Provender Brown Perth Deli

The N to Z of European Artisanal Produce

Travel Europe and experience the culinary highlights of 26 different cities and countries with our A to Z of favourite foods, drinks and ingredients from across the continent.

Lovers of Local Go International

Everyone knows that Provender Brown is the home of local, quality produce but did you know that we don’t stop our love of talented artisans at the Scottish or British border.

Ensuring our customers have a wide and varied choice of the very best ingredients and produce from Europe was one of the founding principles of our wee deli. We wanted to bring you the best in Italian hams, the most delicious of the French cheeses and the finest chocolate that Belgium has to offer.

Who could have known back in 2005 that we would grow to stock over 3000 of these glorious products? And while we may have grown in reputation, size and clout, good food, delicious drinks, and great people remain at the heart of what we do. After all, borders are meaningless when you sit in the company of friends, breaking bread and toasting bad jokes and wonderful stories.

With that in mind and given all that is going on in the world right now, we thought we would celebrate our togetherness with an A-Z of places in Europe and feature a product we stock from each area. So, from Orkney to Zurich, Norway to Spain, here is a shout-out for some of our favourite non-Perthshire products for you to browse through and buy.

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N - Norway

With its dramatic landscape and one of the world’s longest coastlines, Norway boasts an abundance of healthy, fresh ingredients – with fish and seafood an everyday diet staple in the shape of king crab, salmon and Norway's famous Atlantic cod.

Everything from sweet treats like berries, waffles and ciders, to cured meats and interesting cheeses can be found with our Scandi cousins. In fact, Norway is the most-awarded country in Bocuse d´Or, one of the world's most prestigious culinary competitions.

Cheese lovers that we are (and firm refusers of awarding any non-Scottish country a nod for salmon, no matter how good!) we’ve gone for Gjetost  - also called Gudbrandsdalen – which is an unusual slow cooked whey cheese made from a mixture of goat and cow’s milk. This cheese has a sweet caramel flavour and tastes delicious eaten in very thin slivers with crusty bread or melted on toast or waffles with chopped bananas for an alternative breakfast.

Our Norwegian Favourite: Gjetost

O - Orkney

Much like the rest of Scotland, Orkney is spoiled for choice when it comes to great food and drink. In addition to local beef, lamb, salmon and shellfish, they also produce unusual delicacies such as the prized meat that comes from the legendary seaweed fed sheep of North Ronaldsay.

And then there’s the cheese, oatcakes, fudge, beer, whisky, gin, ice cream, wine and rum! How do we choose?

Well, we decided to go with something less obvious and have chosen the Orkney Craft Vinegar. To foodies in the know, vinegar is a secret weapon in the kitchen – it performs its own alchemy to balance and lift flavours, seasons food and elevates flavours

Orkney Craft Vinegar is a raw, unpasteurised, unfiltered, living vinegar with the mother made from scratch - no infusion, no shortcuts

Our Orcadian Favourite: Orkney Craft Highland Park Vinegar

P - Poland

I think we’re all a little more knowledgeable when it comes to Polish foods, thanks to so many of our friends and family now hailing from this beautiful country.

As the midpoint of Europe, Poland’s culinary journey has many varied influences all of which have contributed to the array of tastes and complexities in Polish food. It is rich in meat and famous for its delicious sausages and tartar style dishes. In addition, it still enjoys the simple, seasonal produce of local vegetables and potatoes which fill soup and stew pots year-round – and give filling to their tasty pierogi dumplings.

Fermented foods and pickles are a mainstay of this diet, and it has been said that most Poles are obsessed with perfectly pickled cucumbers —they will always be found at family parties and dinners and even in pubs.

The sweet-sour taste and unparalleled crispiness of Krakus cucumbers results from long years of perfecting the unique recipe. They are preserved with garlic, horseradish, mustard and dill.

Our Polish Favourite: Krakus pickles

Q - Quimper

Quimper is a commune of the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France and is famed for its culinary offer. Gallettes are a mainstay of the Breton region – thin pancakes made from buckwheat flour, then filled with various ingredients – so much so that the mouth-wateringly simple Galette de Bretagne is now almost as globally recognised as pizza from Italy

And of course, they do love a sweet crepe or Far Breton to follow up - just be sure to wash it all down with Breton Cidre!

As a close neighbour of Roscoff, we’ve gone with the delectable Roscoff onion. The basis of every good sauce, these onions are celebrated not just for their colour, but also for their unique flavour, their high vitamin C content and their long shelf-life. The onions have been recognised with an AOC approved label, acknowledging the longstanding know-how behind their production, which yields about 1500 tonnes a year. 

Our Quimper Favourite: Roscoff onions

R - Reggio Emilia

In the North of Italy, situated half way between Genoa and Venice is Reggio Emilia. At its heart, is Bologna, which is often called la grassa (the fat), but this nickname can be extended to the whole region!

Full of all of the delicious food that has become a symbol of Italian cuisine abroad and rooted in culinary traditions that have been handed down for generations this is a glorious region packed full of flavour.

Pork is one of the main ingredients, and it is used in many recipes, which is why we’ve chosen to go with the wonderful mortadella - whose origin can be found in the city of Bologna. This centuries old recipe has its roots in the Ancient Roman Empire – large sausages are prepared with pork meat mixed with fat cubes, pepper and pistachios to give a fantastic addition to any picnic, grazing platter or antipasti board.

Our Reggio Emilia favourite: Mortadella 

S - Spain

Think of Spanish food and you’ll instantly think of Paella and Churros. Or perhaps you went to tortilla, or patatas bravas, maybe jamon, or a cool, summery gazpacho? Whatever your go to dish is, Spain’s long history of culinary excellence is one of the reasons us Scots keep going back for more.

From small, tasty Pintxos in the North to the Andalusian Gambas de Huelva from the deep waters of the Mediterranean in the South, much of Spain’s favourites are rooted in the simple foods of peasants and contain ingredients that can be found in abundance.

We’ve chosen the Ortiz Tuna because although a simple, store cupboard staple, this white Tuna - Bonito del Norte - is individually line-caught during the summer fishing season, either with live bait or baitcasting, in an age-old technique that respects the environment and the seabed. It is then processed in a traditional way to maintain a delicate texture and exquisite flavour.

Our Spanish Favourite: Ortiz tuna

T - Turkey

Embracing influences from the Mediterranean to the Middle East and from Central Asia to Eastern Europe, Turkish cuisine is so much more than the kebabs and köfte it has become famous for.

Largely meat based, there are over 37 different types of kebap (yes, with a p) listed on Wikipedia! Shish is a favourite, with lamb doner also a popular choice.  Hamsi, simple fried anchovy, is intensely flavoured and a must try if you’re in the country.

But for PB customers, the favourite has to be Turkish Delight. Whether flavoured with rose water or lemon in the traditional way, or enhanced with the addition of nuts,  this sweet, jelly treat just flies out the door!  We stock Hazer Baba Turkish Delight which dates back to 1888. It was the first company which used modern equipment and production techniques, while strictly being loyal to authentic recipes – it now single-handedly produces the majority of all Turkish delight exports.

Our Turkish Favourites: Turkish Delight

U - Ukraine

Sadly, we don't currently stock anything from Ukraine at the moment but as one of the world’s largest wheat growing area we are willing to bet some of your daily bread will be produced thanks to their hard working farmers.

We’ve decided therefore, to go bring you bread, made in the UK (so still with our theme!) and influenced by the traditional European recipes of old.

Wild Hearth is based in Strathearn, in reconditioned World War Two Nissen hut houses – but with a state-of-the-art oven, fired exclusively with wood sustainably logged by horses on a nearby estate. Their breads and pastries are slowly and carefully created by hand from organic flours and wild ‘starters’ for the optimum depth of flavour, balance, and lightness.  Some of the breads have a gentle acidity, while others have no detectable sourness, but all have a complexity of flavour that comes with a natural ferment, carefully managed to preserve the essential flavour of the grains they work with.

Our Favourite Bread: UK Wild Hearth Bread >

V - Veneto

The beautiful region that is home to Venice, is bursting with the flavours and traditional favourites of Northern Italy.  Cheeses such as Grana Padano, Monte Veronese and Plave sit side by side with salamis and meats including Prosciutto and Sopressa Vicentina

Tiramisu also originates from Veneto, and this light, coffee trifle laced with Marsala wine is now adored the world over.

Most importantly though, is Veneto’s place on the world wine stage. It is a hugely important wine-growing area producing: Soave, Bardolino, Prosecco, Valpolicella, Pinot Nero, Pinot Grigio, and Merlot.

We’ve gone with a Bardonlino because it is one of my personal favourites! Exhibiting all the fragrance of Lake Garda’s iconic red wine, it is bursting with fresh aromas, small ripe red fruits, spices, and a delicate hint of iris. The mouthfeel is lively and succulent, with the typical savoury flavour of Lake Garda’s eastern shore. It is perfect with tagliatelle with tomato sauce or spaghetti and clams.

Our Veneto Favourite: Corte Giara Bardolina DOC

W - Wales

Our Celtic cousins are every bit as talented as us Scots when it comes to producing flavoursome, quality ingredients.  Cheese is always one that springs to mind when I think of Wales and from the delicate Caerphilly to the punchy Welsh Black Bomber I have never met a Welsh cheese I didn’t like!

Of course, this is probably why one of their most famous dishes is the Welsh Rarebit – or posh cheese on toast! Equally simple but tasty is the Glamorgan Sausage – a cheesey pastry roll without meat of any kind regardless of what the name suggests.

And of course, Welsh Lamb is the main ingredient in Lamb Cawl, a slow-cooked lamb and leek broth that changes slightly depending on which region of the country you visit.

I’ve gone for a non-traditional food and chosen Chocolate, simply because Sarah Bunton has created an exquisite range of handmade chocolates that she makes in the Cambrian Mountains, in the picturesque village of Devil’s Bridge.  Try the mixed box for a real treat

Our Welsh Favourite: Sarah Bunton chocolates

X - (E)xtremadura (It’s a teeny tiny cheat!)

Extremadura is an autonomous community of Spain, located in the central-western part of the Iberian Peninsula. As with the rest of this incredible culinary region, it is heavily influenced by both Spanish and Portuguese cooking.

There are many similarities between Spanish and Portuguese cuisines; both have a basis in peasant food with hearty, rice-based meals that are cheap to put together and very filling. Both enjoy bean and tomato-based soups and stews, with seafood dishes a specialty due to the abundance in the region.

Herbs and spices are where we can see a difference; saffron, parsley and paprika are more associated with Spain while piri piri, bay and coriander are more closely linked with Portugal.

We’ve chosen a traditional Iberian product that is enjoyed the region over and is special to Extremadura for one very particular reason. Castro Ibericao Ham is made from pigs of 75% Iberico breed that have fattened up on acorns on the dehesa of Extremadura for 10-12 weeks at the end of their lives. The hams are then expertly cured for between 30 and 36 months, giving them a sweet and nutty aroma with an excellent balance and a long, complex finish.

Our Favourite from (E)Extremadura: Iberico Ham

Y - Yorkshire

Hands up who had Yorkshire pudding? Surely the most popular of all foods from this glorious part of England, it is a staple on every roast dinner from John O’Groats to Lands End.

As well as this, the region is famed for its rhubarb and has a nine-square-mile area known as the Rhubarb Triangle. Used for everything from jams to pies to compotes, there is even a food, drink and rhubarb festival held every year in Wakefield!

Our Yorkshire favourite though, is the Special Reserve Wensleydale. The town of Wensleydale in Yorkshire is known for their unique-tasting cheese with five different main types of Wensleydale– mild, matured, extra matured, blue or cold-smoked—although other varieties exist.  Because of its hint of honey flavour and acidity, Wensleydale cheese is delicious on a rye cracker with a fruit chutney such as fig.

This special reserve has been aged for up to 6 months producing a fuller, deeper, mature flavour with a superbly creamy, crumbly texture. Coated in green wax

Our Yorkshire Favourite: Wensleydale

Z - Zurich

Zürich, Switzerland, is the ideal place to try well-known Swiss food, with dishes from across the country all on offer. Try the comforting flavours of a cheesy raclette or the healthy start to any day, with birchermüesli.

The star of any Swizz show though, has to be Fondue. The first recipe dates back to 1699, in a cookbook published in Zürich. Using gruyere or Emmental cheese, you can mix with different ingredients of your choice, including mushrooms, herbs and tomatoes. It’s always served with bread and washed down with some white wine. If we’ve got you in the mood, check out Martine’s Fondue blog here >

So as not to be too obvious, but staying with the cheese theme, we’ve gone for Appenzeller Black Label cheese, which is made just an hour away from Zurich. Left to mature for a minimum of six months it is carefully treated with a mysterious herbal brine which lends the Appenzeller® Black Label its extra-strong flavour.

Our Zurich Favourite: Appenzeller 

For our European favourites, A to M, please click here >