I have now had to expand my ‘shopping locally’ challenge to include the markets of the Food Connections Festival. I had a lovely weekend over the bank holiday – it was my Grandma’s 90th birthday, and I made her some lemon curd (with lemons, butter, eggs all bought on Gloucester Road, of course). Then my family and I spent a very enjoyable day wandering around the Food Connections tents in the city centre. I spent an inordinately long amount of time in the produce markets, including having a very lengthy conversation with the woman selling a range of unusual flour. I ended up buying some ‘Emmer’ flour, made from an ancient ancestor of wheat. God knows what I’m going to do with it, but she seemed to think it was the next big thing. At the harbourside produce market I bought these lovely tomatoes. Presented with pride by the stall trader, they were so ridiculously bright and juicy-looking that I couldn’t resist. I find tomatoes that are this good don’t need much else with them. I mixed them with some spring onions and pine nuts, and drizzled the lot liberally with olive oil (that I already had in stock, does that count?!). That’s what I love about produce markets, you can discover new ingredients that you wouldn’t otherwise. Being able to talk to the person producing them makes the whole experience much more personal, and infinitely more enjoyable than just picking something off a supermarket shelf.
9 May 2014