I'm a snob. I'm admitting it here and now. I'm slightly ashamed to say, but I look down on packet cakes. I sneer at simmer sauces. I scorn ready made marinade. Yes, I'm a food snob.
I've always justified it by saying, but made from scratch is best. And that I control the ingredients like salt levels and preservatives when I make it myself. And most importantly, it just doesn't taste as good if you don't make it yourself. My Mum makes pretty much everything from scratch. In fact she does it so matter-of-factly that one day when someone asked "is this a scratch cake" she looked at them blankly and replied "no its a chocolate cake" having never heard the term before.
Well I'm here to say that I have been proven wrong. That I have discovered something in a jar that will revolutionise my cooking. And that has humbled my snobbishness.
Sharwoods curry pastes.
I will say that the fact they have been around since 1889 is probably an indication of how good their products are, but I have been quite blown away. It all started with the recipe for corination chicken which I made for my Royal Wedding party. It required curry paste and specified a mild Sharwoods one.
I picked a korma, and made the coronation chicken which was a great success. But I still had most of a jar of curry paste. So, I reluctantly cooked up what turned out to be a really delicious curry. Then sniffing a colleague's lunch in the microwave and correctly guessing it was a rogan josh (I do love curry) we had a discussion in which he revealed it too was from a Sharwoods jar.
I've always been a bit nervous of making curry, of getting the spice mix right, but now I can quickly and easily make one any time I like. Maybe I will have to try a few more of these packet things and break down the wall of my snobbish ways further.