Food File: the weekly food news round-up

Create juicy jams and perfect pickles, get grilling with M&S, delicious Irish nougat and barbecue pizza


Perfect preservesJewelled jams and perfect pickles
Now is the time to fill the freezer with soft fruits and berries as the summer glut brings prices down enough to contemplate turning those jewelled fruits into pots of jam and preserves to brighten the dull days of winter. Perfect Preserves by London food writer Thane Prince is a great introduction to the craft of jam making, as well as chutney, curds, pickles and cordials. As well as practical advice, there are lots of unusual recipes including some for fruit butters and ketchups, and fruit liqueurs. Perfect Preserves, by Thane Prince, is published by Hodder & Stoughton on July 31st, £25

Nutty nougat
Really good nougat is difficult to come by, so it’s a treat to learn that the very best quality soft honey nougat, with pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds, is being produced in the Glen of Imaal, Co Wicklow.
Willemien Rust (Miena) came to Ireland from South Africa in 2001 and when she was made redundant from her job with an engineering company in 2010, she invested in a nougat cooker and cutter, honed her recipe and discovered that she had a hit on her hands.
There are three varieties of Miena’s Irish Handmade Nougat: roast almond, hazelnut and chocolate, and almond and pistachio. They’re quite delicious; not too sweet but bursting with flavour . You can buy online at and a 100g bag costs €5.

Get grilling
The Grill selection from M&S includes four cuts of meat already soaking up their respective marinades in handy plastic pouches. No overnight marinading required; they’re ready to go. The range includes lemon and rosemary lamb lollipops (€14.48 for eight well-trimmed cutlets); smoky teriyaki beef steaks (€14.49 for four); maple and chilli pork steaks (€14.49 for four) and barbecue chicken riblets (€8.49 for six).

Barbecue pizza
Pre-heating my oven to its highest setting, for at least an hour, before cooking pizza, has no doubt shortened its lifespan as well as being expensive and energy inefficient. There is an easier way and Weber charcoal barbecues have an accessory that turns them into a pizza oven. The gadget is designed to sit on top of 57cm Weber models, and can turn out stonebaked pizza in just four minutes. They cost €190; see for stockists.

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