Another stand that I saw, I liked and I tasted at was run by Rayo Earls who makes a variety of flavoured shortbreads. Now you may think that shortbread is shortbread and that’s it but Rayo’s products took it to another level. I’ve had lavender shortbread before (which I have to say isn’t to my taste) and some with nuts in but that’s about as far as my shortbread experience goes. I tend not to make it at home as we aren’t a particularly ‘biscuity’ family.
Rayo had samples of several different shortbreads on offer and of course, I couldn’t write about them without having a nibble first! Rayo flavours her shortbread with a combination of herbs, spices, fruits and nuts and while some combinations may be well known, others are quite different for instance ‘walnut & fennel’, ‘cardamom & pistachio’ and ‘juniper, gin and lemon’. The shortbread itself is made from only butter, flour and sugar and so the flavour combinations are not dulled by additional ingredients or additives (and all ingredients are sourced from the UK with a preference for local suppliers).
I was interested to find out how Rayo’s company came about. She told me that she had taken a career break from working as an engineering consultant before starting her baking business. Like many people, Rayo baked to relax and after successfully testing some flavoured shortbread on a group of friends, the idea grew from there.
Rayo bases her flavour combinations on things she thinks will go well together and does a lot of trialling with willing volunteers (I must give her my address!) before finally selecting a flavour that will go on sale. Her target market is quite simply people who love shortbread and enjoy experimenting with new and potentially unusual taste sensations.
At the moment, Rayo has a regular stall at the monthly Farmers’ Market at Walton-On-Thames (9.30am to 2pm on 1st Saturday of the month) and has plans to supply independent shops and farm shops and thus get the shortbread word out there.
If you’d like to read more about Rayo’s company and her variety of flavoured shortbreads – which you can order by post – please visit her website: www.theflavouredshortbreadbakery.com.
I hope to work with more small, independent foodie producers to review their products on my blog. If you know of any that wish to get their name ‘out there’, please point them in my direction!
Disclaimer: I did not receive any freebies from The Flavoured Shortbread Bakery nor was I paid or asked to write this review.