Shop Watch with Rose Lloyd
Don’t you wish that someone would let you know where to find some of the best products that are around at the moment? Not only ingredients but other great products in our stores, garden plants that are not only cheap but of fabulous quality; kitchen utensils that are indispensable; cookware that is chosen for its performance; packaging that is unique.
My column is a very personal look at what I think are the best things around and may be very eccentric. But it is my little black book of things I would recommend to friends. My Shop Watch.
Marks & Spencer
The best quality tuna.
Ventresca is the most highly prized tuna in the world. It is, in fact, the belly of the fish and is the most succulent and tender tuna with a delicate flavour. I always buy it when I go to Italy but I have now found it in the world foods section of M&S. The albacore tuna itself is caught by a pole and line, which helps to protect its taste and texture, which can be damaged by net fishing. It also comes from a fishery, which has been certified for sustainable harvesting.
The ventresca is packed in extra virgin olive oil, which you can then use for a salad dressing. The cans are small, and cost double the price of the jars of tuna loins, which sit alongside them in M&S, so if you are catering for a large group buy the jars. But I make no apology, however, of the price of ventresca, as this is the finest tuna you can buy.
Elizabeth David in Italian Food wrote “ The choice part of the fish is the stomach which is very tender and of an appetising creamy-pink colour. For a salad one must always ask for ventresca”.
And, of course, the salad of the summer (well for me) is Salade Nicoise – that lovely dish of lettuce, green beans, ripe tomatoes, boiled eggs, anchovies, olives, new potatoes, basil and, the key to it all, tuna - dressed in a lovely vinaigrette. You can click here to get Delia’s great recipe. But whatever you do, make sure you place the ventresca on top as the centrepiece.
Try this great delicacy.
Ventresca tuna fillets (115g)
Marks and Spencer (world foods section)
Marks and Spencer
Tel: 0333 014 8000
Check stock is available before visiting your local store, to avoid a wasted journey.
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Rose Lloyd, an accomplished cookery writer and friend of our website, has agreed to be out and about on our behalf and then inform us what are really good quality items to go for. This means a great deal to me personally as over the years I have witnessed some truly wonderful ingredients that get delisted because not enough people know about them. Smaller suppliers are often ousted by the big guys who have the marketing match clout but often inferior products.
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