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From vegan condiments to a tasty alternative to cow dairy, Sussex has a wealth of innovative producers to help kick off your year. Food and drink network, Local Food Britain, shares a few top trends to tantalise your taste buds in 2018...

Flax from the fields

From nutritious porridge and muesli for a 'go get them' start to the day to chocolate ginger ‘Tiffin’ flaxjacks as a moreish treat, Flax Farm in Segwick offers deliciously healthy twists on some of our favourite dishes using their farm-grown linseed. Founded 15 years ago, their products are rich in omega-3 and perfect for people looking to tweak their diets to the lighter side this New Year. We've included a delicious breakfast bowl recipe for you to try at home (below right).

Got milk?

For those who suffer from a cow dairy allergy, sheep milk has proven to be a creamy and delicious alternative for some. Fortunately for Sussex dwellers, Top Paddock Sheep Dairy near Horsham is on the case with their flock of grass-fed sheep. As well as their pasteurised frozen sheep milk and Friezee ice cream, which is handmade on the farm, they sell a sheep milk cheese selection from High Weald Dairy in nearby Horsted Keynes. Gentle on the digestive system, Top Paddock's products are available from their online shop, as well as the likes of Infinity Foods in Brighton. Pass us a glass (or a slice of cheese on a freshly baked local loaf). 

Living on the veg

The rise and rise of vegetarian and vegan diets as a mainstream lifestyle choice is showing no signs of slowing down this year. While Sussex will undoubtedly see the opening of many more cafés and restaurants celebrating plant-based food, for something a little different pick up a few jars from The Sauerkraut Company (powered by Arnold's Condiments). Based in the heart of the South Downs National Park, in Petworth, they currently produce classic sauerkraut (fermented cabbage), cubed beetroot, cubed carrot and the tantalising kimchi kraut.

The fourth meal

One of the key themes to come out of the recent Waitrose Food & Drink Report for 2017-18 is the concept of the 'fourth meal' – for some people at least, breakfast, dinner and lunch are no longer enough to fill their busy schedules. Late evening snacking and regular social brunching have now become a standardised part of the day, rather than a guilty treat. If you're looking to throw your foodie compass you could always hedge your bets and head to somewhere like Billy's on the Road in Billingshurst, whose all day breakfasts tick all the boxes.

All bubbling over

With celebrations overflowing at this time of the year and promises of a Dry January potentially on the horizon for some, it's probably for the best that one of the newest and largest vineyards in the UK, Rathfinny in Alfriston, isn't set to release its first Sussex sparkling wines, a Blanc de Blancs and a Rosé, to the public until summer 2018. Personally, we can't wait to join the celebrations!

Tags: vegan vegetarian flax sheep milk sparkling wine all day breakfast