School is almost out! Here's what's in: the hottest new food buys to fuel you through July
Whether we're soaking up some rays or wringing out a soggy anorak, July equals summer. From celebrating Independence Day on 4 July with the taste of hickory-smoked barbecue to finding a new way to stay hydrated, here are the foodie finds you need to get involved in ...
In theory, July is barbecue season which means everything you eat between now and September should be imbued with the smoky memory of smouldering coals and long, languid summer nights. That's in theory. In practice, it'll probably rain a lot.
But that doesn't matter because liquid smoke is a real thing. A US import with the power to make everything you cook taste like Texas, Hickory Liquid Smoke is made by passing water through a chamber filled with hickory wood smoke. You can add it to marinades, brush it on your sausages and generally use it to turn your damp squib of a barbecue into a smokestravaganza. Delicious. Get yours for £2.50 for 118ml from melburyandappleton.co.uk.
There's something about summer that brings out everybody's inner kid. But tree-climbing and spontaneous water fights require energy, so it's just as well we've discovered Jealous Sweets – all the lurid, sugary appeal of our favourite childhood sweets but vegan, gluten-free and packaged so beautifully you could take them to a dinner party. Or, if that inner kid gets the better of you, eat them all in the car on the way. Boxes from £2.50, from thejealouslife.com and stockists across the UK.
July also equals salad. Up your game, add a little flash and roll out the red carpet for glamorous ingredients like micro greens. These pretty leaves look delicate but can pack a real flavour punch. Try potent garlic chives, fiery wasabi leaves or a sweet, seasonal sprinkling of pea shoots to finish off your dish. If you don't have time to grow your own, they're £4.95 for 100g from finefoodspecialist.co.uk.
Why would you spend your summer drinking plain old H2O when you could be chugging water infused with pink grapefruit and mint? Or lemon and ginger? Or cucumber and basil? Water infusion bottles are a thing. Our favourite one that's making us swing to and from rooftop yoga classes (OK, the office) is the Citrus Zinger, which has an in-built juicer to squeeze the most flavour from your fruit. Keep topping it up with water throughout the day. You'll hit your water quota without even trying. From £16.99, zing-anything.co.uk.
Lugging round a jar to feed your nut butter addiction is frankly impractical, so it's with great joy that we've been tucking into Pip & Nut's coconut almond butter squeeze packs. Ideal for giving your porridge a flavour kick or, you know, just "decanting straight into your mouth". Thanks, guys. £23 for 20, from pipandnut.com.
July and ice-cream go hand-in-hand. At least until it melts and you have to lick it off your arm. Previously all about coffee and TV, Blur have now turned their attentions to sweet stuff, collaborating on a special flavour with eccentric London ice-cream vendors The Licktators. Named after the band's comeback album, The Magic Whip ice-cream is a retro vanilla custard ice-cream with raspberry sauce ripple, and it'll be dished to out to revellers at select UK festivals this summer.
The rest of us will be tucking into the holy grail of freezer cabinet finds, the Peanut Butter Love Cornetto. Featuring peanut butter ice-cream, a solid chocolate top and a liquid caramel core, we've not been this excited about a supermarket ice-cream since last year's pistachio Magnum. Expect scuffles in the aisles. £2 for 4 from Sainsbury's.