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Best British Pickle [moved from UK board]

zuriga1 Oct 27, 2007 11:28 PM

OK.. I'll confess. I was very hungry going home from a shopping expedition in Kingston last week and got one of the 'small' sandwiches (I think they're new) at a Pret A Manger.
It was cheese and pickle and really hit the spot, but I don't think the pickle was Branston's, and I really liked how it tasted. Are there other brands better, tastier? Does anyone know what Pret A Manger uses (I know, I know....). Do you have a favorite?

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  1. b
    Brit on a Trip RE: zuriga1 Oct 28, 2007 04:22 AM

    My pickles and chutnies are usually homemade or bought from our nearby farmers market so I don't often buy branded stuff.

    Branston is the clear market leader and is almost THE classic cheese and pickle sandwich. I'm a great fan of Tracklements Ltd which you can normally find in good specialist food shops or mail order from:-


    Their Farmhouse Pickle is, IMO, superior to Branston as it's not quite as sweet.

    And, if I may give them a further plug, try their Tomato & Pepper Ketchup - a spicy "grown-up" alternative to the usual. And, their Cranberry and Port Sauce is great as a sauce with turkey (or whatever) - I also use it as a base for a quick sauce for, say, duck, with the addition of red wine and lemon or orange juice (a bit like Cumberland Sauce, if you know that Brit classic).


    1 Reply
    1. re: Brit on a Trip
      zuriga1 RE: Brit on a Trip Oct 29, 2007 12:32 AM

      Thanks for the tips, John. Tracklements has a nice website, and I noted they sell the products at a few places quite close to me. I'll definitely give their things a try. I think what I liked least about Branston's is the chunks of cauliflower in it.

    2. mariebrizard RE: zuriga1 Feb 24, 2010 04:51 AM

      My favorite is Branston´s. So far... It is quite strong though, so, 4 me, a jar always lasts a long time...

      It is quite hard to find here in Spain, so whenever I see it in a supermarket I get a couple of jars...DELICIOUS!

      5 Replies
      1. re: mariebrizard
        alexdz RE: mariebrizard Feb 25, 2010 12:58 AM

        this isnt much help, but the duchess of devonshire used to make (well, had made for her anyway) the best ginger and chilli pickle i've ever eaten. it was truly incredible. you could get it from the chatsworth farm shop, which does some good game as well if you ever get the chance to go there for a day out. got to love the peak district.

        1. re: alexdz
          Harters RE: alexdz Feb 25, 2010 02:32 AM

          Make your trip to Chatsworth on the last Saturday of the month and combine it with a visit to Bakewell Farmers Market. My guess is you'll shop more at the market than the farm shop.

          ('tis nice to see these old threads revived - I fondly remember my previous incarnation as "Brit on a Trip" - which I used when planning my last holiday across the pond )

          1. re: Harters
            DietStartsTomorrow RE: Harters Feb 25, 2010 08:08 AM

            don't know about pickle but just found the most delicious piccalilli in a farm shop near Newbury, Berks....home made and delish! Farm is called Christmas Farm and is in Enbourne. Not sure if they are selling over the net yet though

            1. re: Harters
              alexdz RE: Harters Feb 26, 2010 01:41 AM

              You're right about bakewell farmers market. bakewell pies are awesome.

              1. re: alexdz
                Harters RE: alexdz Feb 26, 2010 02:30 AM

                "bakewell pies are awesome"

                Only awesome in how much sweet sickliness you can cram into such a small object. IMO, of course.

                However, keeping on the pickle/chutney theme, there are a couple of small producers at the market and there's also a Country Markets stall (Country Markets is what used to be the Women's Institute stalls - before they went semi-commerical and allowed blokes in). CM stalls are always a very good bet for preserves (I often buy james and marmalades at Ashton under Lyne)

        2. c
          cathodetube RE: zuriga1 Mar 30, 2010 12:42 PM

          You can get squeezy containers of Branston Pickle which are specially made for spreading on bread thereby alleviating the big chunks of cauliflower problem.

          1. c
            cathodetube RE: zuriga1 Oct 20, 2010 04:02 PM

            Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range has a tasty beetroot chutney pickle. Good with different types of cheese and ham.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cathodetube
              zuriga1 RE: cathodetube Oct 20, 2010 10:24 PM

              Since a trip to the Lake District last spring, I've been ordering great jams, pickles, and other things from the Hawkhead Company. Their products are just fantastic.


            2. t
              Theresa RE: zuriga1 Oct 21, 2010 01:15 AM

              Since this thread has come alive again, I have to mention the amazing homemade piccalilli they now make at the Delifonseca in Liverpool. Definitely worth getting a few tubs if you are in town (and they have two branches now).

              2 Replies
              1. re: Theresa
                cathodetube RE: Theresa Oct 22, 2010 01:19 AM

                Love piccalilli with ham.

                1. re: cathodetube
                  Theresa RE: cathodetube Oct 22, 2010 02:02 AM

                  And with cold roast pork or a good pork pie ...

              2. b
                brokentelephone RE: zuriga1 Oct 21, 2010 02:11 AM

                Like zuriga1, I am of North American extraction, and perhaps like her, generally dislike the sweet pickles on offer in the UK. I've tried all the supermarket brands, and none seem to have the right flavour or crispness that I'm used to... that is, until I went to Borough last week.

                There is a stand in the temporary area of the market (the quasi outdoor area) which sells Polish sausages and some very nice fresh Kruszewski Ogorek pickles. They're a garlic dill pickle and they are pretty damn good -- equivalent to a half-sour in the states (meaning they're still fresh and crunchy, not fully fermented as per most supermarket brands)!

                3 Replies
                1. re: brokentelephone
                  zuriga1 RE: brokentelephone Oct 21, 2010 06:21 AM

                  Thanks for letting us know about the Polish pickles - will give them a try next time I get to Borough. If they have garlic, I'm sure I'll like them. :-) I am actually half Polish, which maybe means something for my taste buds.

                  1. re: zuriga1
                    Jenny Sheridan RE: zuriga1 Oct 21, 2010 09:08 AM

                    Personally, I can't stand Branston, and there is something a little obscene about a squeezy tube.
                    Ouse Valley Foods do a pretty good apricot and ginger chutney with almonds, though the nuts are a bit pointless.

                    1. re: Jenny Sheridan
                      cathodetube RE: Jenny Sheridan Oct 22, 2010 01:22 AM

                      When I first came to live in the UK there used to be two main types of pickle - Branston and Panyan. I preferred the Panyan. I was at a boarding school and the cafeteria served it with their 'salads' which consisted of cucumber, tomato, piece of ham and piece of cheese. Ryvita instead of bread available on the side for those were slimming!

                      Evidently the recipe for Panyan was lost in a factory fire in 2003/4 and the company put out a plea for it after Chris Evans mentioned it on his programme.

                      Just found this link to a recipe for it


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