Reviewed by Cath Joyce
It is looking like Christmas is going to be a little different for everyone this year and it is highly unlikely that we will be celebrating with anyone other than our immediate family. Ordinarily we have a big family Christmas and we are able to exchange gifts in person however this isn’t going to be possible this year so I have already started looking online for presents that can be sent directly to family members. It can be difficult knowing what to buy but from experience food gifts are always well received.
The Cherry Tree are a company that specialise in chutneys and preserves and they kindly sent me a selection of their Christmas gifts to try. It really was like Christmas when I opened the boxes to discover all the lovely gift sets that they had sent. The gift sets were very well packaged, especially important when you are sending lots of glass jars and they all arrived in perfect condition.
The Cherry Tree was established in 1997 and their sole focus has been to produce the finest chutneys, preserves, marmalades and flavours to excite tastebuds everywhere. Their products are hand cooked in small batches, using only the best ingredients and following traditional recipes. Each hand stirred batch is tasted by their master chutney and preserve maker. Having now tasted the jams and chutneys I think this must be a fantastic job to have!
I received the following gift sets
Savoury Favourites 2 Jar Gift Pack – Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion Chutney and Real Ale Chutney with a re-useable metal preserve spoon
Cheeseboard & More 3 Jar Gift Pack – Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion Chutney, Cheeseboard Chutney and Real Ale Chutney with free recipe cards
Savoury Gift Bouquet – A 320g jar of hot garlic pickle and a tube of garlic & chilli cracker bites
Secret Santa Jam Selection – 40g jars of Seville Orange Breakfast Marmalade, Raspberry, Strawberry and Blackcurrant jams
Secret Santa Chutney Selection – 40g jars of Cheeseboard, Sweet Pepper and Chilli and Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion chutneys and Sweet & Spicy Garlic with Nigella Seeds.
Selection box – Oak smoked cheddar, Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion Cracker Bites, Cheeseboard Chutney, Christmas Pickle with Mead Chutney, Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion Chutney and Blackcurrant & Sloe Gin jam
With all these lovely goodies it was very difficult to know which set to open first but we finally decided on the selection box as this had the cheese in it and this meant we could try the cheese, crackers and various chutneys together. The cheese was sealed in wax and was really tasty, it was easy to slice and had lots of flavour. It went surprisingly well with the Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion Cracker Bites, with the smoked flavour of the cheese contrasting really well with the spiciness of the cracker and the addition of the chutneys made for a very satisfying snack. Every chutney was full of flavour and really complemented the cheese. The Spicy Tomato & Caramelised Onion Chutney was my favourite, the minute you opened the jar you could smell the rich spicy tomatoes and was especially nice on a cheese sandwich. The Cheeseboard Chutney is packed full of fruit and the main ingredients are mango, banana, fig and lime. These flavours work really well together and are the perfect accompaniment to cheddar cheese. The Christmas Pickle with Mead was again very flavoursome and adds a Christmassy feel to the cheese board.
We have also been eating the chutneys with pate, making a delicious lunch for us all.
The Blackcurrant and Sloe gin jam was packed full of juicy blackcurrants and was lovely on toast but even nicer on a scone with cream!
The Selection Box is beautifully presented in a dark blue cardboard box with the jars, crackers and cheese nestled in wood straw. It has a ribbon tied around it and it really does looks fantastic. I would be thrilled to receive this as a gift.
Slipped under the ribbon of the Selection Box was a lovely handwritten card, adding that personal touch to your gift. When you place an order on their website for one of their Selection Boxes you are able to add a 250 character message that they will write into a card which I felt was a lovely and thoughtful touch.
The Secret Santa tubes of jam and chutneys cost £6.99 each and as the name suggests would make perfect Secret Santa gifts, especially if you are buying for someone that you don’t know that well. The 40g jars are perfect for trying a range of flavours and I can guarantee you will want to purchase the full size jars after sampling them!
The Cherry Tree Cheeseboard & More 3 Jar gift pack contains three 100g jars and at £9.99 is very reasonably priced. It is packaged in a sturdy box and would be the perfect present for anyone who loves cheese.
My husband especially liked the Savoury Gift Bouquet, the hot garlic pickle was delicious with Lancashire cheese but was also very tasty in the Kickin’ Lamb stir fry recipe that was on the label. I have never thought of using lamb in a stir fry before but this meal was really delicious and we will definitely be making it again!
The Savoury Favourites 2 Jar gift set comes with a very handy long handled spoon, it has been getting plenty of use this week whilst we have been tasting all the chutneys.
We have really enjoyed trying all these delicious chutneys, jams and cheese and can highly recommend The Cherry Tree. They have a fantastic selection of products on their website and offer free delivery on orders over £30. I have my eye on the pate and the curds and will dropping some very large hints to my family in the coming weeks!
The Cherry Tree gift sets are all excellent value and would be a lovely treat for family and friends.
RRP: Gift sets from £6.99
These products can be purchased from The Cherry Tree here