On the drive back home from Spain, DonQui sees a sign on the side of the road. It has a picture of a rather fine looking crab with a caption telling him that he is only 5 miles from the most delectable delights. This is too good to pass up so he follows the sign to find himself at the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival which is not at Aldeburgh at all but rather at the nearby Snape Maltings.
He pauses for a moment when he sees the entrance price but, as he likes to support local farmers and local produce, he digs deep into his wallet to produce the required £8.
On entry he is confronted with a plethora of stalls displaying their wares and all offering tasty samples. He goes from stall to stall trying out what is on offer and doing his best to be disciplined and not buy everything that takes his fancy.
“I’ll come back and buy later,” he say more than once, determined to see and sample everything before filling the tote bag he had been given on entry with the stuff he really wanted.
He has a plan to buy something for supper and so tries to avoid filling up too much on all the goodies on offer. So he passes by the many tempting stalls offering everything from suckling pig to goat burgers and crispy duck wraps. Instead he lunches on the free samples.
After tasting the goats’ cheeses offered by Fielding Cottage, his resistance breaks down. He buys several of them while Duchess also adds curds and some lotions made from goats’ milk.
DonQui loves wild meat and the Wild Meat Company is one of his favourite suppliers. Wild boar, venison and guinea fowl all end up in his bag. With a couple of wild boar filets he hopes to recreate the delicious meal he had in Seville a few days ago.
The Kenton Hall Estate is offering Longhorn beef. Not to be confused with Texas longhorns, these cattle are a medieval British breed which are much slower than modern cattle to raise and the price is correspondingly high. DonQui decides to buy a couple of small filet steaks to see if the difference is worth the effort and cost. If nothing else he wants to support the survival of ancient breeds.
DonQui samples several beers on offer from Barrel and Sellers. Unlike most English beers this is bottle rather than cask conditioned. DonQui loves English beer and is a great fan of his local Adnams brewery. However it is hard to take a decent pint home as the beer in the bottle has none of the character of the draught as English beer is usually cask conditioned. He pronounces these new bottle conditioned beers to be “rather good.”
The raw unpasteurised milk and cheese from Fen Farm Dairy are very tasty but DonQui does not buy any as he has already filled his cheese quota from Fielding Cottage. He takes their card and vows to buy some at a later date. Mass production and the necessary corresponding health and safety regulations have almost wiped out non-pasteurised milk products and DonQui is rather pleased to see some local producers are still able to supply them.
All of this has taken a bit of a toll so DonQui decides to take a break amongst the beans and pulses at the Hodmedod’s stall. He has met the lovely people who offer these products before at the market in Halesworth and they are happy to let him rest a while.
They have a book on sale: Out of the Pod by Vicky Jones. The recipes look rather delicious so DonQui decided to buy a copy and at some time in the future he will try out some of their suggestions and let readers know how they turn out.
When he gets home Duchess cooks a lovely dish of kale with goat curds which DonQui rounds off with some of the delicious Fielding Farm’s goat’s cheese, fresh sesame baguette and a rather fine bottle of Côte-Rôtie which DonQui had bought in Vienne a few months ago.
In all pretty hard to beat!