Color Porn: The Farmers Markets

Farmers markets is a source of so many beautiful things all in one place. The color, the samples, the random conversations, the freshness of the products and all the fresh meals that will soon be in your pie hole.  Farmers markets are wonderful places to grab a few things and picnic right then and there.  I’ve found myself purchasing some fresh bread, tomatoes and cheeses and have a simple lunch eating my newly purchased wares.  (Lets be honest here…I couldn’t wait to get home so I had to wolf down all my purchases on the quick.)

Supermarkets are convenient and wonderful in their own right but farmers markets are a great place to purchase fresh ingredients and do something great for the farmers and merchants that are available right there in your community.  Plus….all the vivid colors from nature right there for your viewing pleasure!  Oh and also the samples.  Delicious fresh fresh samples.

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R: 187 G: 255 B: 125 X:42164 Y: 0 S: 0 Z: 21 F: 252

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Ideally I wish I could just grab my fruits and veggies straight from the source, like these cherries from my grandfather’s tree in Hungary.  But living in the bustling city this is simply not as easy.

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LET’S ROAST SOME BACON AROUND THE FIRE!

As a young child I would visit my family in Hungary.  There were certain traditions that we brought back home to America and still practice today.  Some of these traditions make more sense on a farm in rural Hungary but sometimes you gotta make due with whichever setting you’ve got. Plus some food traditions were just too delicious to leave back in the motherland. This pastime is best enjoyed in the countryside, camping or in your garden.
Szalona Sutes‘ or ‘Bacon Roasting‘ is a tradition that is best enjoyed with family and friends.
This is a Hungarian style BBQ!  So instead of one person standing in front of a hot flame cooking, you’ve got several people sweating it out.  This is really fun and builds a since of community.
Before the meal begins everyone enjoys  a shot of Palinka (Hungarian brandy) to celebrate the gathering.  Beers can also be consumed throughout the cookout. Highly recommended!  After all, its a barbecue.

Here’s what you need:
A fire and heavy sharpened sticks (or a long metal skewer will do for all you fancies out there).
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Fresh cut veggies such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions and radishes.
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Pork products such as pork belly or thick cut bacon (preferably with lots of fat), Hungarian smoked sausage and some nice smoked pork tenderloin.
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Bread…preferably thick rustic french bread, shepherders bread or if you’re lucky then this delightful Hungarian style bread.
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Put all your meats on the stick and it is rotated on the fire.  You gotta keep spinning or your fat will burn.  You want to make the bacon crispy not charred.
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The key is to get the bacon drippings on your fresh bread and even let them drip on the veggies.   You’ll notice the bacon and sausage drippings will activate the flames as it drips into the embers.
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You cant rush the bacon.   Give it some time.  While you wait and continually spin you can snack on your greased bread.
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After you see you’ve crisped your bacon you can start chopping the cooked bits off.
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This is a great old-fashioned tradition that’s great fun with good people. There’s really nothing better than laughing at the one person that constantly keeps getting smoke in their eyes. Because we all know ‘smoke follows beauty’.
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All photos are taken by me or my cousin Anita from Hungary.
The old timey photo courtesy of
http://lacacseke.hu/

DRAWING HUNGRY

I have a deep love of food illustrations and Hungarian food.  Sometimes I wander into the scary world of the  inter-webs looking for the perfect marriage of my two loves.  Instagram led me to artist named Nick Hilditch.  (On Instagram he goes by the name @pockless.)

He has a whimsical look at traditional Hungarian dishes.  These drawings left me laughing, nostalgic and hungry.  He traveled to Hungary in 1996, recorded his food travels not with photographs like most of us common fools, but with art.
I love these.
I love everything about these.
Well done Mr. Hilditch.  I’d like to explore other parts of the world with you.

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nickhilditch.com

ONION, LARD, PAPRIKA

As a child I always dreaded the question “where is your family from?”  Because I know the question that would immediately follow would be , “Oh, your family is from Hungary?  Are you hungry?”

The answer was and will always be yes.

Yes, I am hungry/Hungary.

Onions, lard and paprika.  The three things that I can say shaped my culinary tastes growing up and that defines the things I crave today.

Its also interesting that Hungary is the only country on this list that has lard as a “spice”.  Can rendered pig fat be a spice?  I don’t know.  But I do know I enjoy a healthy {unhealthy} spoonful of lard spread on a fresh piece of bread.  Straight up rural Hungarian farmer status,  just the way my grandfather did.

picture courtesy of foodbeast.com

infographic designed by DataDail

http://www.kitstone.com