London Living with an Alternative Twist!

A Gift Guide for the Foodie Fanatic in your Life *

I don’t think I know anyone that wouldn’t be happy receiving a foodie hamper for Christmas, after all, if there’s a time to overindulge, then this is it! I know you can buy hampers from every supermarket and posh department store but I much prefer to make them up myself so they are tailored to what that person really likes. I find when you buy them premade there’s always something in there that you don’t like!

I’ve pulled together a few of my favourite items from this year that I’d want to receive in my foodie hamper, just in case it can help you with a few ideas!

Hacienda Zorita Queso de Dehesa Curado

For me, this is the cheese of dreams. When I tried it for the first time at our wine club I knew this cheese had to be part of our Christmas cheeseboard and so it will be! It’s £25 for 1KG worth which I think is crazy value for money!

This cheese is a Reserva Ewe’s Raw Milk cheese which has been developed on an Organic Farm and I swear it tastes a million times better than it sounds! These cheeses are cured for nine months and matured carefully, with a traditional culinary technique. It’s ideal for combining with toasted nuts, white bread and, red wine so it’s perfect for all year round not just Christmas.

It was awarded the gold medal in the “World Cheese Awards” in 2012 and 2015 and two “Cincho de Oro” in 2008 and 2010, so it’s rather well decorated with awards! We’ve also got one of the amazing Torta de Dehesa for our cheeseboard too!

Sarson’s Pickle in 15 Minutes

This is just so much fun for any food lover! I don’t think there isn’t anything that I haven’t tried to pickle left in our fridge!

It really is just so simple to use; chop your veggies to the size you want, add the chopped vegetables to a bowl and add the vinegar blend until the food is fully covered. You then leave to infuse for 15 minutes or more if you like.  Once drained you can chow down.

Obviously, some of the best options are various onions, cucumber, radish, and peppers, but you can get really inventive and try Brussel Sprouts, avocado, carrots; you name it you can give it a go. I just wouldn’t recommend broccoli as that wasn’t too great! The onions and cucumbers work so well in burgers as tried and tested for you by yours truly and rumour has it that pickled avocado goes really well in a salmon and cream cheese bagel so that’s next for me to try!

Ham Passion Tour

I love all types of cured meat, but often find it can be too pricey to have all the time so it’s a great addition to any hamper as I’m sure so many people feel the same. The Ham Passion Tour is one of the best Iberian Hams I’ve ever tried and I do eat my fair share of it when I can. I have a few of these blister packs to use on my cheeseboard to brighten it up a little this year but there are a few tips on how to enjoy it best.

You’re best to store the ham at 2ºC and 5ºC and freezing is not recommended, as it can lose some of its goodness. The ideal temperature for consumption is 24ºC. If it has been kept in the fridge it is recommended that you take it out at least two hours in advance. We recommend that it is briefly submerged in lukewarm water and you open the blister pack 30 minutes before serving. I followed these tips before opening my first few packets and I was blown away with the freshness, the flavours, and the amazing textures. If you’re really serious about your Iberian Hams then book yourself onto a carving course too!


I'm Squibb Vicious, better known as Haydy!
Happiest with a craft beer in hand, eating til my heart is content or exploring somewhere new.
Here you can read about my adventures!