2. 250g chopped walnuts, blanched, skinned and soaked in 375ml milk overnight.
  3. 125g queso fresco or feta cheese
  4. 375ml sour cream
  5. 1½ tbsp cane sugar
  6. ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  7. 6 large chiles poblanos
  8. Picadillo
  9. 650g ground beef or pork
  10. Salt to taste
  11. 4 tbsp olive oil
  12. ½ onion, finely chopped
  13. 3 cloves of Isle of Wight garlic, finely chopped
  14. 1 tbsp butter
  15. ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  16. ½ tsp ground black pepper
  17. ¼ tsp ground cloves
  18. 250g tomatoes, roasted in oven or in a hot heavy pan until blistered
  19. 125g golden raisins
  20. 1 large apple, peeled and roughly chopped
  21. Fresh pomegranate seeds to garnish
  22. Fresh coriander and parsley to garnish.
Instructions
  1. Roast the chiles in a dry heavy bottomed pan, or over a gas flame to char the skin. Put them in a polythene bag once charred.
  2. Allow to cool in the bag, and then peel off the skins as much as possible, leaving the chiles intact.
  3. Drain the walnuts, and place in a blender with the cheese, sour cream, sugar and cinnamon, and puree until smooth. You might need to add a little milk to help the blending process.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the meat and fry for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add the salt, onion, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and garlic and fry for another 2-3 mins until the onion is softened.
  6. Add the butter, and once melted, add the tomatoes and raisins and a tablespoon of water to stop the pan catching.
  7. Finally add the chopped apple, cook for 2 mins (add splashes of water if it looks dry) and check your seasoning.
  8. Allow to cool slightly.
Notes
  1. To serve, stuff the charred peeled chiles with the picadillo meat filling.
  2. Arrange in a serving dish, pour over the walnut sauce, and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and chopped herbs.
  3. Buen Provecho!
Adapted from Erika Servin Gonzalez (one of our lovely customers at mmm...
Adapted from Erika Servin Gonzalez (one of our lovely customers at mmm...
mmm... and glug... http://mmm-glug.co.uk/
The poblanos, walnuts, cinnamon, oil, salt, garlic, cloves, pepper, raisins and sugar for these Chiles en Nogada came from mmm…
The beef, apples, pomegranates and fresh herbs came from the Grainger Market.

Food store books place in Maunika Gowardhan’s heart

A Newcastle-based food store is celebrating its latest inclusion in a national cookbook with a book signing this weekend.

mmm…, based in the Grainger Arcade in Newcastle city centre, is playing host to local chef Maunika Gowardhan for a signing of her newly-published book, ‘Indian Kitchen’ this Saturday (27 June) from 12 noon.

The food store is described by the Mumbai-raised chef as being a, “haven in the heart of the Grainger Market for quality spices, alongside oils, vinegars, chutneys and flour.”

Maunika GowardhanThe award-winning store has also previously been recognised in two best-selling cookbooks by BBC Masterchef and owner of Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, Thomasina Miers.

Maunika was born and raised in Mumbai, India and is now based in the UK.

‘Indian Kitchen’, published by Hodder and Stoughton, is based on simple and enticing dishes that have been part of her family for generations.

As well as being a private chef, Maunika also writes a food column for a Vogue India and has featured in international food and lifestyle publications, including The Independent, Red Magazine, Sunday Telegraph and Jamie Magazine.

As well as being able to meet Maunika, have copies of her book signed and get cooking advice, food fans will also be able to sample dishes from her cookbook.

Simone Clarkin, owner of mmm…, is excited to not only be hosting the signing, but to also feature in her third nationally-published cookbook.

She said: “Maunika is a regular shopper with us and is always giving us useful advice on which herbs and spices to stock, as well as tips on how to use them.

“We were so pleased that she included us in her wonderful new cookbook, ‘Indian Kitchen’ and we know that many of our customers are looking forward to Saturday’s signing.”

The event is free and being held at mmm…, 10-13 Grainger Arcade, Newcastle upon Tyne from 12 noon to 2pm on Saturday, 27 June.