Food Adventures in Newcastle…

Food Journey: Mmm-Glug

 I took the #FoodAdventure to Newcastle following up on a lot of social media hype about what the guys at Mmm…Glug… are doing – I needed to know what all the fuss was about!

I’m not too familiar with Newcastle town centre but I passed some fantastic independent restaurants, bars and boutique-style shops en route to the delicatessen. Now call me a snob but I wouldn’t expect to find a purveyor of fine food in an indoor market, I associate these with knock-off football shirts, mobile phone-unlockers and general bric-a-tat! How wrong I was! The Grainger Market is full of fabulous artisanal stalls, bean to cup coffee houses and exciting little shops with a real atmosphere. Mmm..Glug… sits proudly at the heart of the market with a bright shop front with big windows ostensibly showcasing the Aladdin’s cave within.

It is a relatively small space, less than 1,000 sq ft, but is stocked from ceiling to floor with fantastic foods from the artisanal essentials such as Mr Vikki’s to the hard-to-find products such as Garlic Farm’s Pork Scratchings. The moment I walked through the door I was greeted by the staff and asked if I needed a hand or walking through their shop – this is essential for any good independent foodhall. People shop in such establishments because they want a different experience to when they go to Tesco or Aldi. You should be walked round and guided through anything new, anything exciting or anything that the proprietor believes matches exactly what you’re looking for. Spot on!

I was very impressed with the overall range and came across a lot of brands that I wasn’t aware of which, as someone who frequents foodhalls and delis at least twice a week, is a great thing to see. The shop was divided in two with a well-stocked larder taking two thirds of the space and the other side boasting a library of real ales, fine wines and non-alcoholic drinks.

I bought three products that I wanted to shout about as a sample of the delights you can find at Mmm…Glug…

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 The Garlic Farm Pork Scratchings

For my sins, I am a fan of pork scratchings. They are a guilty pleasure…and I’m of the opinion that a scratching is a scratching is a scratching. If you’re a fan of the pub snack you’re not going to mind a stray hair or too right? Well, there has been an outcropping of ‘upmarket’ pork snacks so I had to pick up a bag when I was at Mmm…Glug… These are no ordrinary scratchings, you can tell that from the packaging alone. It’s in a thick grade of craft paper, carefully put together selected and forged on the farm. The delivery was fantastic too with a light pop and crunch that gave way to a thick creamy fat. The smoked garlic is introduced at the end of the bite and lingers on the tongue.

Funky Nut Company Crunchy Cashew Nut Butter

I am a nut butter nutter so I couldn’t walk out without a tub! Plus it’s good to see a Merseyside business taking on the #FoodAdventure up to the North East. This nut butter is fantastic! It starts by introducing soft coconut notes with a sweet and salty crunch. The finish is oaty and creamy. The texture isn’t oily like some nut butters but it’s not dry either. I enjoyed this product as a protein filling for a pancake and it gave a perfect paste that sticks to your ribs as it goes down! I am buying another jar of this for a full product review!

Little Turban Smoky Paprika Tikka Masala

I love a good curry sauce but I won’t settle for something like a Pataks – I want to recreate the restaurant with minimal time and effort. This came highly recommended by the team at Mmm…Glug… so I wasn’t going to ignore that! I used the sauce to make a simple curry with some chicken and onions and it was fantastic! The sauce gave cream initially with a tomato interruption which was chased by the smoky paprika which sat softly on the tongue. The sauce had a perfect consistency which filled the gaps in the dish well without leaving a puddle of superfluous sauce that needed to be mopped up by a family naan the size of a small hatchback. I loved it! Really tasty and easy to use!

I would urge anybody travelling around the North East to make a trip to Mmm…Glug… you won’t be disappointed!

Northern Munkee.