Based in the historic village of Hawkshead in the heart of the Lake District, the Hawkshead Relish Company is well-known for its quality and excellence – as is evident by its growing collection of over 50 Great Taste Awards.
It’s also unusually allergen-friendly. Made without any artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives, each one of the company’s 120 relishes, pickles and preserves is gluten-free, nut-free and vegetarian, handmade in small batches using traditional open pans and locally-sourced ingredients.
From Pork Pie Pickle to Mojito Marmalade, there really is something for everyone, but it’s Hawkshead’s handling of mustard (AKA the king of condiments) that’s got us seriously excited.
Take this gluten-free Balsamic Mastard. At £2.95 per 150g jar, it’s the most expensive of the lot – and it’s absolutely worth it.
Combining robust wholegrain mustard with rich and sweet balsamic vinegar, this grown-up take on your traditional wholegrain oozes deep, complex flavour and a zingy piquancy that’s sure to make any dish sing.
Because no ham sandwich or sausage is complete without a decent wholegrain, and even it’s most simplistic form Hawkshead more than steps up to the plate. This Traditional English Mustard is every bit as inviting, with plumped-up mustard seeds bursting with flavour and none of that offensive vinegary-ness so common in cheaper varieties. The texture is also noticeably thicker than your typical high street wholegrain, with an additional – and hopelessly moreish – Honey version for those preferring something a little sweeter.
Less impressive is the Fiendishly Hot Mustard, which is barely hot – let alone fiendishly so. Added chilli and spices are tangible but underwhelming, giving a gentle warmth that’s pleasant but really needs ramping up a notch.
Far more punchy is the Dijon. Adding a lick of heat to a range of dishes, Dijon Mustard is known for its robust profile and this one is as sharp, strong and delicious as it gets. The smooth, spreadable texture packs a wallop of clean heat and balanced acidity, giving deep, complex flavour and lingering finish with every cheery yellow spoonful.