As I was brought up in the countryside in the 1970s, I have appreciated fresh local produce ever since. My parents kept chickens and had a vegetable patch and various fruit trees in the garden.
The delicate aroma of homegrown potatoes will never leave my memory, even though I’ve not smelt many potatoes like those that grew in my kitchen garden since. I remember having unpasteurized milk when my mother dropped a school-friend home to her parents’ dairy farm.
On the way home for Christmas, last year, I stopped at a fruit and veg stall just before Perranarworthal. That was my first introduction to Yarg. Wrapped in wild garlic leaves, this white Cornish cheese is sold as a mini-Yarg – despite the word ‘mini’ a decent amount of cheese, it lasted my family the whole of Christmas last year – for £4.95 and that is the best price. This cheese comes straight from the producers. There are plain ones for people who don’t like garlic.
Every time I visit this farm shop I go home inspired to write a blog. Another speciality is the meat. The owner, Juliet Purley, has a pig farm and sells food for other farmers as well. The venison is especially good and at very reasonable prices. I got venison steaks, sausages and burgers. Apparently venison is a low fat meat, I didn’t know this, so some pork has to be added to gel the sausages and burgers together.
Once I’ve had one of their pork or venison sausages, I don’t think I could have a normal Richmond or supermarket own brand sausage again. The meat quantity rather than fat is 80% and they proved themselves to be low fat by giving off no fat in my roasting dish.
Behind the counter there are three or four stacks of eggs. These come in small, medium, large or extra large and are not only very fresh (sometimes warm with chicken feathers still attached) they are cheaper than eggs laid by battery hens in the supermarket. I enjoy taking back an empty egg box and saying ‘fill ‘er up please.’ You’re saving on packaging for one thing.
Why not eat healthily, save money, reduce packaging and your carbon footprint? Sounds too earnest and worthy for some people? Out of season fruit and vegetables are sold, apparently to meet demand. Juliet tells me that some people just shop there at Christmas.
What is it about Christmas that makes people treat themselves to proper food instead of bribing the supermarkets to keep hoodwinking us. OK, supermarket are great for some things, but not fruit, veg,
dairy, fish or meat, I’d say. Especially not in Cornwall with so many different producers around.
I came away with two bags laden with food. When I do a supermarket shop and have that much stuff, I notice two differences:
1 I’ve bought the kind of stuff I put in a cupboard and don’t use for ages.
2. I’ve bought too much of some things and they’ll disappear into the freezer.
They say a full English Breakfast is what we’re known for, so feast your eyes on this.