I’ll deal with the samphire, which we bought the other day when we were on the North Norfolk coast. Our mobile fishmonger has decided to stock the French stuff this season; or rather his supplier has, but it doesn’t have as much flavour. LT is cooking the rest of the meal.
The business of fresh food does interest me – this is partly because of my parents’ professional interest in the subject, though they sold the hotel when I was only three or four years old so I wasn’t aware of it at the time, and partly because of Al’s former business as a greengrocer – partly also because I’m just curious about how things work out.
We’re well supplied with fresh food in Yagnub, on the whole. The splendid little greengrocer doesn’t have the range of basicsthat Alex had, it’s a smaller shop and he goes a bit more for the luxury end of the market. I can see his point but I could also see Al’s who strongly believed that the single person on a pension who wanted the basics in small quantities was every bit as important as the one who bought luxury goods and lots of them. Both of them believe in supplying local goods in season and I can certainly see that a smaller shop doesn’t have space for everything.
We have two independent butchers and a farm shop a couple of miles away. There is also a fishmonger and one of the two fish and chip shops has a wet fish counter a couple of days a week. There’s also a very good wet fish stall on the Thursday market (as well as a very good fruit and veg stall) and Paul the Fish has called here on Mondays for a good twenty years.
I find it hard to work out how they all keep in business, considering how many people buy all their food in supermarkets, whether in person or online. Especially the highly perishable fish – at least on a slack day in Al’s shop, most of it would keep for a few more days, but Plautus had it right a couple of thousand years ago: fish (and company) stink after three days. And shellfish and skate only last a day.
And then we come back to restaurants and cafés and, as Rog mentioned yesterday, reviews on Trip Advisor.
I should plan out blog posts better, innit. Because I’m rambling on and the more I say, the more I think about it. But I can’t blog like that, I’ve tried it before. When I carefully draft a post and leave it to finish later, it never does get finished. Like an oyster, if it’s not fresh it’s not worth having.