September 6, 2009

Epsom Farmers Market: Corn on the cob, Rabbit and Parmesan Cheese

Corn raw

Today Steve and I went to the Farmers Market in Epsom as I love going to food markets. The market is on the 1st Sunday of every month. It’s quite a small market, with maybe around 20 stalls. The majority of stalls sell meat and you can pick up the more unusual cuts and types of meat that supermarkets don’t have. For example, we bought a whole rabbit for £5, which I’m excited about cooking as I’ve never tried it before. I’m going to make Stifado (Greek stew) as Steve’s sister bought us a seasoning pack on her last holiday to Halkidiki.

There were other stalls selling cheese, fruit and vegetables, bread and cakes, honey, eggs and olives. Most of the stalls had taster samples, so we tried some South African sausages (which were nice) and some bacon (which was not so nice!).

I bought some hard Italian type cheese which is like Parmesan, so hopefully that will be nice as it cost £3.50 for 200g. I’ve just checked the name of the cheese and it’s called Twineham Grange Farmers’ Hand and it’s made by Bookhams Fine Food in Sussex. It was mentioned on the Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain when they visited East Sussex. On the show the makers said they’re not allowed to call it Parmesan, so they called it Farmers’ Hand because if you say it quickly it sounds like Parmesan! But they’re rebranding it now to “Not Just A Pasta Cheese” to encourage people to eat it in various ways. Apparently it’s sweeter and more palatable than real Parmesan, but I will be first trying it in a Spaghetti Carbonara, so we shall see!
Update on the cheese – I’ve tried it in a risotto, cauliflower cheese and dauphinois potatoes and it’s just as good as real Parmesan!

Anyway, I bought a bag of carrots for £1, 3 leeks for £1 and 4 corn on the cobs for £1.
Corn different shapes and sizes
I didn’t get to pick my own corn, so I ended up getting a mixed bag of different shapes and sizes. Two of them weren’t fully grown and the biggest one had deformed looking kernels. There was only one that looked ‘supermarket worthy’, but would it taste any better than the ugly ones?

Corn cooked
Well I have to say that they all tasted pretty much the same. They were nice and sweet, probably due to being picked recently. It was quite satisfying removing the husks and silks just before cooking. I placed them in a pan and covered with cold water (I didn’t add salt as this makes the corn tough). I brought the water to the boil, then boiled them for 5 minutes, until it was easy to remove a kernel from the end. Then simply smother with butter and a good grinding of black pepper and enjoy!

The Farmers Market in Epsom is on the First Sunday of every month. Opening hours: Sun 9am-1.30pm

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