On the weekend, I visted Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival at the Roald Dahl Plass in Cardiff Bay, an event that featured in my most recent post.
Surrounded by food tents and hoards of people, I don’t know where to go first. With several mouthwatering aromas wafting over from the Food Piazza, I follow my nose. I am met with a string of stalls specialising in a range of international cuisines, including exotic options like Persian and Chinese, as well as traditional Welsh and English dishes. Tempting as it is to tuck into a delicious dish, I think better of it after seeing how many food marquees lay awaiting in the Producer’s Fayre.
Weaving my way through crowds of people, from the young to the old, I make my way around each and every tent, keen to look at everything in sight. The range of food and drink on offer seems almost endless, including pastries, cheese, scotch eggs, garlic, olive oil, cured meats, wines and beers, chocolate, cakes, freshly-ground coffee, bread, icecream, jams, chutneys, sauces and more.
As someone who appreciates the value of fresh, local produce, I expect to pay that little bit extra for it. That said, I was somewhat put off by the high prices of some stallholders, although I did manage to find a few bargains.
Among them is this authentic sausage roll from Lime Tree Pantry, which I snapped up for £1.50. Upon appearance, I was immediately drawn to its thick layer of flaky pastry with its rough edges, which I felt created a traditional feel. The sausagemeat filling was flavoursome and had a good meaty bite to it, similar to that of a pork pie.
Also from Lime Tree Pantry is this large Cornish pasty, which cost just £2. The shortcrust pastry gave way to a generous filling of beef and vegetables in rich gravy, putting shop-bought pasties to shame!
Fancying something sweet, I visit Baron’s Patisserie, where I pick up a traditional welshcake, golden brown and dusted with sugar. It tastes just as good as it looks, and at 3 for £1, it’s another steal.
Also from Baron’s Patisserie is this gorgeous blueberry muffin, £1. It has a light and buttery taste, and the fresh blueberries are a lovely addition.
Content at having visited just about every stall in the Producer’s Fayre, I make my way over to the Farmer’s Market, a string of colourful tents stretching up to the Norwegian Church. The types of food on offer are similar to that of the Producer’s Fayre, but the area is a lot less crowded than the Roald Dahl Plass, so it’s easier to get a good look at what each stall has to offer.
It seems as though I’ve come at the perfect time, as one of the cake stalls has just started reducing its stock for a quick sale. I dash over and bag a cherry almond, a belgian brownie and an apple strudel. As you can see, they look completely irresistible – and they taste even better!
So, that’s my account of Cardiff International Food and Drink Festival 2011, in a nutshell. For me, it was a day well spent – a good variety of international cuisines and local produce, with a buzzing atmosphere and live music, all in the idyllic surroundings of Cardiff Bay. Expect to find me at next year’s festival, armed with the biggest shopping bag I can find – my only wish is that it’s not so crowded!