Peter Ranscombe tucks into a grazing box full of Scottish ingredients from delivery service sprEHd.
WHEN you’re eating out, it’s the little things that matter – the butter being soft enough to spread, the lighting being bright enough to see your plate, the napkin being rough enough to stay put instead of sliding out of sight under the table.
Hannah Beddie has managed to capture that same attention to detail through sprEHd, her new grazing box delivery service in Edinburgh.
Beddie, a self-confessed foodie and former customer and supplier development officer with industry body Scotland Food & Drink, launched her business back in January.
It’s really come into its own during lockdown, producing charcuterie, cheese and delicious accompaniments in compostable trays for any EH postcode, with its Shoply partner delivering within an hour.
Beddie’s attention to detail was obvious in the Original Cheese and Charcuterie Box (£15) that I reviewed – from the peppery rocket to the juicy cherry tomatoes, it was those little touches that made it feel really special.
The cheesy treats were full of flavour, from old favourites like the Orkney cheddar and Morangie brie through to an Arran double-bill of smoked cheddar and mustard cheddar, full of seeds that weren’t too hot.
On the meatier side of matters, the silky, melt-in-the-mouth Parma ham contrasted with the more textured Great Glen Charcuterie salami, which was cut thicker and exploded with wee bursts of black pepper. Delicous.
A real highlight was the sweet and smooth Castle Maclellan Brussels pâté, rich with mushroom flavours and ideal to spread on the Orkney fine oatcakes and crispy crackers.
Again, it was the little touches that elevated the grazing box onto a whole new level, like the individual portions of sweet Arran tomato chutney – which brought a fresh blast of flavour when smeared against the creamy cheeses – and Christmasy Arran caramelised onion chutney.
Lockdown has meant I’ve missed the Company Bakery’s sourdough bread, but there was a generous portion included in the box to keep me happy.
If you can stop yourself from tearing off the string and eating the box straightaway then it’ll keep in fridge for 24 hours – but make sure you remove the crackers and oatcakes first to they won’t go soft.
What was perhaps most impressive about the platter was its price tag, a bargain at £15 – as someone whose eyes are undoubtedly bigger than his ever-expanding belly, I’ve always been guilty of going over-the-top at any cheese or charcuterie counter, so having Beddie’s expertise to pick out the right ingredients in the right proportions is definitely going to be a boon.
It’s also great to see sprEHd teaming up with Diana Thompson at Wine Events Scotland for this week’s Fizz Friday online prosecco tasting.
Find out more about sprEHd and its range of grazing boxes at www.sprehd.co.uk