Skip to main content

Well fed in Port Talbot and chameleon grapes

I don’t think that many people stay at Blanco’s Port Talbot for the view. Carpark on both sides and on the perimeter of the town’s by-pass roads. But I just stuck my camera out of the window and Mynydd Dinas in the background makes it a lot better than I’d imagined.
 
But as I said it’s not the view you want to come here for: it’s the food. I’ve only had two breakfasts and one dinner so far and my 'impressed' monitor just keeps climbing. This morning I had Eggs Benedict, with Welsh bacon.  
 
 
(Little aside: 'Eggs' is mine and Tony’s nickname for the current Pope.)
 
Yesterday, I had two perfect fried eggs on wholemeal toast. Last night, for dinner, I had the Celtic Pride Welsh Beef fillet steak… ahhhh!!! Opened like butter to the slight pressure of a knife and was cooked with culinary precision to medium rare. I’m in my own little food heaven this week.
 
I bumped into Rachel Howells at the library this morning. Rachel’s a journalist with Port Talbot Magnet, an online news site that will, fingers crossed, go to paper in the near future. Port Talbot doesn’t have its own newspaper anymore: it lost its Guardian in 2009, a victim of the economic climate and the shift in how news is disseminated now that we have the instantaneousness of the internet. Rachel balances The Magnet with a family and children and her PhD research into the effects of a town having no newspaper: the loss of voice, of identity, of communication. The disappearance of a newspaper has taken on much greater significance than I'd previously thought.
 
Today she shares with me a piece of news that might not make tabloid headlines but it’s made my blog headline this week: strawberry grapes. What? Do they look like grapes or strawberries? They’re grapes that taste like strawberries. And her friends have been coming from Swansea to Port Talbot to buy them. At The Fruit Box, Riverside Walk, Port Talbot.
 

They. Are. Amazing. Sweet little explosions of grape flesh with the distinct taste of strawberries. And they have mango grapes too. I promise. It’s true. I have them here, in my room, with a chunk of Spanish Manchego cheese and a stick of bread from Tesco. They’re like honey but crisp. And to complete the picture I also have a bottle of Cabernet-Shiraz that, to be honest, is letting the whole feast down a little. Not too much though.
 
Go there. Tomorrow. Buy them. This is unbridled deliciousness we’re talking about. Go.
 
 
 
Hungry Writing Prompts
Write about a view that you still remember.
Write about a nickname.
Write about heat.
Write about losing your voice.
Write about what you balance in your life.

 

Popular posts from this blog

Pie, pie glorious pie

So often when we talk about food we are talking about family. In fact that was how the hungry writer blog began, nearly six years ago: weekly memories or life stories linked by the theme of food. Food is nurture and love. It can be celebration and anxiety too. It can also be a battleground, as the parents of young children know so intimately! Which is rather a satisfying segue into the family featuring in this week's blogpost: The Radfords. Because if anyone understands the feeding of children, really, really understands, it has to be Sue Radford who, with her husband, Noel, has 19 children. You can read about the family on their website but don't rush off yet as what I really want to talk about is pie. And specifically Radford's pies.
Noel Radford has been a baker for 25 years and opened his own bakery in 1999 in Heysham, Lancashire and makes pies with locally sourced ingredients. That, along with his skill as a master baker, means that the pictures of the 'filled to t…

Eat, laugh, cry, remember: Baked Camembert

Once, on a holiday in Malta, I dressed Tony up in my gypsy skirt and stretchy white vest, used two satsumas for breasts and made up his eyes and lips with the brightest colours I had with me. Then I took a photograph. He didn’t seem to mind, in fact he seemed quite tickled by the fuss and attention to detail, but the quantity of rosé we’d shared at Snoopy’s restaurant on the seafront in Sliema earlier in the evening might have had something to do with that.

This was 1988. There were no digital cameras for instant viewing (and, praise be, instant deletion). The only instant photographs at the time came courtesy of Polaroid, with their packages of square film and box-like cameras, and slid out of the front of the machine on shiny thick card that everyone huddled over and watched develop. But they tended to be party cameras, appearing at Christmas, birthdays, engagements. You captured your holiday photos on a proper camera, one you had to load and feed film into, then unload and drop off…

The Mythic Biscuit: Oreos

My childhood biscuits were mainly plain but had lovely names: Marie, Nice, Rich Tea. Quiet biscuits. The kind of biscuits that would never interrupt a conversation. Polite, not pushy. At the other end of the spectrum, and only irregularly present, probably a result of practical economics, were cheeky Jammy Dodgers, irritable Garibaldis, and self-contented and reliable Bourbons. And even more irregularly, the flashy inhabitants of a Christmas Box of Biscuits: Pink Wafers. I ate them at the same time as not liking them very much, a bit like Miss World Contestants in sparkly dresses, too much eye make-up and a saccharine idea of world peace. 
I'm in the mood to think, and personify, 'biscuits' because the lovely team at Oreo sent me some samples of their new Oreo Thins. I hadn't heard of Oreos until the early 1990s when a friend asked if I would bring him back a packet from a Florida holiday. I forgot and pretended I couldn't find them. 'But they're everywher…