I have a long history with lemons, dating back to a twentieth birthday present. I am known for my lemon meringue pie and will choose a citrus tart over almost any other form of sweet treat (even with my love of chocolate). I was very pleased therefore when Mary from Lavender’s Green contacted me, asking if I would review some of their product. Well, at first I was just pleased that someone had asked me to do a product review. Then when I checked their website and saw all the lemon-based products, I was EXTREMELY pleased! I like the ethos behind their products – they grow their own ingredients, or source local produce. They are organic. And everything is gluten-free. The website includes product details, recipes and Mary’s blog, as well as the normal online ordering.
In due course, a large box arrived at the office. Unpacking it provoked many oohs and aahs from my workmates, who continue to be astonished by the range and variety of gluten-free products available now. I had nothing to put on my toast, so was forced to open the Lime Curd, and then share it with my assistant. Needless to say, the lime curd is still resident in the work fridge, being shared by the whole office!
I have to say that one of the very nice things about Lavender’s Green is their packaging. It’s fresh and clean, but still has that homey feel of a handmade product. The labelling conveys the feeling of something a little bit personal and almost old-fashioned, just like Granny might have made. Unpacking the box was wonderful and I couldn’t believe the generosity included. So what was in this box?
First up were the cordials in beautiful deep blue bottles. Lime Cordial, Lemon Cordial and Lemon, Honey and Ginger Cordial. You dilute these with water and they are so refreshing! I have been unable to resist opening the lime and the lemon, honey and ginger, but I may have to put the lemon away for summer, as I can imagine it over ice with a little mint. Or perhaps with some vodka.
Then there were the curds. I’ve already discussed the lime curd, and the lemon curd is everything a curd should be – smooth, thick, sweet but tangy. I shall be fighting my daughter for this, and may have to use some to make some small lemon tarts.
As well, there was Lemon Mustard, Roasted Lemon Chutney, Zucchini Relish and Lemon and Lavender Crab apple Jelly. I used some of the mustard and chutney in a stuffed chicken breast dish I made for dinner that night – recipe to follow. The flavours in the mustard and the chutney are luxurious and strong – very little is needed to make the taste come through. Truly marvellous. I am yet to try the relish or jelly, but I am sure these will be of the same high standard.
And finally, what was for me, the piece de resistance. Russian Fudge. And Lemon Russian Fudge. I should state for the record that I am extremely picky about my fudge. I like it firm, but not dry and crumbly. I don’t like being able to notice the granulated sugar, but I also don’t like the fudge to be soft like a jersey caramel. The best fudge I have ever eaten is that made by my grandmother in her double boiler with a thermometer. The second best fudge I have ever eaten is that made by my sister. Sadly the fudge making gene has completely passed me by – and believe me, I have tried! The Lavender’s Green fudge was as good as my grandmother’s. Seriously. I shared 3 pieces of it with very deserving colleagues, and I ate the rest. The touch of lemon in the second block of fudge was delicious, even though I was initially dubious.
These are not cheap products, but I do believe they represent excellent quality. I was a little peeved by the online ordering section of the website – it directs you to roll your mouse over the picture of the products to order, but no matter where you roll your mouse, you are just taken to page 1 of the ordering list. That’s a minor quibble though in an otherwise well-designed layout.
All in all, I was very impressed by these products and would order them again – especially the roasted lemon chutney and the fudge. One lament – there is no lemon fudge listed on the website!
Lavender’s Green sent me free product samples to taste and review. I was not recompensed in any other way for this review.