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Homegrown North East food and drink offers a table full of perfect Christmas gifts

Tasteclub HQ is encouraging everyone to show goodwill to their local food and drink producers when thinking of present ideas

Kevin Gibson Photography Ltd Say Cheese Hamper
Say Cheese Hamper

Supporting the Great North’s talented food and drink producers is what we at TASTECLUB – and many of you food lovers out there – do all year round. But it’s at this time of year that they really come into their own, with unique handmade food and drink products and gifts that you won’t find on the high street.

We’ve selected the best of the best for the Christmas Collection on our online gift store – www.tasteclubhq.com – where you’ll find a range of traditional and luxurious hampers and gift sets, but also some that you may not expect.

If you’re looking for a gift for a fan of our region’s beers, then look no further than Allendale Brewery’s Brewer’s Choice collection – 12 bottles of the Hexham brewery’s award-winning ales, which are a mixture of traditional and innovative and are all named after a theme or wildlife from the local area.

Claire Charlton from Allendale Brewery said: “The pack features two of each of our year-round bestsellers – Golden Plover, Pennine Pale, Wagtail and the Wolf. There will also be four seasonal speciality beers included, such as Tar Bar’l – which has flavours of coffee and chocolate and is brewed to celebrate Allendale’s New Year tradition of locals carrying burning tar barrels through the village.”

If you have a friend or family member that enjoys food with a bit of a kick, or if you’re simply looking for ways to spice up your festive cooking, then the impressive Wiga Wagaa Chillis Collection may be just the thing. Including everything from chilli jam and plantain pickle to scorpion chilli paste, it has all you need to add flavour and chilli heat to any dish.

Owner Victor Nwosu said: “You can liven up meals around Christmas time with a chilli sauce or paste; the African curry paste works very well as a rub for chicken, pork or turkey. Or why not add chilli jam – currently our best selling product – or plantain pickle to your festive cheeseboard?”

Speaking of cheeseboards, the luxurious Say Cheese Hamper from the Northumberland Cheese Company would make a great choice for a cheese lover this Christmas.

The handpicked selection includes distinctive and tangy Redesdale, creamy Nettle and the famous Hadrian cheese, plus essential accompaniments such as Miller’s Ale beer crackers and a jar of Church Mouse chutney. Even better, it comes with a slate cheeseboard and a set of three cheese knives.

You can also pick up those all-important stocking fillers from www.tasteclubhq.com/stocking-fillers , including the likes of Kenspeckle’s cinder toffee, recipe books from 21 Hospitality Group, Dream Pop Bakery’s cake pop sets and even handy kitchen gadgets such as garlic and ginger graters.

Don’t forget to check out www.tasteclubhq.com/whats-on too for full listings of all the Christmas festivals and markets taking place across the Great North.

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David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer