'Local, Seasonal and Honest' an ethos that echoes our own. Having worked with Saffron Ice Cream for a number of years, we can safely say their award-winning, artisan products make them one of our sweetest suppliers, and one we are proud to have complimenting dishes on our menus.
Recently, we gathered some of our Chestnut chefs (known to have a sweet tooth) and headed over to the Saffron Ice Cream farm in Saffron Walden.
The passionate team at Saffron met our equally enthused kitchen teams and talked all things ice cream - from the provenance of their ingredients, to the making process, and state of the art machinery.
Then of course there was some tasting! Crunchy meringue pieces, Essex Rum-soaked raisins, and their own secret recipe caramel - all part of the tasting experience the Saffron team organised for us... and all we can say is 'Wow!'. An example of some of the ingredients in Saffron's arsenal include oils such as British lavender, cold pressed organic lemon oil and locally roasted coffee beans, to give that beautiful flavour hit they are known for.
Fun Fact - If it isn't in season, you won't find it in Saffron Ice Cream or sorbet!
Keeping things as natural as possible is important to us, and to Saffron Ice Cream. The team talked us through how the quality of different ice cream brands affects the price and performance of a product. Saffron products are ‘balanced’ with the correct levels of fats and sugar meaning that they scoop better, hold up better and give a better mouth feel…. they aren’t reliant on chemical stabilisers or e numbers! We also learnt how air is an important part of ice cream making, but too much isn’t welcome and results in budget off the shelf products - unlike Saffrons natural and cared for products.
As we were able to see the machines used at the farm and watch the making process, it was clear that our kitchen teams use a similar method in preparing and creating our own artisan ice creams and sorbets, which was great to see and encouraging for our team of skilled chefs. We love working with the team at Saffron Ice Cream, and as a supplier to most of our country pubs, including our newest addition, The Carpenters Arms and the long established Crown at Stoke by Nayland, we look forward to continuing our relationship in the years to come.
We'd like to thank the Saffron team for their generosity during our visit, and encourage you to visit one of our pubs soon to try some of their delicious products!
Up next on our Supplier Away Days - Fen Farm Dairy and Nurtured in Norfolk. Keep an eye out for the low down on these to great local producers soon.