The Taster has endeavoured to ensure that all the items on sale below are ethical, healthy, and exceedingly delicious. Please mention The Taster if you make an order after scrolling through the below
Dairy-free and made with just three ingredients: cacao, coconut milk and crystallised coconut nectar. The Taster particularly likes Sweet Revolution as the company uses cacao from small-scale farms, which helps the farmers themselves and helps protect the rainforests they live among.
Plus a whole range of ethical chocolate bars:
Order from Sweetrevolution
Excellent and amusing book with a great blend of the thrifty and luxurious. Roasties, mince pies, Perigord turkeys, potato snow, Christmas cheeses and Irish coffees. See Legend Press for details and to buy
NB Enter your name in our free giveaway before 20th December and you might get a free copy
A box of three gourmet bars of nougat is a great present . . . or for thrift, you could split them up and wrap them individually . . . we tried these and they are genuinely the best nougat we’ve ever tried. Larger treats include Chocolate Panettone and a Christmas Prosecco. LAST ORDERS 20th December – see Vallebona
£2.99 for a generous-sized packet of satisfyingly chunky salt rocks; quote “Taster25” for 25% off and they’re just £2.24. Use to season food and/or add visual interest to your more special culinary presentations. See Saltan
We’ve tried these and can’t recommend them more as dips and as pasta sauces (delicious alternative to pesto). A gift pack of four (£20) is a decent under-the-tree present; you can of course split them up to make thoughtful stocking fillers. To make an order, ring the lovely Rosie Alvarez on 07876 532245 or email email@example.com; see all details on LaSaucySalsa
Top tip: squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over the coriander salsa. Takes it to another level!
No zips, no buttons, no catches — there is something oddly delightful about this velcro-closing bag, designed for a very stylish lunchbox but, at £4, this is priced for a stocking filler (the lunchbox pictured is £17 – more suitable for under the tree, perhaps). See Black+Blum for many more original and interesting items
No peanuts – but every other type of nut, pounded and crushed into a delicious buttery substance that can be enjoyed on toast or in puddings, possibly even sandwiched between macaroons, or guiltily spooned down whole. Very pure – most of the butters are composed of literally nothing but the nuts themselves. Includes almond butter, hazel, coconut, pecan (deliciously dark and toasty), walnut and more. £10 for a gift set of four, and you can split them up to create four stocking fillers at £2.50 each. Quote “Taster-Nut” to get free p&p, courtesy of The Taster – order from NuturalWorld
We love various spice kit companies but one that is, perhaps, particularly suitable for stocking fillers is Spice Kitchen. You get a sweet little fabric bag (made from recycled sari fabric, so very pretty) full of tiny packs of fresh-ground spices with handwritten labels, which you can combine as you like. As soon as you open the bag, the perfume is delightful; and the extreme freshness of the spices makes a huge difference to your cooking. All spices lose flavour over time, so it’s much better to buy a large selection of small fresh batches in this way, than a few giant jars which sit on the shelf for months.
Chutney, relish, jam, picalilli, marmalade!
One of our distribution partners, Hembridge Organics, provide a nationwide mail order service to provide organic, award-winning jam, chutney, picalilli, relish, marmalade and honey. All these are made using ‘ugly vegetables,’ reducing waste and giving farmers a fair price for their produce, and everything except the Seville oranges is sourced locally. No chemicals, no animal setting agents — everything is natural, organic and delicious. They do sweet little wood-and-straw gift boxes, too. Order from Hembridge Organics
Wine aerator from Domu – a fantastic gadget. You pour the wine in the top, let it bubble down, and it really does transform some wines, especially cheaper reds, into something special
Premium mango chutney: we’ve tried this, and it’s delicious; with exciting-looking black seeds and chunky bits. Complete list of ingredients is mango, sugar, vinegar, salt, ginger, garlic, spices, lemon zest & pectin; and a Great Taste winner to boot. A bargain at £2.99. Bhaji Man also does curry kits & packs which would make a nice gift for any foodie friend