Drove to NEC this morning, no problems arrived on the dot of ten. No hold ups on the M42. Beautiful sunny morning so walked from the car park.
The Abruzzo stand was very limited, not like the Italians at all. Really disappointing as I had hoped to pick up some artisan meat curers and the like. There was also a Frosinone (Lazio, south of Rome) stand; they were much more switched on but again a fairly limited range of producers.
The Welsh stand stood out - eye catching - well thought out with an amazing glass box kitchen with a kind of sushi bar conveyor belt spilling out great tastes into the hall. Designed I was told in Italy. Bacheldre Watermill was there with their speciality flours and Michael Leviseur from the Organic Smokehouse with his beautiful smoked salmon. Came across, The Knobbly-Carrot makers of great soup....
The best of the rest: Delicioso - I tasted some Spanish acorn fed ham to die for - Bellota Negra – it’s just salted and air dried - very soft - melt in the mouth - a cross between cooked ham, cured ham and cream. The pigs have a pedigree akin to that of a race horse which may explain its price tag of £19.00 per 100 g in a certain food hall in Knightsbridge......delicioso though!
Dinky queen scallops on their shells from Island Seafare, Isle of Man and traditionally smoked Manx kippers
Then there was Mr Jorg Hagemeyer export manager of the German spice and additive company AVO. Struck me immediately as a bon viveur, well suited, very charming. He told me about Sauerbraten a traditional home marinated beef dish from Cologne - can’t wait to try it - I will let you know how I get on. It involves rubbing the meat with spices and herbs and leaving it for some days. I need to research it a bit more first though - German food it very under rated!
Got home around three and had to set to and get my boxes ready to set up for tomorrow. then a meal to cook as no Sunday left overs. Did a small pice of boiled ham with watercress sauce celeriac and purple sprouting and now its ten o'clock and time for bed!