Easter is almost here; those who have given up chocolate for lent are no doubt looking forward to a little indulgence. It’s become common to buy Easter Eggs for adults, especially with the rise of locally produced and gourmet chocolate on the market today. While most people like chocolate, some people feel they get too much of it for Easter – especially those trying to lose weight. Instead of buying eggs for the adults in your life, why not consider buying non-chocolate related items?
Gourmet Tea or Coffee
Is your friend, partner or family member a coffee or tea snob? Do they like to indulge in a little luxury? The popularity of Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and other ethical labelling has led to the rise of gourmet tea and coffee sellers. These small organisations sell blends from small producers who would not have had access to big supermarket chains as they can’t produce enough. Trying different tea and coffee, especially from small producers in the developing world, is adventurous and ethical.
Easter is the first major event of spring; this means warmer temperatures and brighter colours with an abundance of plants and flowers lining roads and for sale in the supermarkets. Instead of gifting chocolate, send a beautiful bouquet to brighten up a living room. Flowers last longer than chocolate and some people will appreciate them much more than any sugary snacks. They’re great for ambience and smell nice, adding a real spring feeling to the air even on those days when the weather has yet to show any sign of improvement.
The British weather isn’t quite good enough to produce masses of wine grapes; areas of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset produce some but not enough to create a large industry. What we do best, though, is fruit wine. You would be surprised at how many of our commonly grown fruits make great wine. When you buy something like this, you’re almost guaranteed to be buying from a local producer. Have you ever tasted strawberry, blackberry or gooseberry wine? What about silver birch wine made from tree sap? These are unique flavours and you’ll be helping a small, local business too.
A Selection of Cheeses
Another great tradition we have in the UK is cheese. While France is seen as a class apart, you should never underestimate the ability of British producers to make some tasty quality cheeses too. Try genuine cheddar cheese from Cheddar, locally produced fruit cheeses and goat’s cheese or some smoked Applewood types. Shop at local farmer’s markets and you’ll be surprised at what you might find for sale. Each region has its different styles and traditions. Hard cheeses are a southern tradition whereas you’ll find softer cheeses available in the north.
Jams and Chutneys
One area where we are world-beaters is in jams and chutneys. Our history of preserves and condiments is nothing if not imaginative and creative. Modern farmer’s markets have seen an explosion in the number of homemade, small producer jams and chutneys. They’re also relatively easy to make so if you’re feeling adventurous and have found a recipe you like, you could try making some of your own to gift to friends. All you’ll need is a selection of local produce and a great imagination.
A Seasonal Food Hamper
Nothing says spring more than good food. Why not combine some of the ideas from this list and perhaps some shortbread, dips and sauces or fresh food and create a unique hamper. Trendy food shops and local producers at local markets usually offer the chance to buy a selection of food items in a basket. Alternatively, you could make your own food items if you have the time and the inclination.