As I mentioned previously I love asparagus, not only does it taste great, but apparently it is a superfood and good for you! Low in calories and packed full of nutrients including folic acid, potassium, fiber, thiamin and vitamins A, B6 and C, it is a tasty vegetable that provides numerous health benefits.
In my mind you can’t beat locally grown British Green asparagus, when in season. I have also tried the white asparagus which they use a lot in the Mediterranean, but this is one of the few things I don’t miss from my times in Spain, as I find the texture slightly off putting and it has a bittersweet taste.
During my time at Ludlow Spring Fair I came across a new type of asparagus …. purple! My favourite colour and in a tasty vegetable, it brought a smile to my face!
This was on show by Shropshire Asparagus, who grow both green and purple types at their farm in Bridgnorth. Well, I just couldn’t resist getting some of the purple, as I love trying new things. The very helpful ladies on the stall went on to explain that the purple variety, which is only grown by a handful of producers in the UK, has much smaller quantities of lignin, the fibrous material that makes the green version stringy, which makes it perfect for eating raw, and incorporating into salads.
With the hint of summer in the air, it wasn’t long before I used it in a simple salad.
The combination of salad leaves, purple asparagus and the spanish goats cheese Murcia al Vino, which with it’s purple hue was a perfect compliment, created an attractive and delicious looking salad. Served with a hunk of crusty bread on the patio and I was in heaven. I really did enjoy the flavour and texture the purple asparagus gives to the salad.
Which leaves me to part with my only dilemma – where to get some more without driving to Bridgnorth? I have not seen it any of my local supermarkets. Do you know where a south staffordshire foodie can satisfy her purple asparagus desires?
As a newly fledged Midlands foodie blogger I am keen to highlight the wealth of producers and eateries in the Midlands and it wasn’t long before I found Eat The Midlands, a hub for all things tasty in the central region. During the past few weeks they promoted the Ludlow Spring Fair on their website and I was lucky enough to win a couple of guest tickets.
So on Saturday off I went to Ludlow (with the hubby and parents in law). It’s a bit of a drive, but a very pleasant one through the Shropshire countryside. We arrived and meandered our way up to the castle. I was really pleased to be able to go for a stroll around the castle as this adds a little something special to the venue.
And though it was a decidely grey day it certainly didn’t dampen the spirits as we headed straight for one of the foodie marquees. There was a good range of producers and suppliers of food and drink products, some of which I have seen at other food fayres and some new ones.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to try and engage with every stall holder as didn’t want to spoil the day out with the in-laws, but those who I did take particular note of include Dore Valley chocolates, who make the some delicious handmade chocolates, with some unusual flavours including the Hedgerow Creams with elderflower and lavender.
Other sweet temptations were from The Simply Delicious Fruit Cake Co whose cakes are some of the best fruit cakes I’ve ever tasted (except my mum’s of course!). They do a Whisky Cake, with fruit soaked in Whisky for 24 hours, which even got the thumbs up from my hubby who doesn’t like dried fruit!
Spotted the word Fuffle? I was so intrigued I had to investigate and apparently if you can’t decide if it’s fudge or truffle, why not call it Fuffle!
Gary from FudgeHeaven makes the most delicious fuffle with lots of yummy flavours, many based on alcoholic liquers and some other flavours. I tried the Baileys Comet (some genuis names from Gary, the little devil!) and I’m sure it won’t be long before I place an order here.
For something savoury we visited Chestnut Meats who offer a range of goat meat products. The sausages we sampled were very tasty, and seen as it’s meant to be a healthy meat so something to think about for the future. We also met with Martins Jerked Meat and purchased some of his Welsh Beef Jerky. They do a few different flavours but we opted for the one which has been marinaded in Jack Daniels and Soy Sauce.
There were also a range of food suppliers including Bellota, an importer of fine spanish foods, and Fish In A Box,who suprisingly deliver fresh fish and shellfish in a box and have a fabulous range. Think I may splash out on this during the summer as though it’s more pricey than supermarkets I’m sure the quality and range of products is far superior …they even do Razor clams!
The final stop and purchase from the food producers was with Shropshire Asparagus who have a fabulous purple asparagus,
……. but more of that on my next post!!
All this was thirsty work so we headed straight for the Beer tent which had over 140 Real Ales to taste from lots of local Independent Brewers. Now, I’m not much of a beer drinker, but my home-brewing hubby and his ale aficionado father were in their element. Armed with their beer tokens they set off to discover some new ales, and with a welsh background they were keen to find a new favourite from the Fatherland and there were lots to choose from.
Some of the tried and tested ales included Merlyn from Great Orme Brewery, which was deemed perfect for a summers day, Cribyn and, the favourite one of the day, Ysbrid y Ddraig from the Breconshire Brewery.
The best thing about this event was the people serving the beers were from the breweries and so were full of information and eager to discuss. I was even given a couple of free samples, in an attempt to get me to like Ale, and I have to say the two I was given have me on the path to almost liking it. They were Festival Landmark from Waen Brewery and Blorenge Golden Ale from Tudor Brewery.
For those that don’t do ale, there were also a number of other drink producers including my local brewer Freedom, and GWatkin Cider who have a range of ciders to suit all tastes, of which the Perry was particularly enjoyable, not too dry but with a sharpness that makes it light and refreshing.
And after all this, there was still the pleasure of wandering through the lovely town that is Ludlow, complete with a good market and lots of food orientated shops. All in all, a very enjoyable day and one I look to repeat next year!