It’s almost eleven on a Sunday morning, the sun is shining and we’re off to the Farmer’s market. We haven’t been for a while and wonder what its like these days. There are many more people around than there used to be, and the stall traders are busy chatting with customers and telling the story of their products
The wonderful smells and colourful foods are a delight for the senses. The first thing that catches my eye is a guy stirring paella packed with prawns, mussels, chorizo and vegetables in a steaming pan over a metre in diameter; next door to him is a chap wearing a smart shirt, tie and stripy waistcoat selling huge slabs of flavoured fudge from a glass cabinet.
There are plenty of cheeses, meats and chocolates to taste, herbs to smell and cider to drink. The cratefuls of organic white cabbage, swede, bunched carrots and many types of potato are all neatly displayed and lined up on the pavement; such perfect ingredients for a homemade casserole. The herb stall is lush with greenery, each plant is carefully labelled: Tangerine Sage, Strawberry mint, Angelica and countless others that I haven’t even heard of.
I point out some unusual chutneys, such as pear with royal jelly, to my husband, only to discover that I am talking to myself. I turn around and can see that he’s engrossed in conversation with a stallholder carving Serrano ham off the bone for him to try. Typical! He’s gone straight for the meat and is all smiles!
Meanwhile, a stallholder has noticed me ogling the cinnamon swirls; he happens to be married to a Russian woman and tells me that their recipe involves triple the amount of cinnamon than we use! Well it would be impolite not to try one…mmmm…its delicious and so utterly saturated in cinnamon!
We delight in stopping at quite a few more stalls and tasting more earthly delights such as Shropshire Blue cheese, salted caramel chocolate and dark ale. The produce is all locally grown, made or reared, and brimming with so many fresh flavours. Eventually we head home, our bag filled with cheeses, meats, some veg and a big bottle of ale. We’re looking forward to trying out more next time like the pork pies and piroskis.