The market is back in town!!

It was the second saturday of July in Castro Marim and it was HOT.
( If I had been in England, I would have been advised to call NHS Direct helpline on 0845 46 47!!!!!!)
The monthly market came to town yesterday.Not the busiest we`ve seen it, but plenty of good home grown grub to buy. It is a showcase for local growers and mercearias ( grocers and specialist food suppliers ). One of my favourite stops is casa da serra, sabor e tradicao, literally the house of the mountains. The best cured meats and cheeses come from the serra,a romantic notion of a rural environment where time is still measured by sunrise noon and sunset, and the by line means `taste´and `tradition.´ All the stallholders are very forthcoming with samples of their produce and keen to tell you about how it was cured, grown or otherwise. I have one pet stallholder, whose stall was absent yesterday. She takes her van in July and August and parks it beside the approach road to the beach where she sets up a produce stall in the cool shade of the pine forest. Apparently in these two months she makes more money than if she was in the market.I always look forward to stopping off on the way back from the beach for a rather muddled anglo/ portuguese chat, and buy some fresh fruit and veg to take home. She is also an artisan baker and she will greet you with charming familiarity. She takes a stall at the many summer festivals up and down the east Algarve, and is always quick to inform you of which festival she will be attending that week. Her range of cakes is extensive and oh so tempting!! All her produce is ´propria`( home grown) and she flags up on her stall what is Bio and what is not. This means that she is not a totally organic grower but what she terms biologic is that she has not used any kind of pesticide or spray on these particular plants. At the ´Festa de gastronomia outono`( Autumn food fair ) in October she presents her first biologic clementinas and tangerinas and the best and most succulent dried apricots I have ever tasted. No doubt you will be hearing more about her in later blogs.

So what was in my shopping basket:

Chourico de porco preto sausage of the black pig
Chourico para cozido
a chourico for cooking My suggestion: saute with new potatoes and sherry vinegar

Salsiccia paio smoked pork tenderloin sausage.
Paio are thicker than chourico. better cuts of the pig are usually used to make them, and the flavour may vary according to what spices have been used. Thin slices make a good tapas.Paio sometimes have more meat than fat, But lets face it the fat is what makes it taste so good!!!!!

various regional cheeses

Paraguayos Donut shaped peaches, a whole blog on this one later
Pessegos brancos
white fleshed peaches

Uvas cardinal
a variety of small black grapes



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