Just so that you know, this is a review of a product of which I was sent a free sample. The opinions in the post are, as ever, mine, and the review is honest. Please note my Patrick Stewart-worthy sentence arrangement in the first line there.
When Rachel sent me a tweet asking if I’d like a sample box of delights from Silver and Green, you can bet I was all over it like a cheap suit. Silver and Green are a Cumbrian company specialising in antipasti, meze, tapas and olive oils. Can you see why I was excited about this? When my parcel arrived, I couldn’t believe my eyes – there was so much packed in there! Thank you, Silver and Green, for your generosity, it really was above and beyond.
Here’s what I got:
Sweet African peppers with cheese
Kalamata olives marinated in garlic and chili
Garlic stuffed green olives
Pickled Sicilian garlic
I told you it was a generous parcel! I waited until I had a night of leisure ahead and cracked everything open to have a try. The quality of the products is superb. I didn’t eat the garlic straight out of the tub, but I’ve since used it in cooking and it lends a great deal of flavour where normal garlic really is a bit one dimensional. Sorry, normal garlic. Two products in particular took me by surprise, as I had expected to like them the least and, in fact, they were my favourites. First, the olives stuffed with garlic. While I have been coming round to olives for some time, I still struggle with green olives. The flavour is so strong that I have littered many a table with the remains of green olives that I’ve tried and not enjoyed. Much to the chagrin of the people who owned the tables, I might add. I tried these with understandable trepidation, but I needn’t have worried. Yes, the olive has a strong flavour of its own, but married with the crunchy garlic in the middle it’s a delight. Both the flavour and texture of these stuffed olives made them a winner for me. This is why you have to keep trying foods, even if you think you might not like them. Nothing bad will happen if you don’t, but something wonderful could happen if you do.
The second item I have to rave about is the jar of anchovy fillets. I have had anchovies before and found them too salty, or been put off by the little bones in them. I know they’re only soft, but I don’t like the feeling on them between my teeth. I am not a bone crunching Roald Dahl giant, and eating round the bone is fine for a pork chop but trying to do so with an anchovy leads to mess, despair and funny looks. Believe me. These anchovies looked nothing like any I’ve tried before. They are huge, compared to those skinny ones you get in jars, and not a bone in sight. The flavour, though, is the main thing. They are pickled, and the sharpness of the vinegar against the wonderful, rich, oily fish is the perfect balance. They are like mini sardines, I had to check and double check that I wasn’t getting my fish mixed up.
I loved the anchovies so much that I made up little skewers with them, the olives and some other bits I had in the fridge. These were inspired by a recipe in the rather beautiful cookbook, Movida Rustica, with the exotic name Banderillos. My version combined anchovy fillets, kalamata olives, soy-pickled chili rings, cheddar cheese and cornichons. Alright, perhaps not exactly the culinary orchestra you might expect, but haven’t you ever heard of fusion food?
You can see the photo of the original in the background there – they look kind of like a little face. Quite a surprised face, at that. Mine were a great little snack, and I felt quite the lady making them all for myself. Food on sticks – it’s hard to beat, you know.
I must thank Silver and Green, and Rachel, once again for their kindness, and I can recommend that, if you see these products, you go ahead and buy them. They have the Rock Salt seal of approval.