Award-winning Walthamstow Spar and its neighbouring Eat 17 restaurant have launched Bacon Jam – a cult condiment, which the duo claim will get foodies’ pulses racing country-wide.
Described as a delicious, addictive snack in its own right; the versatile relish, which is made with British ingredients, is the perfect addition to a burger, base for a canapé or secret ingredient for stews, pies and casseroles, its creators claim.
Bacon Jam was created when Eat 17 chef and director Chris O’Connor combined the smoked bacon and onion topping of the restaurant’s signature burger into one relish. Since then, it has taken on a life of its own, thanks to popular demand.
“It started as onion jam, on our burger and topped with a rasher of really good bacon,” said co-director James Brundle.
“Then Chris combined all the ingredients, and some extras into one jam and it was a huge hit. Customers began to ask Chris if he could jar some so they could take home – he made enough for 100 jars and put them in the shop. Within two days it had completely sold out.”
Reassured they had the basis for a great product, but lacking the means to produce it on a scale suitable for retail, the team found a co-packer who would share their vision for the product.
Through one of its suppliers from the Spar shop, which is dedicated to local produce and artisan foods, Eat 17 was introduced to Patchwork – a pâté and traditional food producer based in Wales.
Working together, it took them about two months to hone the recipe, and the jam is now made in small batches of 1,500-2,000 jars a week.
The ingredients that give the relish its signature sweet, spicy, salty depth are award-winning Den Hay smoked bacon, coffee, lemon juice, bourbon, fresh garlic, coffee, rosemary – all British ingredients (apart from the bourbon) with no artificial flavours or ingredients, claims the company.
Bacon Jam is now available in Selfridges, Harrods and over 130 stores and farm shops across the UK and is reported to be gourmet food supplier Cotswold Fayre’s best-selling new line.
And, in just seven months since its development, the condiment has been featured on The Jonathan Ross Show, where it was tasted by the celebrity Sarah Jessica Parker.