Saturday morning means the farmers Market. My local one is in Usk and held in the Memorial Hall opposite the Prison on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month.
It is run by Farmers Markets In Wales - Fresh Local Produce
www.fmiw.co.ukFresh local produce from independent welsh suppliers organic, hydroponic and non organic products. fruit veg vegetables meat pastries jam eggs lamb beef pork pies sausages pasties, mean that around 20 producers are there every week.
Usk is particularly exciting as many of the producers have won True Taste awards for the quality of their foods. I will be covering them as individuals in future postings and this week will concentrate on the market as a whole.
So on a wet and windy morning the fact that it is mainly indoors was an added attraction. As always great produce was on offer and with added bonuses such as getting free carcasses for stock from the Organic Chicken stall, as well as fat for confiting and gizzards to enrichen stocks.
The vegetables, still with a covering of clay, were fresh beyond belief and varied, purple Kale being one of the things you will never see in a supermarket,salad leaves fresh from the poly tunnel that morning, broccoli still glistening from the drizzle,Jerusalem artichokes knobbly and enticing.
Fresh eggs including Duck were high on my list of ingredients and I left with 30 free range hens eggs and half a dozen Duck eggs- richest scrambled eggs ever? with some smoked salmon, dill and lemon?
The smoked salmon is provided by Jonathon of Black Mountain Smokery based in Crickhowell. An enthusiast Jonathon is happy to provide oak chips to any aspiring home smoker and my little one is powered by his chips. The whole range of foods is produced from cheese to duck and venison and of course fish of all sizes and varieties.
Jonathon also smokes for other producers, Barbara Warren's Welsh Black Beef and Tamworth Pork is smoked by him and Susan Fiandr-Woodhouse's Blaenafon Cheddar gets the Black Mountain Treatment.
Trealy Farm produce some of the best charcuterie in Britain and give the continentals a run for their money and also use Jonathon.Multi award winning produce comes from Raglan and the ever expanding range allows for a brilliant eating experience and offers amazing potential for local chefs to develop Welsh recipes.
Both Jonathon and Trealy Farm will have their own postings in the near future but they link in with my Ballymaloe Blog. It was because I used their fine products when competing in Britain's best Dish that I got the confidence to attend Ballymaloe and the rest is history. My actual recipe from BBD is available here: http://www.itv.com/lifestyle/food/britainsbestdish/recipes2009/smokedtroutandsalamirisotto/default.html
The second link is that James Swift, one of the Trealy partners, told me that he had just had an asafone message from Darinal Allen asking to visit when she comes to the UK to launch the School of Artisan Producers.
It's a small world, but the world of food is exciting and I hope to share my excitement with you.