Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ranelagh market

Quick visit to Ranelagh Farmers market this morning, just before 11 am. There were fewer stalls than normal, but it was only about 40 minutes after opening, much earlier than I normally attend. Still, sun shining, the smell of fresh loaves, pastries, vinegared peppers. A fine way to start a Sunday morning.

The guys from the Soul Bakery were there. I picked up a Pasta Dura bread, a snip at €3, and barely resisted a Foccacia, another bargain at €4. The Dura will last the rest of the week, and their bread is, I think, far superior to any of the more standard, and more expensive (by weight) supermarket varieties - La Brea, Blazing Salads et al. The pasta dura is thickly coated with a layer of flour, and sometimes quite crusty to the touch. Internally light - perfect for smearing with oil and/or garlic, and excellent toasted with mozzarella, or goats cheese. A fine, every day, versatile bread. And the guy on the stall is always a pleasure to deal with.

The Foccacia is generally beautifully moist, and utterly impossible to resist in passing. The toppings fresh, generous, and lusciously delicious. I've been know to tear through one casually in the course of a day while supposedly doing other things, or eat one up as a portable lunch every day until finished. 3 or 4 of their Foccacias largely got me through the intensive TEFL course I did last year, and many a workday since.

Odd experience on leaving the market though. I stopped off at the organic butcher who sets up in his mobile stall out front of the school that holds the market, to check the price and availability of pork belly with him.

"He's a butcher" I thought. "Right up his alley" I thought. "Happy to get rid of it" I contentedly burbled to myself, like the enigmatically and incorrigably knaive kind of idiot I'm discovering myself to be. "Content to accept legal tender in return for goods or services" was the foolish and terminal end to this willfully fantastical train of self deception.

"Do you stock pork bellies at all?"

I'm fairly sure I didn't ask permission to bugger his son. I'd be surprised if I did. A churlishly slack jawed troll of a thing, whose astonishment at my request, for pork bellies, was only matched by his fathers bizarelly venomous and bucolically ginger bewilderment. Somewhere along the line, though, buggery must have been mentioned by someone. Possibly the batty old dear who was in the queue before me. Possibly by the son. Its the only possible explanation for the wildly rabid and cod eyed incomprehension I encountered. I think he actually spluttered when I asked how much, before, eventually, croaking out the price in a "what are you doing with my wife" kind of bark.

13 euros a kilo is a bit steep for either pork bellies or sons, I have to admit.

"Could I possibly order some, at some stage?"

"I suppose we might be able to get it for you if you ordered it." was the nail in the conversational coffin (till fairly sure we're talking about pork bellies here), tone redolent of banjo twanging, dungarees, and the more jealous strains of cousin love, a tone that said "I don't want you to ask for the thing you just asked for."

I think if I'd asked for ham hocks, he would've come across the counter at me.

Disclaimer: Any butchers mentioned do not necessarily love their cousins more than is customary.
No offence is intended to anyone red haired living or dead. Apart form the bucolically so.
Any similarity to butcher son buggerers, living or dead, is entirely unexpected.

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