Peter Morrell tastes these new award-winning kimchi and pickles which will transform a meal in seconds, and offer immunity-boosting goodness by tapping into the fermented food trend
M&S is introducing customers to a range of award-winning pickles and ferments from Vadasz – the first range of chilled super condiments to be launched in the UK. Each is designed to elevate any meal or snack with delicious savoury flavour and a satisfying crunch, while being rich in beneficial probiotics. The range comprises three versatile pots:
- Raw Kimchi: raw Chinese cabbage, carrots, spring onion, sea salt, chilli, ginger and garlic combine in this on-trend Korean-style condiment
- Red Onion Fresh Pickles: this bright mix of cold brined red onion, fennel, and black pepper is a feast for the eyes on any plate
- Garlic & Dill Fresh Pickles: flavour is king in this fresh medley of cold brined pickles with garlic, dill, coriander, caraway seeds and black pepper
Importantly, Vadasz Raw Kimchi is a live culture, a result of the magical process of lactic acid fermentation, meaning it contains probiotics which are beneficial to the gut and are not found in many existing products that are preserved using vinegar. Similarly, Vadasz Red Onion Pickles, and Vadasz Garlic and Dill Pickles use a traditional cold brine process, keeping them unpasteurised and retaining their crunchiness and fresh flavour. Together, they offer anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, at a time when awareness is growing regarding the link between gut health and overall wellness.
I have recently tried all three products, and they are excellent. The Red Onion pickle had a lovely tangy to it which comes in part from whole spices like peppercorns, fennel and coriander. Try this with cheese, it adds an entirely new taste experience to everything from Cheddar to Camembert You can also get creative and put a crispy piquant extra into a pulled pork roll for a treat.
Equally pleasing was the Garlic and Dill Pickles, again with whole spices and tumeric. They are a must with a steak or burger and you can liven up a potato salad by chopping up the slices and mixing through. If you really want to be adventurous then put a generous dash of the pickling juice into a Bloody Mary, for a whole new cocktail taste experience.
Kimchi is almost a religion in Korea and is, in fact, the country’s national dish. If you haven’t tried Kimchi this is the time to start. Not only is it a superfood but it’s also a crispy, crunchy combination of Chinese cabbage, carrot, spring onion and an array of spices. The result, after fermentation, is a pleasantly sour and spicy combination which will go with virtually any dish. I had it as a side with spare ribs, kung po chicken and even a paella. Find a recipe on the internet for Kimchi pancakes, they both delicious and satisfying as a lunchtime snack.
These three additions to the M&S will add an entirely new and exciting dimension to your meals, they all provide the fifth taste, umami. that moreish quality that will lift any dish. All three products come in generous 400g tubs and will keep in the fridge for over a month, but once the family taste them they’ll be gone much sooner.
Registered Nutritional Therapist, Elena Holmes, commented: “Our health starts in our gut. In turn, our gut health depends on the composition of our intestinal microflora or microbiota –the more diverse our microbiota, the healthier we are.
“Fermented vegetables are amongst the most gut-healthy foods. This is because they have probiotics – beneficial bacteria; prebiotics – fibre, which feeds probiotics and helps to increase the diversity of microbiota; various enzymes which improve digestion and support our overall health; and different phytochemicals, the nutrients that exist only in plants and plant-based foods and which support our digestion, heart, immunity, and mental health. These nutrients, such as polyphenols or sulforaphanes in sauerkraut and kimchi, also feed the beneficial gut bacteria, which in turn, help us to be healthier.
“Fermentation also increases vitamin concentration and reduces anti-nutrients, the compounds that may interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. The enzymes produced during fermentation also break down some difficult to digest fibres and also enrich the taste of the food.”
The selection of Vadasz pickles and kimchi, is currently stocked in 384 M&S stores and showcases a spectrum of plant-based colour. With a simple scoop, an ordinary meal or snack can be made extraordinary. The possibilities abound and include tacos finished with red onion, gourmet burgers taken to the next level with red onion and garlic and dill pickles, or even avocado and kimchi topped toast.
The Vadasz range has also received a variety of accolades, including three Great Taste Awards, with the prized triple star award for the Garlic & Dill Fresh Pickles. The M&S launch will introduce these products to an even larger audience.
Charlie Holland, senior brand manager for Vadasz, says: “Consumers are most familiar with purchasing pickles in jars which have been preserved by methods which compromise their flavour and health benefits.
“This new and fresher range brings added quality and flavour to the category, as well as offering a wide range of culinary possibilities – from adding a spoonful to a sandwich or salad to cooked dishes such as kimchi pancakes or your favourite burger. We know M&S customers will enjoy exploring the fantastic flavours, yet remarkable simplicity of these products.”
The products are entirely plant-based and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Sarah Loxton, Product Developer at M&S, says: “These fresh pickles perfectly complement our range and are brilliant when eaten with anything from avocado on toast to our M&S Slow Cooked range. We know customers are increasingly looking for ways to get exciting new flavours and foods into their diets, especially if those foods have added health benefits too. Gut health is a huge and growing trend and by introducing an award-winning raw pickle and kimchi brand such as Vadasz, we’re able to really tap into their unique skills for developing this specific type of product, and offer excellent quality and flavours that we’re confident people will love.”
Each pot weighs 400g and has a Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of £4.50.