Anyone who knows me knows I love weird and wonderful foods. Honestly, I will eat most edible things – horse, deep fried maggots, ostrich, actual seaweed (not the stuff you get from Chinese takeaways) – to name a few! Although only one of those was actually eaten in the UK. One thing we don’t have much of in England especially is unusual foods that are traditional and seen every day. Sure, we have the food festivals and ‘artisan’ trades that bring us zebra burgers etc., but none of these amazing foods are eaten nationwide on a day-to-day basis.
Iceland has its horse and whale, Thailand its maggots, and Australia its kangaroo – but what do we eat on a regular basis? Chicken, beef, pork… vegetables! I will on a side note now say that horse is actually incredibly tasty – I don’t know what all the fuss was about with the lasagna’s a few years back.
Image © Gloucestershire Live
From the incredible Milkbar in Cheltenham comes this unique ice-cream flavour – charcoal! It doesn’t sound very appetising, and certainly doesn’t give off an ‘eat me!’ vibe in the way it looks, but this ice-cream will change your dessert choices in the future. Launched especially for the Science Fair Week in June this year, the ice-cream gives an unusual feel to the cheery and multi-coloured interior of Milkbar with its jet black colour – and I mean JET BLACK!
When I first thought of charcoal ice-cream, I thought it would be quite an early taste and have an edge of smokiness to its flavour, but it was completely opposite to this. Made from Activated Charcoal from charred coconut shell, this unique ice-cream has a subtle coconut and vanilla flavour – a complete mind-f**k from the colour you see before you.
While I’m not sure you can get this ice-cream after science week, more and more places are starting to offer charcoal ice-cream – though you may find yourself having to hop on a train to London!
Everyone loves a good milkshake – and they always taste better when they look fantastic too. Which is probably why Jane’s Pantry in Gloucester’s unicorn milkshake tastes so amazing! Made from a delicious mix of strawberry and banana milkshake and topped off with whipped cream, marshmallows, candy and unicorn sprinkles, this milkshake certainly channels a unicorn both in the way it makes you happy and looks magical!
Specialising in artisan bread, cakes and delicious treats, Jane’s Pantry’s introduction of such a delicious milkshake just seems like the next logical step – and I could definitely drink a few in one sitting! You would think with all the cream, banana and candy that it would be a really sickly taste, but somehow – maybe the power of unicorns – Jane’s Pantry manages to make this milkshake light and delicious!
I first came across The Chilli Alchemist at Cheltenham Food Festival in June this year and ended up buying a bottle both for myself and for my Dad. Ok, so they are based in Bristol, not Gloucestershire – but I couldn’t NOT put them on the list! They have an incredible range of flavours with everything from very mild chilli sauces for wimps like me, and ones that will literally blow your head off they are so spicy!
What makes these sauce even more special, as well as the incredible taste that seems to go with everything from fajitas to chips, and even for dipping carrot sticks in, is the presentation and the branding behind them. They have an amazing Harry Potter vibe about them, with their sauces showcased as magical concoctions and potions in stunning bottles with wax seals.
My favourite chilli sauce by far was the one I ended up purchasing – in a potion bottle of course – from the Cheltenham Food Festival – the AuRum. It’s a delicious and mild mix of mango, rum, lime and Amarillo chillis with a distinctive Caribbean taste, this sauce is incredible with fish, salads and chicken!
Why not try some of these incredibly unique foods for yourself? There is so many amazing artisan foods available in Gloucestershire – more of which I hope to see at the Gloucester Food Festival this month!