Friday, October 06, 2006

Good Food and Anglesey

Today and tomorrow you can visit the Anglesey Oyster Fair. It is being held in a marquee at the Treaddur Bay Hotel. Pauline and I had heard of it last year but could not get details so that we could go. This morning, fresh from a month's holiday in Greece, we drove over to see what was happening.

It is a good food show where most of the participants are producing food somewhere on Anglesey. You walk in and the first stall you encounter is that of Menai Oysters whose product gives the show its name. We lingered at their stall as they opened two of the biggest oysters I have ever seen. They were ours to taste for £1.50 each. The taste was simply unique. We have bought and opened many oysters over the years but these were so refreshing and tasted different to the previous purchases. We bought a takeaway bag of 12 for £6.00. Guess what the starter is for tonight's dinner?

Other stalls belonged to a number of proud local butchers who were selling meat of a quality you can only get in Wales. Eat your hearts out, all you devotees of Scottish beef because Welsh beef is fantastic in taste. This is one thing we soon learned when we settled in Anglesey two years ago. Interestingly, one of the butchers (not from Anglesey) was selling lamb and mutton. Now we have never tasted mutton, so we made a purchase with a casserole in mind. Watch this space!

Tom Barlow from Anglesey's only vineyard at Llanpadrig was there and the wine we tasted was top rate. His sparkling wine is so popular that he has sold out this year. We now have to wait till spring 2007 to taste the 2006 vintage. Another trader was selling locally made liqueurs. Pauline loved the cream liqueur whilst I preferred the apricot flavoured one. You could also buy bara brith and other baked food. As I need to lose a considerable amount of weight I did not linger at this stall.

The one stall we just had to stop at and ask about the food was that of David Livingstone of Cemaes Bay. David has an enormous quantity of lobster pots and crab pots out in the Irish Sea. Call him and you can go sea fishing from his boat, "Catfish". He also brings back lobsters and crabs from his sea fishing trips to order. The big question we asked was how do we kill and cook lobster. Now that we know we shall be practicing very soon.

One lady who was there told us about her local honey and health creams she mixed. Pauline was impressed by the cream and said it made her skin feel good. If you love ice cream there were two stalls who specialised in this. One of them also sold specialist coulis to accompany their ice cream.

At the end of the three lines of stalls was Derimon, our local smokery. It is one of the joys of ourlife to visit Derimon which is about a mile and a half from us. If it is classed as food they can smoke it. An obvious product is smoked salmon but there are many more foods which can benefit from smoking. I remember buying some smoked cashew nuts which tasted beautiful some months ago. On their stall they had some smoked tomatoes!

In addition to the stalls there was a session in progress which was all about cheese. It was a joy to be there. The occasion did, however, have a down side. Earlier this week, Maurice, the owner of the Lastra Farm Hotel died suddenly. I am sure he would have loved to be at the show and help promote local produce. Many Anglesey residents love to eat at the Lastra Farm Hotel and they all knew and loved Maurice.

Before we took up residence in Anglesey I wondered if we would be able to get good food. Since we came the various places have been tested and found to be of a high calibre. But don't just take my word for it. Come and tase it for yourself.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great article Keith - isn't it good that you can get such a variety of quality produce right 'on your doorstep'

ps. Welcome back to sunny UK - ho, ho..

Sea Fishing and Walking in the UK

11:31 am  

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