Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fresh produce rules!

I have just discovered the farmers market in Ricany and am loving it! If I wanted to be churlish I could say that it is just a few stalls in the local market place but in this case its definitely the thought that counts. If there is anyone amongst you that has never been to one of these markets then I can thoroughly recommend it but be warned , you will never be able to buy produce in the local supermarket ever again. Don't be fooled into buying the produce from the BIO section, this is all just marketing BS designed to get you to spend more money . It is not the same as buying from the farmers market.
Todays pick.

It might sound obvious but all the produce at the farmers market is very obviously seasonal so don't go expecting to buy berries in February. You don't have to be an agricultural expert to realise that we don't have the hot weather to produce them at this time of year. Duh! Having said that I would urge everybody to experiment a little with what is on offer. I can't cook and quite frankly some of the vegetables I see I have no idea what to do with but I can tell that if its fresh and its a root vegetable then I can throw it into a veggie soup and odds on I will be pleasantly surprised. Roasting is another good option to get familiar with these vegetables as the roasting process takes the bitterness away but leaves you with the whole taste of the vegetable. Again nobody dies if you don't like that particular veg but at least you will know for future reference. It is only this year that I have realised that whilst I love green peppers in salads I hate them roasted.How many of us stick to the same old tried and tested vegetables for our Sunday roast? Wouldn't life be boring if we did everything the same year in year out- well the same with food!
Fruit is another fabulous thing to experiment with at the markets. It has to be said though that if you are expecting them to look as nice and shiny as they do in the supermarkets then I will say just one word to you. Chemicals! Yes the reason fruit looks shiny in shops is because they spray the hell out of it to make it look fresher and last longer on the shelves. Real fruit has bumps and bruises people!
For me though the real piece de resistance of the farmers market has to be the fresh farm eggs. For me the thought of buying eggs that have come from battery farmed hens is enough to make me cry. Am not saying that the nutritional value of the egg is any different but for me its a matter of animal rights. If that aspect does not have you racing to the market though then just crack open a fresh egg and the visual difference is astounding. The golden yolk is enough to tell you that this has to be better for you than the pale insipid yellow yolk of your shop bought option . Thought for the day - what do humans look like when they do not go outdoors? Yep, pale and unhealthy. Get it?!
Farmers markets are now a big thing in Prague and it seems that practically every district has them these days, usually on a Saturday morning. Again, some will be bigger than others and some will have better produce so shop around. If price is an issue ( although I would not say that they are any more expensive) then skip over the fruits that you can peel such as oranges and bananas as once you discard the peel you've also discarded any chemicals that might have been used . Stick to the real Macoy that you can see has come from the original source. Yes, am talking stalks on the carrots, dirt on the potatoes, fluff on the eggs. Go back each week and get to know the stall holders, they will happily tell you what to do with each product and when it should be eaten.
Get involved, your body will thank you!

P.S Just in case you needed some more persuasion - they always sell home made wine and spirits at these markets. Go along just for this!

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