This month, I decided that sharing was definitely caring. To be honest, after two weeks of holiday where I ate, drank and was very merry, I needed to share out the tasting duties. My lovely work colleagues rose to the challenge admirably and munched their way through many delicious things, so I wouldn't have to bring them home. They're so kind.
First up was Totally Fudged! Jim and Ed hand make fudge in Balcombe, West Sussex. No shortcuts or scrimping for them - everything is done entirely by hand. There's three flavours in the Totally Fudged! range : Madagascan Vanilla, Sea Salted Caramel and Double Chocolate, in 150g bags with a very cute colour coded label. Our outright favourite was the Sea Salted Caramel which prompted a Harry Met Sally moment from Karen. She still gets flashbacks... Buy direct at £9 for 3 packs
Secondly was Salsa and Mesquite crisps from Kettle Chips. We're quite the crisp connoisseurs here in the office and love a good salty snack of an afternoon. These re-released limited edition Salsa & Mesquite crisps were a hit. We loved the smoky sweet spicy combination of flavours and the 150g bag ensured that everybody got to taste them. Karen disappeared off home with the remnants of the pack. On sale in major retailers at £2.19 per bag
Thirdly is the Taste, the new range of ethnic meals from Marks and Spencer. With over 40 dishes from Mexico, Vietnam, Japan & Thailand, they're a great alternative to phoning for a takeaway if you're feeling lazy or there's no decent non-Chinese restaurant near you (that's us...). I particularly love the Jasmine Rice, the Chicken Noodle Bun Cha and the Prawn Gyoza. Available now at a M&S near you from €1.49 - €10.49.
On our Italian cruise ship last month, we sampled a lot of olive oil so it was a treat to try a bottle of oi1 - produced from Koroneiki olives in the coastal region of Viannos in southern Crete. This is a fruity and peppery olive oil in a very pretty tin - perfect for dipping focaccia or ciabatta into as part of a Mediterranean feast. Candiasoil oi1 is available from Tesco and other retailers at £6.50 per 500ml bottle.
Finally, Dublin now has a Nespresso boutique on Duke Street, bringing the full coffee experience to our shores. Laid out over two floors, this spacious modern store has a tasting area in the round, walls of pods and a beautiful wall of covetable machines. You can now browse, sip and select your favourite Grands Crus in palatial surroundings.