Saturday, July 01, 2006

Food Bites: On Breton cuisine and local Scottish Farmers Markets

God, I'm soooo sick of the World Cup. And to be fair, Andy has not tortured me with the insistance of watching every bleeping game from start to finish. However, as we grew closer to the finals (thank you, Jesus), Andy is having to watch more and more of rich men run around the field chasing a white ball with a bunch of hexagon patterns on the hopes that they MIGHT make a goal.
Well, at least England got knocked out. Go Brazil.

Earlier today, Andy and I walked to downtown Perth for lunch at our favorite cafe, and a little furniture shopping. Le Breizh cafe is absolutely adorable and inviting. All waitstaff is dressed in the traditional French striped shirts with black pants. The only thing missing was a beret! The cafe features cuisine, light-fare, from the Brittany region of France. Therefore, much of the dishes are very thin, wide pancakes, called "galette", made from buckwheat or white wheat flour. Toppings include mixed variations of ham, eggs and other savoury fillings. The desserts include French pastries (pain au raisin; croissants au chocolat) and sweet crepes. People, they do NOT play when it comes to the food. Today's featured crepe had pineapple, apple, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries...all of that with ice cream on it too! What an overdose. I didn't even pretend to think I could handle something like that. Even if galettes or crepes are not your thing, guess what, they make phenomenal pizza as well. Some specialities include ingredients such as parma ham, lardon, egg, chorizo, salmon, and scallops. I could go on, because they certainly do. If all of that is still too much, they do have plain cheese pizza--some of the best tomato sauce and dough I've had outside of NY city.
For something different altogether, the cafe offers amazing brochettes of thick chunks of pork, chicken, porkbelly, Toulouse sausage...all, of course, in multiple varieties with several different yet delicious sauces too.

Although we wanted to have lunch out, our true reason for heading downtown was to hit the Farmers Market. The first weekend of the every month, kiosks are occupied by various vendors from all over the shire (Middle/Old English term for "county" in case you wanted to know) with fabulous produce such as organic veggies, meats, fish, spirits and any other products shire-folk may desire.

Today, we picked up some New potatoes and minced lamb to make wonderful burgers and spuds cooked in a bit of duck fat that I've saved. There was an interesting vendor selling whiskey ale! Everyone was allowed a sample. Its bouquet and taste was definitely whiskey, but was most certainly an ale. I will have to pick up a few bottles for some beer snobs friends of mine. I wonder if they've ever heard of such a product.
Andy and I missed out on getting some buffalo meat--they were sold out within two hours of the market's opening.

But we were tempted into getting some wild boar sausages and with cider and apple as well as some wild boar smoked back bacon! MM hm! I bet that is going to be really tasty; grilled with some yellow, green and red peppers and onions.
Much of the veggie selection was nice but not nice enough to lure us in. Our fridge is stocked high with greens.

Andy and I have been making a conscious effort to buy and consume only organic and/or conflict-free wild bred produce. For example, we came across a kiosk selling vension products (you know: steaks, sausages, minced meat, etc).
"Yum! Venison! Shall we get some?" I asked.
Andy gave the stall a brief look, I believe at the name of the vendor, and dragged me on.
"I don't buy farmed venison."
So you know I gave him that look which says 'uh...huh? why?'
"Because I can get wild stuff for nothing."
"Andy, that's it? That's the only reason."
(With Andy, you always have to prod him to get the full explanation. He never willing gives it up. I think it's part of his macho code of being the silent, strong guy)
"Well, [the wild product] tastes hundred times better. It's just like how you can taste the difference between farmed and wild salmon."
(Actually, I can't. At least not yet. But I'm working on it. It's bad enough to know that farmed salmon are not naturally that beautiful orange-rose color. That only happens in the wild. Therefore, salmon farms inject a dye into the salmon so that it LOOKS like the wild variety)
But back to topic cause, Andy was still explaining: "You are what you eat, you know? They get a more varied, tasty diet on the hill that carries through the meat. While farmed animals are fed mostly just grass, pellets and cattle-feed type stuff. They don't get anything with flavor. On the hill, they have heather, wild thyme, blueberries..."

Anyway, you get the point. And that's why we didn't buy venison today.

You know, sometimes it gets harder and harder to enjoy food when you learn of all the tampering humans have done. But many of us are trying to get back a more natural state of eating. We'll never revert to a true hunter-gatherer gastronomic lifestyle. But the less crap we put into our bodies, less crap we or worse, the doctors, have to take out.


At Jul 2, 2006, 12:47:00 AM, Blogger Texter said...

I'm working on a (news) story related to this - people who are serious about not only eating only organic and local but creating guerilla gardens and producing and eating their own food. Anarcho-primitivists go even further and suggest we should go back to foraging etc.

At Jul 2, 2006, 3:46:00 PM, Anonymous Monkeyboy said...

Man, now I have to go down to the market and get some food and pig out.

Heh...did I see some of those limey boys crying after they lost the World Cup game? Will ya tell them "there's no crying in baseball" for me. Um...nevermind.


At Jul 4, 2006, 1:09:00 PM, Blogger Alice B. said...

Hey Ms "Something New",
Welcome to the blogging world. Looking fwd to reading you and to be read by you.


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