Real interest in Real Food

I’ve got the feeling my stomach’s currently trying to work out exactly why I’ve fed it (in chronological order) olive tapenade, strawberry fudge, sausage in onion marmalade, honey yoghurt, salted chocolate and a venison pasty today.

No, it’s not a new diet I’m trying out – I’ve been to the Real Food Festival at Earls Court, and I’ve been sampling.

I initially went along to pay a visit to Tony, one of my lovely Nuffield chums, who had a stand there selling some of his Elan Valley mutton. I reckon Tony could be the most well-travelled sheep farmer in Wales, as he’s already been to Norway and Iceland to learn different ways of processing mutton. Just from those trips he’s come up with some salamis and a mutton ham, which is delicious (oh yeah, add that to the list of things I’ve eaten).

Tony gave a little talk on his mutton on the Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales) stand too. It was strange seeing one of my fellow Nuffielders in action – I felt dead proud as he stood in front of the crowd and talked about his farm so animatedly.

And his ethusiasm for talking to people about his product looked as though it paid off – he had a steady stream of people at his stall every time I passed.

Aside from the Real Food angle (sorry, Matthew, I didn’t dare ask the PR people where the fake food was), there were some Real Farming attractions there too. The piglets, buffalo and sheep were slightly inconguous in an exhibitoin centre, but there were people flocked aorund them all day as farmers explained how they reared the animals and produced meat from them.

One even gave a shearing demonstration, telling jokes along the way as he explained why it was necessary to cut the wool from the sheep,that it wasn’t cruel to do it and what the wool could be used for. The demonstration was watched by a couple of hundred people and it was great to see there was such interest in what most sheep farmers would think was a fairly mundane job.


And it must have been interesting if it managed to tear my housemate away from sample tray at the chocolate fudge stand…

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