If you're looking for a stylish gift for a foodie friend, or perhaps some delicious treats to put in a Christmas hamper, then I may have found the brand for you.
Not only does The Black Dog Delicatessen produce tasty gourmet continental delights, but they donate proceeds of each sale to the Labrador Rescue Trust. The charity is celebrating it's 25th anniversary this year and has re-homed over 10,000 rescue Labradors.
"We wanted to create a signature brand that people could trust. Black Dog combines authentic provenance at an affordable price. What's more, given the fact that the British are such a nation of dog lovers, I'm sure the rescue dog element will prove popular too."~ James Tyler, foodhq MD
The brand's Managing Director, owns two rescue Bailey and Blue who provided the inspiration for Black Dog Delicatessen and their distinctive packaging.
We are a Labrador household here too (although we have a chocolate flavour one not a black one), so I fully support this initiative to raise funds.
Here's the puppy-dog eyes shot! This is James' dog, but it looks so much like ours it's uncanny! She sneaks on the sofa too.
Anyway, enough of the gratuitous cute hounds, the food's pretty darned good too. The range includes:
FIVE PASTA CHOICESLinguina (Great Taste Award) • Penne Rigata • Orzo • Spaghetti Al Nero • VermicelloniFOUR RISOTTO MIX CHOICES (£2.49 per 300g pack)Porcini Mushroom • Tomato • Lemon • AsparagusFIVE OLIVE CHOICESMixes Pitted Olives with Garlice, Chili & Basil (Great Taste Award) • Pitted Green Olives with Dukkah Spices & OrangePitted Green Olives with Garlic & Basil • Pitted Green Olives with Thyme, Basil, Parsley & Chives • Pitted Kalamata with Thyme, Basil, Parsley, & ChivesBALSAMIC VINEGAR10-year-old Cask Aged from ModenaTWO OLIVE OILS ~ BOTH WINNERS OF GREAT TASTE AWARDSItalian Extra Virgin Olive Oil • Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I was sent a couple of samples to try, and we enjoyed the tomato risotto and a jar of green olives with garlic and basil.
The whole family enjoyed the olives. Ruby who adores black or green ones is highly suspicious of anything that may be stuffed inside (a traumatic earlier incident involving anchovy I think!) so it was lovely that these were merely in flavoured oil rather than having chunks of garlic inside. They were nice big, juicy olives, perfect to serve as a pre-drinks snack or to use in your cooking.
The risotto did wonders to liven up some leftover pheasant for supper. The sun dried tomatoes and black olives re-hydrated beautifully. It tasted fresh, vibrant and had a luxuriously creamy texture. It would be perfect actually, just on it's own with some Parmesan and fresh herbs. Definitely a great addition to the larder.
Do check out the Black Dog Delicatessen range online at Food HQ. I've been really impressed. The branding and packaging is gorgeous, but it's not just style over substance, the food inside is a treat too!
Disclosure: I was sent some samples as outlined above. All opinions are my own and I received no financial reward for writing this review.