Where else to start a week of Cornish food reviews but with this, my favourite of all the foods I picked up at the Cornwall Food and Drink Festival – and also the one that had to travel the least distance.
If I picked up the hogs pudding (badly photographed above) I bought on The Market Butcher’s stand I could probably have thrown it and hit the company’s permanent stall in Truro’s Pannier Market, which is just to the side of the Lemon Quay square that was playing host to the festival.
The hogs pudding from said local butcher, the trading name of Roach Fine Foods and run by John Roach, has won awards, as the loudspeaker at the show told me, and it was on offer for the duration of the show. Lord knows I love a bargain.
I’m working on the assumption you all know that hogs pudding is a type of fat sausage. This one was flamin’ gorgeous.
Cornish hogs pudding is a source of pride within the county. Salty and herby it is one of the most moreish substances known to man. I stood watching the Market Butcher’s stand like a foodie voyeur and it was telling.
The stand was giving away cooked slices of hogs pudding (along with some of their excellent bacon). People were coming along, seeing it, trying some, loving it and then going away again. They’d do a circuit of the marquee, squeezing past the thronging crowds, and then make a bee line for the stand again and sweep up another slice of the porcine perfection.
And who could blame them. This was award-winning stuff, just so much taste and a complete contrast to that ersatz crap you get in the supermarket. It only struck me the other day that sausages, hogs pudding and black pudding are nothing but cheap ways to use up the otherwise inedible parts of the pig – making the animal go further.
But with products like this, they are something more. I’d never heard of Truro Pannier Market before I visited at the weekend, nor this butcher. Now, whenever I go to Truro I’m going to make straight for it and order some to steal back across the border into Devon.
If only my maniacal laugh at this point transferred well onto the blog.