Eleanor Maidment: My summer taste notes

YOU’s in-the-know food editor on what’s hot now

From fizz to festivals, I’m getting very excited about these…


Why do we yearn for certain foods? Ed Smith aims to uncover what triggers our cravings in his latest cookbook, Crave: Recipes Arranged by Flavour to Suit Your Mood and Appetite (Quadrille, £25*). Covering everything from our memories to emotions and with chapters organised by flavour profile – think ‘fresh and fragrant’, ‘chilli and heat’ and ‘cheesy and creamy’ – he offers 100 recipes to suit every mood and appetite. Fiery chicken laab salad, burrata with burnt peaches, and cherry and apricot slab pie will make for perfect summer eating.


‘After the year we’ve had, I think everyone deserves a good knees-up,’ and that’s exactly what superstar chef Tom Kerridge intends with the return of his feelgood food and music festival Pub in the Park. Touring various locations from now until September (including Tunbridge Wells 9-11 July, Chichester 24-25 July and Chiswick 3-5 September), there will be the usual line-up of top-notch dishes from Michelin-starred restaurants, food markets, chef demos and children’s fun, plus plenty to drink and stellar performances from the like of All Saints, Kaiser Chiefs and Rudimental. Adult tickets from £45, children from £30 and under-5s go free; pubintheparkuk.com.


Did you know that the fat in milk can mellow the intensity of cocoa? So if you’re looking for a full-blown chocolate hit this summer, a sorbet is your best bet. Hackney Gelato’s Dark Chocolate Sorbetto is smooth, ruthlessly chocolatey and handmade by two passionate chefs in their East London kitchen. The duo churn out 15 fantastic flavours, including Pistachio, Almond and Lemon Ice Cream and Alphonso Mango Sorbetto, sold nationwide in Tesco, Waitrose and on ocado.com. From £5 for 500ml, hackneygelato.com.


Non-alcoholic seltzers by Something & Nothing were our go-to soft drinks last year. Delicately scented with botanicals and sweetened with grape juice, the drinks come in three grown-up flavours such as zingy yuzu. Now the brand has teamed up with a family-run winery in the Côtes de Gascogne to create two refreshing alcoholic spritzes. There’s a pale rosé matched to the Hibiscus & Rose Seltzer, and a grassy sauvignon blanc to complement the Cucumber Seltzer for elegant sunshine drinking. From £19.75 for six cans, somethingandnothing.co


Don’t be misled by the name – air fryers aren’t just for making chips, spring rolls and crispy chicken without the need for much oil (although they are very good at that). They are compact and high-powered fan ovens (such as the Ninja AF100UK, right, £119, johnlewis.com) that circulate hot air in a small chamber, cooking and browning all kinds of foods quickly and effectively. Vegetables including cauliflower, aubergine and corn on the cob, all turn out fantastically well, as do steaks, chicken breasts and thicker fish fillets such as salmon. Add that they tend to be easy to clean (many have dishwasher- safe parts) and are useful on hot days when you don’t want to turn on your oven – and it’s little wonder they have grown hugely in popularity over the past few years.