Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Food, Glorious Food

I am convinced that Brighton's climate is the exception that proves the rule. As weather pundits across all the TV and radio channels were ruminating upon the demise of summer, the projected bad weather has failed to materialise down here. OK, so the sea's a bit choppy and the harsh north- westerly bluster constantly reminds me that I must get my fringe cut. Otherwise, September by the seaside remains hunky-dory. Long may it last. After the thrills and spills of the Olympics, the Paralympics and Andy Murray keeping us all up until 2.30 am, to be thrust into the harsh reality of dark teatimes and cold winter nights would have been cruelty indeed. Let us bask in the glow of a fantastic summer for a little while longer. I simply cannot remember another time during my life when the conversation was of sport and not the weather. In fact, I think that most people would struggle to remember what the weather was like at all.

Last Saturday, my daughter and I decided to wander down to 'The Mash Tun' for one of their fabulous paprika beef sandwiches for lunch. The term 'sandwich' does this culinary extravaganza a huge disservice, it is so full of wonderful things. The beef is meltingly medium rare. Our poor Charlie has to pull out all his doggie stops even to get the odd morsel, begrudgingly handed down when the pleading eyes and simpering whimpers become unbearable. We sat in the sunshine with our ciders and chatted to
the two charming young men who joined our table about how laid back Brighton is. And it is. One of the great joys of my new city is the warmth and camaraderie of its inhabitants, certainly in my bit, in Kemptown. Last weekend's Pride Festival was one big party and the village feels like home already.

But I digress. What I really wanted to write about was the Brighton and Hove Food Festival Market, which stretched all the way from The Mash Tun as far as the eye could see. As someone who has spent much of her adult life trawling French food markets, I love them and try whenever I can to support local growers and producers. This, though, in true Brighton style, was quite the most beautiful one I have seen. It was scintillating. Such an array of colours, aromas, textures and gastronomic temptations was a feast for all the senses, making one's endorphins jump for joy. It uplifted the soul and nurtured the body in such a way that one truly felt at one with nature and the world. Such joy just from a long, slow, leisurely walk through a market is hard to imagine but, if you haven't done it, you haven't lived. The following photos taken from my phone barely do the experience justice, but I really wanted to try to share such glorious food.

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