A kitchen and tabletop staple, the humble grain of sodium chloride does much more than just add saltiness to a dish. El Bulli’s Ferran Adrià once declared it “the only product to actually change food”. Used correctly, the condiment will enrich ingredients, not overpower them. It can also be used to enhance sweetened foods, or supress bitterness.
Sourced from an ancient subterranean saltwater lake in the Kalahari, Oryx Desert Salt is the mineral in its most natural state. The salt is dried in the sun and left unrefined to preserve trace elements such as magnesium, zinc, and potassium, which are vital to our wellbeing.
Made from the olives of centuries-old trees, Ely Séide is the ultimate in premium extra-virgin oil. The olives are grown on an estate in Tunisia that is farmed using strict biodynamic methods, then hand-picked and pressed within three hours to capture the fresh flavours of the fruit. The oil is then bottled and left to slowly mature. The brand’s Le Grand Cru Byzacène white truffle oil is enhanced with the garlicky aroma of white truffle sourced from Piedmont, which makes it ideal for pairing with foie gras, pasta, risotto or lightly grilled fresh scallops.
During a camping trip in 2002, Carrie Bates was trying to figure out how to enjoy a good cup of coffee without the use of a cumbersome cafetiere. She was struck with the idea of creating coffee bags filled with high-quality ground beans. After rigorous research, she founded her business; The Little Coffee Bag Co. Bates then took her idea to the panel on BBC2’s Dragons’Den and won the backing of two of the entrepreneurs, projecting her company into the limelight. The beans are sourced from all over the world, then roasted in Shropshire to create four distinct blends – signature, decaffeinated, Jamaican Blue Mountain and organic.
Half the pleasure of Cognac comes from its beguiling aroma. Now, Courvoisier is bringing this to the fore in a limited-edition Initiale Extra gift set featuring a bottle of Cognac and two exclusive scented candles. The fragrances draw on fin-de-siècle Paris: Brise de Vincennes evokes café society by day with notes of bread, coffee and vanilla, while Nuit Débordante has tobacco, candied orange and patchouli tones.