First, this chilli-flavoured chocolate!
Jane won this in a competition hosted by The South Devon Chilli Farm - to whom I say "Thank you very much!". In the pack were five different bars of chocolate - an Original one (plain chocolate and chilli) and then ones that include additional flavourings: coffee; orange, peppermint, and fruit & spice.
The chocolate is really nice. It has a deep rich flavour, and the chilli gives it an interesting kick - a little tingling sensation in the mouth once the chocolate has gone down. Strongly recommended! SDCF is just launching a new type of chilli chocolate, called Extreme Chilli Chocolate, flavoured with the incredibly hot Bhut Jolokia chilli. Not for the faint-hearted, I imagine. The packaging includes a "Government Health Warning" sort of statement, complete with a skull-and-crossbones symbol!
Unfortunately there is a really sad aspect to this tale: Jane has recently been diagnosed as diabetic, so she is not allowed to eat any chocolate :-( Ho Hum, I'll have to eat her share too then - Life is so cruel!
Next I want to show you this (a regular favourite of mine):
This coffee was given to me by my wonderful "yerno" (son-in-law) Juan Fernando, who hails originally from Panama. Every time he visits his home country he brings me some of this fabulous Kotowa coffee. (He knows me pretty well by now!) It comes from the town of Boquete, in the mountainous province of Chiriqui, Panama.
It is genuinely a very delicious coffee, and it actually came 4th in the World Coffee awards in 2006, despite being relatively obscure. I don't think we would be able to buy it anywhere in the UK. The label is lovely: it explains the meaning of "Kotowa" - it means "mountain" [in the language of the local Ngobe indians.]
This final thing I want to show you today is not edible or drinkable, nor is it a prize, but a freebie. It's a very fine oak Garden Lines set, which I'm including here in honour of my chief
I got this when I renewed my subcription to The Kitchen Garden magazine, along with 10 packets of seeds and a pack of plastic plant labels - a very generous freebie, if you ask me. I really like the name of the company that made this item: The Nether Wallop Trading Co! Could this company be based anywhere else but England?? We have such picturesque place names: Little Snoring; Piddletrenthide; Much Hadham on the Hill; Pratt's Bottom, Brown Willy...