Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Forfar Meerkat

We are officially slap bang in the middle of Scottish Food Fortnight.  Its pretty much Scottish food all year round in the Foodie Quine household, but this annual showcase offers a huge range of events throughout the country celebrating our bountiful larder of food and drink.  I saw the Taste Of Angus Festival featured on the SFF website and decided to check out one of their main events the Angus Farmer's Market in Forfar.  
The venue is very appropriately the Forfar Auction Mart.  Plenty of free parking and very easy to find with signage provided by a real live "Farmers Meerkat".  Gutted I didn't manage to get a photo of him in action.  There are stalls both inside and outside the mart and our first sight (and smell) was the amazing Iain R. Spink's Arbroath Smokies.  
A quick browse round the excellent variety of stalls on offer and we were ready for lunch.  The smokies wern't quite ready so in their absence husband and myself were tempted by the offerings of The Wee Pie Company.  He went for Buffalo Velvet (Buffalo casseroled in Guinness) whilst I chose The Wee Black (black pudding and wild venison).  Alas they didn't live up to our expectations and their amazingly tasty sounding descriptions. The meat was in huge dry chunks and there was a total lack of gravy.
As we were in Forfar a Bridie was a must and boy dug into a huge one from Saddlers of Forfar, one of only two bakers who make them.  Girl had Strawberries as her main course and both had natural berry juices from Bouvrage.  I was really impressed that even the cafe in the mart was using produce from the stallholders on its menu. Bacon from Puddledub, Jams from Isabella's Preserves, Steak from Braes of Coull, Cakes & Scones from Storm Cakes and Burgers from Highland Drovers.
We took our seats to watch the Can't Cook Won't Cook style demonstration but alas the quality and volume of sound was very poor and it was very difficult to follow what was happening.  A real shame for those who were taking part and those trying to watch. Just for the record, green asparagus won over red strawberries.
By now the Smokies were ready and to accompany them we purchased some oatcakes from Aberfeldy Oatmeal. Together they were total perfection on a (paper) plate.
I was keen to see the next demo of Cake Pops by Charlotte's Chocolates (number 6 of your 5 a day).  I had been lucky enough to win a box of her handmade truffles last week via a competition on the Taste of Angus Facebook Page and she assured me that they will be winging their way to me next week. We got front row seats for this one but alas the sound was no better and my lip reading abilities are non existant.  However I got the jist of the demo and I'm definitely going to give them a go with the top tips picked up from Charlotte.  Apparently they are the new cupcakes.
Whist I was learning about Cake Pops boy and girl were in the kids area where they milked a (plastic) cow, entered a colouring in competition, ground wheat, learnt about locally grown crops with RHET and decorated cupcakes.  They would have loved the Bread Making for Kids demo which took place first thing in the morning but alas it clashed with swimming lessons.
Time to head for home after purchasing some strawberries, rasps and greengages from Newbigging Farm.  The sight of greengages spooked me a bit as I read about them only last night on Country Woodsmoke and commented that I'd never tried them.  I only bought half a dozen to taste and wish now that I'd bought more.  I will be on a quest to source some this week.
Thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Forfar Market and experienced a real Taste of Angus. Picked up a great set of recipe cards showcasing the local produce and definitely going to give some of them a go. The organisers have already advised that the sound will be sorted out for next months market which takes place on 13th October.  I've still got a box of Charlotte's handmade truffles to look forward to and next time I might manage to capture the elusive meerkat on camera.
ETA The Chocolates have arrived - yum!

3 comments :

  1. Wow, how did I miss this, being new to the area is my excuse...looks like a great celebration of Scottish Food.
    Glad you found some greengages, they are so in season now and such a wonderful flavour.
    Cheers
    Marcus

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  2. Wow. If they get the sound sorted this will be ace! We do have wonderful local food, don't we?

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  3. We have a greengage tree here but don't think it has ever produced anything. Planted by your grandfather I believe!

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