lettuce :: Saumur market, the Loire Valley ::

As I sit at home recovering from an operation to remove one of wisdom teeth (eugh!) I am again thinking about happier times and things.  It is drizzling outside and I have let one of my bunnies out to roam the garden, although I’m sure he’s in fact hunkering down in his cosy house. 

Last night as I tried to get off to sleep I was thinking about the local farmers markets and the different markets I’ve been to around the UK and abroad, and ultimately got to thinking what it is that makes a great farmers market.  I have come to the conculsion it is vegetables.  There are some delicious offerings at farmers markets – homemade pies, deep ruby coloured streaky bacon, and crusty sourdoughs – but for me, a table heaped with fresh, straight from the earth, picked that morning vegetables is what I’m really after. 

My local farmers market it really good and swarming with people long before their advertised opening time, and has for sale many of those fantastic products I listed previously, but it does lack exciting vegetables.  There are two markets which stick out in my mind for great, stomach-tingling vegetables: Stroud Farmers Market (in Gloucestershire) and the Saturday market in Saumur (a bit far to go for most UK shoppers as it’s in the Loire Valley in France).  When I think back to my visits to these markets, it’s vegetables that I’m dreaming of – crisp lettuce the size of mixing bowls, boxes full of peas, heaps of heirloom tomatoes, new potatoes covered in soil. 

Vegetables are at the heart of what we eat, they make up (or at least should I believe) the bulk of our meals and can be so exciting.  Having a wide choice of vegetables encourages me to be creative, to eat simple, clean, refreshing food.  Some of my best meals have been made without a kitchen, just a bowl of beautiful vegetables, a sharp knife, some seasoning and perhaps the odd barbque-singed sausage and hunk of gooey cheese for good measure.  These are my best food memories.

simple tomato salad :: France ::

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