Thursday, 30 May 2013

Kites and picnics!

Summer is here - and the May market was a fun fest of kite-making and flying, scrumptious picnic baskets filled with goodies from the stall-holders, and two of our favourite musicians - the tárógató and harmonium players who met for the first time at the market last summer, and who found wonderful musical companions within minutes.
(photo above courtesy of Szerencsi TV who are a great support to the market in terms of documentation and video. All others are by Zsolt Szentirmai.)

Kornél, Enikő and their children set up the kite-making table. They had brought a simple design that could be made within minutes - decorated for as long as you liked. It was a great sight seeing young and old dashing along under the vineyards and up high on the hill, long tails streaming behind their kites soaring above them. Many a child's dream - no matter what age ;)

Well, summer has certainly arrived after a long winter that, though at the time seemed it would never end, has since disappeared into faded memories, as the summer triumphantly presents itself. We though the lush green world perfect for a stroll into the vineyards, picnic basket in hand, to find a pleasant spot to enjoy some local delicacies and wine made on the estate.

A savoury basket with a bottle of chilled Disznókő Tokaji Dry Furmint to accompany cheeses and cured sausages, perec (crunchy bread rounds), tomato chutney, mushroom paté and Sárga Borház freshly baked bread; a sweet basket with honey and jams, gingerbread, and homemade cakes to go with a sweet yet refreshing Late Harvest. The baskets made by the Búzavirág Foundation, a community for the blind and partially sighted that offers integrated living and handcrafts such as weaving (basketry and rugs) and pottery, also included hand engraved wine glasses, a picnic rug, Tokaj-Hegyalja Market badges and even a special edition embroidered Market rug. Perfect - in fact so perfect that many of the baskets were bought as presents!

Many of the picnic basket items were traditional favourites on the market, but I would also like to show a couple of new products that I noticed for the first time.

Hungary meets Japan
The Tokaj Wine Vinegar producers have got together with local Japanese wine lover (picture of his grandfather above) to produce this special vinegar:

And local oyster mushroom grower decided to preserve his oyster musrooms as a tasty paste (garlic, thyme, etc.) Of course, one of the pleasures of the market is that you can talk to the producer - and taste before you buy... (These spreads were yummy!)

And, not exactly a new product as such, indeed a very ancient form: Grandmother and Grandson working together, creating wild-crafted cordials and jams, including diabetic products using birch tree sugar.

One creature not interested in any of the products...

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