- Cooking

It’s all about the TASTE

There are 5 recognised basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Andy, our resident chef, uses his taste buds to great effect, creating recipes and foodie tips to help us fully enjoy the sauces we love – not just on the side of the plate, but in the cooking process too – like these:


Beefy Umami


The umami taste is often described as a meaty, broth-like, or savoury taste, and is independent of the four traditional basic tastes — sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Combining all five is as challenging as it is rewarding

Here, we combine the crunchy ciabatta roll with the mild flavour and smooth texture of sliced Emmental cheese. Top with crisp baby gem and juicy slices of vine tomatoes. Now, sliced minute steak, grilled with a brushing of BBQ Sauce, cooked rare, and thick slices of field mushrooms sautéed in garlic butter with a spoon or two of Garlic Mayonnaise.

Inspired by flavours from ‘across the pond’, Bourbon & Cajun BBQ Sauce is sweet and spicy with a Louisiana style Cajun seasoning. The sweetness is derived from sticky black treacle with an added kick of Kentucky Bourbon that creates the caramelised finish to the grilled steak.

Simply Tasty


This is another taste bud tickler combining flavour and texture delightfully.

Parboil waxy potatoes, let them cool, cut them into wedges and brush with Chilli Ketchup of Chilli Jam (or both). Drizzle with oil and, in a medium oven, about 190 C / Gas Mark 5 or 6, bake the wedges until they’re crispy brown and soft inside.

Now, these crispy / soft wedges need a smooth velvety Real Mayonnaise fit for dunking.

Our Real Mayonnaise was one of the first products to benefit from Stokes ethos of taste, quality & responsibility. Quality is derived from our unerring insistence on using the finest ingredients possible.

We use only whole eggs from British free-range Welfare Assured hens into which we drizzle very fine rapeseed oil to create the product’s core. Velvety smooth and subtly flavoured.

The garlic is puréed and added to make our Garlic Mayonnaise, creating the richness and flavour of a fine quality aioli – it is utterly delicious.

Recognising its qualities at the recent Great Taste Awards, the judges commented:

Your garlic mayonnaise leaves a wonderful clean aspect after eating and it is rather addictive. Bravo.”

Tastes of the Orient


Oriental flavours have aromatic sweet / sour combinations that make ‘taste’ that much tastier still. Here’s three tips that might surprise you …

First surprise – if you want a semi-dry noodle dish, use tenderstem broccoli. Cut the fine flowered stems off to stir fry, bruise the thicker stalks and make a vegetable stock with the stalks and celery. Add a vegetable or chicken bouillon for extra flavour and cook your noodles in this. Add your noodles to the vegetables with as much or as little of the cooking liquor as you wish.

Second surprise – to add further flavoursome joy to the vegetables, when they are just about cooked, add our Sweet Chilli Sauce for zingy Asian taste or our rich Hoisin Sauce for Peking pride.

Surprise number three – to turn your stir fry into a Korean broth, make a vegetable stock for the noodles as above, perhaps a little more, adding 3 tbsp of our NEW Korean BBQ Sauce and a squeeze of lime juice to the ‘broth’. When the noodles are ready, stir them into the vegetables, serve, then pour the broth into each bowl.

This is particularly good when cooking fresh prawns with your stir fry – but that’s not really much of a surprise … it just makes foodie sense.