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Chutneys are a big thing in the British cuisine, possibly because of the Raj influence (though Indian chutneys are completely different). Over the years I have tried quite a few chutneys, most of them home-made or almost (i.e. sold in farm shops, market stalls etc.) and recently bought quite a few different ones.
Baxter are a big brand in Scotland, and as I like both onions (especially caramelised onions) and cranberries (in fact I love cranberries) I bought a jar of this chutney in Tesco.
I have to say I am extremely disappointed with this product. There is very few food products that contain ingredients I like that would end up uneaten in my cupboard, but this is one of them - I actually chucked out more than half of the jar.
The chutney is very vinegary - too vinegary (and I like sour, vinegary products).
The onions are too soft, with no bite left to them at all, quite slimy and I could detect no sign of caramelised taste. Some pieces were also too large, as if the onion was not properly sliced.
The cranberry base is probably the best part of the chutney, but the fruits are too soft, again, and the whole product is too runny.
I tried it with few kinds of cheese, and some cold meats and it was just about acceptable with Brie.
All in all, one of the worst condiments I have ever bought!
I think that chutney is making something of a come back, years ago it was highly popular and a few jars of home made chutney could be found in many larders up and down the country. Then all of a sudden it seemed to lose it's popularity, maybe the smarter more up to the minute food trends were being favoured.
If chutney is going to be worth serving it just has to be good, there are no half measures. I know that we are talking about chutney but I don't think that Baxter's beetroot can be beaten, they obviously use young tender beetroot to pickle and it is the sweetest pickled beetroot I have ever eaten.
What a lovely day it was yesterday, the sun shone and to put the icing on the cake we had some unexpected visitors. Naturally you want to offer them a snack and seeing as they are good friends we don't have to stand on ceremony, they are happy to share any snack that comes out of the fridge!
Last week I had called into our local delicatessen and treated myself to a good sized piece of very mature cheddar cheese and I won't even tell you how much it cost!
Anyway I had a couple of packets of those par-baked baguettes so it looked like hot crusty bread, butter, a hunk of strong cheddar, a spoonful of Baxter's chutney and a glass of wine. It all sounded pretty idyllic, what more could anyone want?
Twenty minutes later and the hot bread, butter, cheese and chutney was on the plates ready to be enjoyed. I think I have worked my way through most of the Baxter's chutney range, they come up with some superb ideas.
This latest jar is cranberry and caramelised red onion, £1.84p for a 300g jar and worth every penny.
We really enjoy the sweet flavour of the caramelised onions and Baxter's have added plump rosy cranberries to make a colourful and flavoursome chutney.
Baxter's have presented their chutney in the traditional glass screw top jar, when you lift the jar and spoon out a portion onto your plate it does look and smell tempting.
Overall you have a combination of smells, there is the sweet red onion, the slightly acidic white wine vinegar and the chutney is also loaded with redcurrant juices.
There is plenty of substance in the jar to make an interesting and surprisingly good texture, the saucy fruit juices and vinegar have merged to make an appetisingly tart flavour that lingers in the wings.
Put on the plate the Baxter's chutney looks very attractive against the white crusty bread and the creamy yellow cheddar cheese.
I'm afraid it is one of those chutneys that you can't help but overindulge in! Each mouthful of crusty bread and cheese is complimented by loading a generous helping of Baxter's chutney onto the top.
Baxter's have many flavours on offer, as I said earlier I have enjoyed most of them. Tomato, fruit, mango, apple cider and fig, fire roasted pepper and if you get the chance then try a jar of Albert's Victorian chutney, it is not to be missed!
100g of chutney contains 154 calories, it is low in fats but quite high in carbohydrates.
Baxter's do mention on the label that it contains cows milk but it is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.
Baxter's food group produce a wide range of condiments, soups, preserves, relishes, confectionery and biscuits.
I suppose I should try to find a negative point to write about the chutney but I'm sorry there is nothing negative at all !
A delicious combination of plump cranberries and sweet caramelised red onions. For a tasty appetiser, I love to serve this rich chutney with warm brie, watercress salad and crusty French Bread.