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A Feast for the Senses….

September 22, 2008

This weekend was the 10th annual Abergavenny Food Festival. As someone who enjoys good food (to the detriment of my waistline at times), I always look forward to it with tingling tastebuds. This year’s show did not disappoint. There was a wide range of tempting produce on offer – artisan breads, cakes, cheeses, chocolate, cider, country wines, fresh fish, organic meats, seasonal fruit and veg and local wines – as well as talks, classes and exhibitions at various venues across the town. Local businesses joined in with the spirit of things and put together food-related window displays and many of the town’s restaurants offered special festival menus with an emphasis on local and seasonal food. Oh and I must mention the market hall decorations – or maybe I should just let them speak for themselves………

Although I usually try to live quite frugally, I’m afraid my food budget flies out of the window when the festival is on. So what did I buy? Well, an awful lot, to be honest so I won’t bore you with details of every purchase. Instead, here are some of my favourites:

I am a great fan of goat’s cheese. I love it’s fresh sharpness so naturally I found it hard to resist Cothi Valley’s Goat’s Cheeses. We went for the Talley Las which was delicious and I’d recommend it to anyone, even people who profess not to likes goats cheeses!

I also bought some of my favourite Gorwydd Caerphilly cheese. When I was younger, I thought that I hated Caerphilly cheese but discovered that it was because I had only ever tried the bland, uninspiring stuff from the supermarket. Gorwydd Caerphilly is a million miles from that and is quite simply divine – creamy, salty and full of flavour. 

There was a huge array of gorgeous breads on offer, but as my husband bakes, I always feel a bit disloyal buying bread made by anyone else. However, he is yet to venture into fruited bread territory so I indulged my passion for fresh bread by buying a wonderful spiced fruit loaf from Alex Gooch Organics. The loaf was huge and I considered cutting it up and freezing half of it. However, that quickly proved unnecessary – well, it was just so moorish! 

Something my husband opted for was a venison salami from Trealy Farm Charcuterie. It was a good choice. 

Finally, each year I am unable to resist the pates made by the Patchwork Food Company and this year was no different.  In previous years we have bought some of their more unusual flavour pates, but this year we went for a traditional Chicken Liver and Contrieu. Delicious – you can really taste the orange in it which provides a welcome freshness to the richness of the pate.

Right, all this talk of food is making me hungry. I’m off for a forage in the fridge to see what’s left of our festival produce……

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