Blacks Corner launches Christmas hamper range - here's what to expect
When it comes to the provenance of food, they don’t come much more passionate about telling the stories behind the dishes than at Blacks Corner.
Conversational food is a big part of this East Boldon eatery and deli, which makes a mission of meeting the makers behind the produce, whether it’s the families behind British farmhouse cheeses or visiting the vineyards where the grapes for the wines on offer are grown.
Food stories flow through the dishes at the bistro, a landmark site in the South Tyneside village – and you can take a flavour of the team’s artisanal knowledge home with its hamper range.
This year, in time for Christmas, its launched its biggest range of hampers to date, which come in many shapes and sizes filled with farmhouse cheeses, charcuterie, chocolates, pate, oat cakes and small batch wines.
Prices start from £32 for a cheese selection, rising to £199 for a luxury Christmas hamper, with more than 30 variations of hampers to choose from.
The team at Blacks really care about their cheese and want you to as well.
As such, the hampers come with a cheese care guide so you can really get the most of the delicacy, with a card for each cheese detailing its maker, flavour notes, pairings and recipe suggestions.
It’s a great touch and one that’s a real talking point over the dinner table.
Our hamper came with a melt-in-the-mouth Colston Bassett, a creamy blue that’s hailed as one of the last true stiltons; a satisfyingly hard Red Leicester that’s made by generations of the same family; a fluffy and faintly sherberty Dorstone named for the hill which the creamery sits upon in Herefordshire and a rich and faintly sweet Cornish Yarg inspired by a recipe that dates all the way back to 1615.
As well as working with around 25 cheese makers, Blacks Corner have also built relationships with Charcutiers who specialise in using meat from breeds that are free range or wild.
Our hamper featured moreish meats from Cobble Lane Cured, specialist butchers in London who cut, cure, smoke and hang meats from high quality producers and farmers.
The slivers of cured meat, including a punchy salt and pepper pork salami and a slightly smoky coppa ham, were great quality, less fatty than other brands with a real rich flavour.
No meat and cheese board is complete without wine, of course. We popped a ridiculously drinkable Gran Cerdo red, which again is full of character – the ‘fat pig’ on its label a cheeky nod to the bankers who initially refused their loan to set up the winery.
Much thought has gone into the hamper itself, too, with a box design by Sunderland artist Kathryn Robertson whose distinctive work can be seen across the city, from the glasses at Vaux Brewery to the window at The Elephant Tearooms.
Look out for more from Blacks Corner in 2023 when work begins on their transformation of the Victorian tram shelter in Seaburn.
The name for the new addition has yet to be announced, but much like its East Boldon big sister, heritage and the story of its location will be a cornerstone of the site.