Diana Henry's Perfect Christmas Food Edit
Author and food writer at The Sunday Telegraph, if there's a shopping list worth 'borrowing from' it has to be Diana Henry's. The food aficionado shares some of her favourite festive treats...
"This is the time of year you can justify a bit of indulgence and luxury so I allow myself to buy things that are a real treat, while still keeping an eye on practicalities - I love L’Olivier’s olive oil but I will also need it for all the salads I make in the days after Christmas. It’s good to have a bit of magic too, so Turkish Delight and unusual jams must be in that hamper as well."
Diana's Food Edit...
- L’Olivier Black and Fruity Provencal Extra Virgin Olive Oil: "Hallelujah! Olive oil from Provence is one of my favourites (Ravida from Sicily is the other). It's hard to get – we have such a range of Italian oils available in this country but few from Provence – so I'm thrilled that L’Olivier is offering this. It is gloriously fruity – no wonder they call it ‘black and fruity’ – rounded and fresh. It’s an oil to drizzle on warm fish or vegetables – you need to use it on plain food so that the flavours in the oil can really sing.
- L’Olivier Fruit Vinegars: "You might think that fruit vinegars are a naff throw back to the days of nouvelle cuisine (raspberry vinegar was quite a thing then) but they’re fantastic for slightly sweet vinaigrettes. And these aren’t just fruit vinegars, they also contain fruit pulp. I have a bottle of the raspberry one in my fridge at all times, so will be experimenting with the other two – passionfruit and blackcurrant – at Christmas as well. Remember how you feel the day after Boxing Day? Stuffed, tired, longing for greens? You’ll need salad. And these will help you to make great ones."
- Neuhaus Chocolates: "My favourite way to eat chocolate is contemplatively (though I confess to sometimes demolishing a chunky Kit Kat at fairly high speed). I love these little squares, each flavour perfectly packaged – they’re just the right size for you to think about what you are eating while you are eating it. This is good chocolate – listen to the snap as you break each square – with subtle flavours. The classy way to have chocolate.
- Indonesian Coffee: "Huge amounts of coffee are consumed in my house and I like it strong. I’m also very fussy. This gorgeous Indonesian coffee has chocolate notes, and also the tang of red berries. A big coffee, but smooth, with a good length."
- Meursault Wine: "Despite being a food writer I am something of a puritan. There are bottles of wine which I have to be persuaded to crack open – I tend to hoard them, waiting for a ‘really special occasion’. Christmas is one of those occasions so out comes all the stuff I love: Vintage Port, Eis Wein and some of my favourite table wines: Alsace Pinot Gris (especially those by the Faller Sisters), Antinori’s Super Tuscan, Tignanello, white Cotes Du Rhone (those peachy tones) and Meursault – rich and honeyed, curvy and buttery - a luscious white Burgundy. I will savour every mouthful."
- Turkish Delight: "I love the way we turn to Eastern exotica at Christmas. It harks back to the British love of spices, flower waters and unusual ingredients that we have loved since Medieval times. Eating Turkish Delight is like eating a smell, another world, so there’s something very magical about it. This is top-notch stuff – subtly perfumed, and not gaudily pink. And I must say I am totally seduced by the box. It’s opulent but elegant and almost breathes a little sigh (just listen) as you lift the lid. The sugar-dusted pieces of delight are hidden under a layer of tissue. Perfect."
- Foie Gras: "I usually eat quite simple stuff. But there are a few ‘luxury’ foods that I can never resist. It’s not because they come with a high price tag but because they are rare and wonderful. Truffles are one such thing, Foie Gras another. I will find it very hard to share this..."
Discover what foodie delights made it into Grace Dent's Christmas Food Edit
And if you're feeling super creative, why not build your own bespoke hamper with a special selection of your favourite products - contact the Food Halls Order Desk on +44 (0)20 7893 041. For large-scale orders, please contact the Corporate Service team at Harrods on +44 (0)20 7225 5994 or e-mail email@example.com - until Monday 22nd December.
Shop Diana's list below...