Mair’s bread (Mair’s Bakehouse, Cwmduad) has this particular quality; it appears to be caught in that puffy, tumescent state that seems unique to just-risen dough rather than the finished loaf. This makes it look irresistible and the taste and texture matches it looks.
We buy Mair’s bread at the monthly Mumbles Produce Market, even if we have plenty Prof. Edible’s bread machine product, as we don’t wish to miss an opportunity to eat it fresh. Of all the Swansea produce markets, Mumbles Market has the most attractive location at the promenade car park at Oystermouth. Like all such markets, in terms of the commercial food chain, it has a ‘bottom feeder’ set-up with ‘top feeder’ products, and prices. There are a bewildering number of items on offer; some being more permanent than others. We seem to cope with this embarrassment of riches by making for the same stalls that sell good staples; passing the probably perfectly good exotic ‘gaudy fish’ to make for the unassuming, reliable types. Since I had to turn my back on cow’s milk, cheese producers such as Cothi Valley Goats (Talley) have become a useful supplement to the supermarket goat and ewe cheese.
Shannon, Fastnet, Lundy, Mumbles Market: the location is so exposed that there are times where you feel the market should be included in that British institution – the shipping/fishing forecast. I have been to wintertime markets where I suspected Meryl Streep had left The Cobb at Lyme Regis, bringing the weather with her, to pick up some shopping at the rain swept Market. Last Saturday the sea mist only warranted the fog alarm signal to sound out at sea making what was forecast to be a sunny day, cold and damp – good for the cheese smiled ‘Mr Cothi’ – we really do have to keep buying from him so he can afford to replace his missing front tooth!
Just to immediately contradict myself here is an unusual buy at this month’s market. Who could resist the sign ‘cockle sushi’ at the Authentic (Japanese foods) stall, the new frontiers of Swansea, Terroir Lush: