Supertasting in Abergavenny

One of the highlights of my foodie year is the Abergavenny Food Festival, held in September each year from Friday evening to Sunday. Whilst a day is enough for me, I don’t waste a second of it. Having fought my way onto the train last year, I decided on a slightly more leisurely start and arrived in time for my first event at one o’clock. As another deviation from last year’s plan, I went alone this time which gave me the chance to mooch, wander and chat whenever I wanted. The first of these chats was whilst waiting for the, ‘The Way We Eat Now‘ panel discussion when a lovely Spanish lady introduced herself as a patisserie chef at The Angel Hotel.

L-R: Columnist and chef Xanthe Clay, communications specialist Ed Gillespie, fermentation guru Sandor Katz, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson, food historian Polly Russell and founder of Real Kombucha David Begg.

This discussion was based on some of the ideas presented in Bee Wilson’s book of the same name and there were many fascinating quotes, comments, and questions. It was also interesting to hear that whilst Ed Gillespie is involved in a project to grow salad leaves in disused underground tunnels in London, David Begg has gone to the other end of the scale by investing in a project to set up urban farms on commercial rooftops. By the end though I was really ready to start tasting some food so I headed off to the street food and market hall for a great selection of sweet and savoury goodies.

With only an hour before my next event there was no time to lose. I headed into the Market Street area to visit Belazu in the Market Hall and grab myself some fabulous bread from Hobbs House Bakery . Then it was off to Chadwick’s Cheese and Wine market for a taste and buy session – you know how that goes, you swear you’re going to stick to the free samples but they end up being so delicious it would be rude not to buy the cheese. Thanks Caws Cenarth, Caws Teifi and Blaenafon Cheddar (check out their cheesy advent calendars for a very special gift).

By the time I’d finished buying chocolate, preserves and pickles, cold meat and Christmas cake, it was time for my next event ‘Perception of Taste with Bee Wilson’ – but more of that next time because there’s far too much to cover here and the workshop was absolutely brilliant.

So, until next time, happy food shopping, cooking and eating,

Karen O



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