Where to find it
The Garden Pantry is a small company based in Spooner Row. A family business, run by the polite and friendly Neil and Becky, that came about when they made a few jars of chutney from a surplus of courgettes from their garden one rainy day two years ago. The “satisfaction of producing something so tasty from our home grown produce” led them into trying new recipes and before they knew it they were selling their jars across Norfolk and setting up an online store.

What to expect
Jars with uncomplicated packaging, these products speak for themselves. Full bodied flavour packed with taste sensations. Simple traditional recipes that need nothing to hide behind; you won’t find anything artificial here. Jams, chutneys and sauces made the homemade natural way.
This couple reminded me of The Good Life as I envisaged them living an idyllic life of self sufficient simple happiness, for there is indeed something special about making your own produce. Labouring in the garden to watch fresh fruit and vegetables come to life, picking those home grown crops and creating something delicious with them that will last for several months. If only we all still had pantries to line with our freshly filled jars and time on our hands to make our own goods. The majority of us however will be overjoyed to discover someone is doing all this for us. Neil and Becky give us the best of both worlds - a fresh taste of the countryside but without any of the hard work.

Products
I was lucky enough to receive a complementary hamper in the post to sample some of what’s on offer and I have to say my expectations were exceeded on all accounts. I began with a breakfast of freshly baked croissants to try my rhubarb jam. It was mild and mellow and provided the perfect accompaniment. Simply ingredients of rhubarb and sugar, there was a rich natural taste to this traditional revamped jam. I threw out my supermarket jam after gobbling this because I now know what proper jam should taste like!

My second jar was spiced bean chutney which I was a little hesitant about. Not something I would have chosen myself as I associated it with Indian food that I generally dislike but I was surprised to find it was a delicious accompaniment to a ploughman type lunch. Finely chopped runner beans with a blend of spices including Colman’s mustard certainly hit the spot.

Dinner brought chilli dipping sauce which I was particularly excited to try having sampled many varieties in my time. It was most appealing with a fresh and punchy taste that lingered on. The zesty pieces of ginger, chilli and garlic could all be identified and it went exceptionally well with our Thai fish cakes.

Varieties available
All products are made in small batches on demand and taste tested to ensure quality and consistency. With this in mind, some lines are seasonal depending on the produce ready to pick in the garden. To give you a flavour for what’s on offer there is pear and lemon jam (a soft set breakfast jam with small bursts of pear followed by a refreshing lemony taste), apple chutney ( a variety of apples spiced with cinnamon, clove and ginger) and hot mango sauce (great with barbeques on burgers, sausages or potato wedges). The list here is endless as Neil and Becky are constantly experimenting with new recipes both sweet and savoury. I have no doubt at all there will be something you love and simply cannot live without. You’ll be building a pantry and lining up your jars for winter before you know it!

The details
All items in season can be bought online as well as hampers for gifts. They also tour various fairs and events around Norfolk throughout the year; check their website for current dates. Prices start from £2.80 a jar and hampers from £13.50.

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