Thursday, 29 January 2015

Snow day

Baby it's cold outside
I may be pining after Madrid's winter sun, but today, with the snow outside making everything clean and bright, Scotland doesn't look too bad. On the news it reported that something like 49 schools had closed for the day. Those lucky kids will be out with their sledges!

I had intended to write a blog entry every day. I suppose many a fresh faced new-to-blogging blogger sets out with this intention, but then life gets in the way. So I'm not going to give myself a hard time for not writing every day. 

On Saturday we went for a wander to a regular farmers' market that takes place twice monthly in Partick, in the West of Glasgow. This market is managed by City Property Glasgow and alternates between this location and another park in the South of Glasgow. I understand, from chatting to one of the stall holders, that the Southside market is to have a relaunch on Saturday 7th of February in the new location of Pollokshaws Road at Langside Halls.

From Southside Fringe Glasgow Facebook page

The mistake that we made was to go too late. Saturday mornings are for being even lazier than normal, in my opinion, but this meant that once we finally made it down, a good third of the stalls had packed up, or were in the process of doing so. However, there was a good selection of meats, cheeses, continental products (which I wasn't expecting), bakery goods and even a Quesadilla stall, which we took advantage of. There was next to no veg left, which I suppose is a good thing from the growers' perspectives. I don't feel I can make comprehensive comment on the market as a whole, but one of the stand-out stalls for us was that of Petrie Fine Foods from Ayrshire. A very knowledgeable and friendly team with samples of their cheese selection (very important) and other Scottish delicacies such as Black Bun. From their Facebook page I gather that they are going to continue to attend the Partick market, so well worth a visit. We took away some of their Dunlop Cheese and gluten free Oatcakes and have been enjoying them all week. 

I have no photos from this market but I hope to have a more interesting and informative report from the upcoming Southside launch!

In Madrid I was a regular visitor to the monthly Saturday Dia de Mercado farmers market that took place in the circular patio surrounding the Agrarian Chamber building. All producers were based in the region of Madrid, which covers some 8000 square kilometres, and supplied a wonderful and diverse range of organic produce, meat, cheese, dairy products, beers, vermouth, liquors and wine. Each month would feature a particular product: cheese, coffee, tortilla etc, and there would be demonstrations and free food on offer.

Queuing for Madrid Cocido (a typical stew-type dish with chickpeas and pigs cheek)

La Abuela Vieja (the Old Granny) honey
At this market you can buy a wine glass plus vouchers for samples for about 3€ (so cheap, sob!) and work your way round getting steadily more tipsy. In typical Spanish fashion, whole families will go and spend the morning there shopping for organic veg (and storing it in massive shopping trolleys), eating trays of Spanish ham or chorizo sausage washed down with some excellent red wine, socialising and gazing dotingly at the kids as they are apt to do. I loved it.
If you plan a weekend trip to Madrid you simply must go. 
See calendar below for dates. 
Madrid's Dia de Mercado (Market Day) Calendar 2015
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