The food fair was brilliant. I’m so sorry for the stallholders getting ready, the weather was poor. But at least it was mild, it wasn’t windy and there were dry periods. Poor things had to set up in the rain and I guess they weren’t very busy for the first hour. It cleared up, mid-morning, so Wink and I ventured into town. As I was planning to buy a lot of food, we drove and left the car a couple of hundred metres from the start of the stalls. Even though we only took the car a mile, it would have been too far to walk with all our shopping.
Yagnub has had street markets for about the last 40 years. It started with an evening Christmas market, which went so well that it became a daytime event, then an antiques fair was added in the summer and a garden market in the spring. Back when Al had his greengrocery, I used to grow a lot of bedding and vegetable plants and we had a stall ourselves. There have been food fairs before, by the castle, but this is the first time the street has been closed. I’d read the list of stalls and it was very tempting.
Excitedly, I explained my strategy to Wink. Walk along the road, noting which stalls we wanted to buy from, when we got to the end we’d walk back, stopping where we wanted to. When we’d got as much as we could carry, go back to the car and unload, then go to the castle to see what was there, then finish our shopping and buy lunch from one of the food stalls.
Between us, we spent about £300. I bought fabulous mushrooms – girolles, oyster mushrooms, hedgehog and lion’s mane mushrooms (never heard of either of those, they’re delicious) and Wink bought mushroom salt. I tasted my way through the samples of the Chinese and Thai sauces and they were all so good that I bought a jar of each of the ten of them. I tasted all the local honeys and bought all three – though the darkest was the most delicious. I also sort of suggested I was thinking of taking up beekeeping and brought home a flyer about their starter course. I need to be talked out of this. I explained, the only thing holding me back was not being able to tell which one was the queen, which is true.
I bought fabulous charcuterie, amazing meat, local grains and pulses – yes, you can get English chickpeas – and a loaf of rye sourdough, as well as a piece of flapjack from the same stall, which is the most fabulous flapjack I’ve ever eaten and I wish I had the recipe. Wink bought us each a glass of sparkling wine and I bought a bottle. I bought five litres of olive oil and some halloumi and was given a nice hessian bag. I bought vegetables and salad and local liqueurs. We chatted to all the stallholders, who were all lovely and enthusiastic about their produce. Wink bought Fen Farm cheese etc, but I’ve already got some of what I bought from the farm earlier in the week, so I left it this time and carried stuff back to the car while she was shopping there. Finally, we bought samosas and butter chicken to eat at home, just as it started raining again. We’d had the best part of the day, the two hours we were there. There was fine weather this afternoon, interspersed with heavy rain, but we were tucked up indoors with our spoils by then.
Really lovely people, selling fine, but unpretentious food. I do hope everyone had a successful day. Wink and I did our best for them.