Last week there was Continental Market here in Stoke on Trent. It took place for the second time this year (last time it was here in April).
The stalls were open for 4 days, from Wednesday to Saturday from 9 to 17:30. This is something I´d like to see to change a bit. In my opinion it would be much better to have it open from Thursday to Sunday, so that working people with 9-to-5 jobs have more chance to get there, because this way 3 from 4 days are automatically ruled out for them.
I went there on Saturday. There were around 40 traders offering international products, being it food or gifts or something else. From those not edible products I remember amber jewellery, iron wire and beads jewellery and gifts and Dutch themed decorations (windmills and so on).
However, what we really came there for, was, of course, FOOD. We arrived around 11 and were ready for some brunch. There was a wide selection of international cuisines. Ourselves we tried Dutch pofitjes (little pancakes), Greek gyros and German bratwurst. The pofitjes came with two toppings, I picked Baileys (because that´s a way to start a day, no?) and Dutch syrup, which, as they explained, was a variety of maple syrup. These liquidish toppings made the little pancakes a bit soggy, but it still tasted nice. My boyfriend had gyros and was satisfied as well.
We also bought some Italian sweet pastry for the next day, some French bread (baton) with onion and Italian cheese with pistachio. The pastry was nice, but quite expensive. The bread was really good and for how it tasted it was reasonably priced. The cheese was expensive as well and didn´t really meet our expectations.
Among other things you could see, smell and taste there were Belgian fresh baked macaroons that smelled marvellously after coconut, French tarts, cakes, meringue, biscuits and candied fruits, French crepes, Italian pasta, salami and ham, Italian biscuits, nougat and chocolate, sweet cakes and baklavas, South American exotic meats including ostrich, crocodile, impala and wild boar, Spanish paella, Thai noodles, UK alcoholic flavoured mead wines, cheeses, crackers and chutneys, chilli products, sauces, jams, chocolate, oils, cupcakes, Fair Trade coffee and tea and Welsh Snowdonian cheeses.
It was only a pity that I had to pass the tea and coffee shop without buying anything since I still have the teas I bought from the stall in April (I wrote about it here)… and plenty more, so I imposed an embargo on buying new ones.
After we walked round, we went to the Potteries to run some errands and came back to the market to meet a friend. We walked around the market once again and before we were off to Tesco, we bought a German bratwurst. It was really good, without any fatty or ligamenty bits. However, the bread the bratwurst was served in was the surprising bit. Nicely surprising – fresh, tasty bread, not a sweet-tasting bun taken from a plastic bag.
As you can see, we were really satisfied with the market. It´s just a pity that it doesn´t happen more often. Bring on the next one!