Look at these beauties…

They’re a variety called Discovery and they’re the first apple crop of the year from Llewellyn’s Orchard Produce, near Dublin. (See this entry for my new favourite salad dressing, made with their apple balsamic vinegar.)

When you cut these apples open, they’re stained a beautiful pinky colour inside. I forgot to take a picture of the first one I sliced up as I was a bit distracted by its lovely perfumed flavour and chomped the lot. So, purely for blogging purposes of course, I’m prepared to cut up another one and take a snapshot:

Originally, I was thinking about making crumble or perhaps the apple-ginger sorbet Shauna blogged about here. But I’m totally entranced by how delicious these apples are on their own, so I’m not sure if any are going to make it any further than a quick visit to the chopping board on the way to my belly.

Llewellyn’s Orchard Produce is just one of the many producers at the Dun Laoghaire farmers market every Sunday (11am to 4pm). It’s not my nearest market but, since we weren’t doing much yesterday, we dodged the traffic snarling up the M50 (all going to the Ireland hurling championship finals) and pottered over to the People’s Park.

We’d been there once before but it was during the time we were trying to move into the new house properly, so it was all a wee bit stressful. Nothing worth writing about really registered at the time because I was walking through a haze of worry about petty crap like building cupboards and laying down carpet (seems unbelievable now). However, I was definitely paying attention to everything this time. And it was good.

Some of the highlights include:

· A comprehensive organic fruit and veg section – plenty to choose from at reasonable prices, all of it ripe and ready to use, not under-ripe nor wrapped in plastic. And they have fennel, so I’m their fan for life.

· The Cork Food Company – olives, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, hummus, feta, mozzarella, olive oil, stuffed roasted peppers, beans… all the good nibbly, salty, snacky things you could possibly want.
· The Lebanese falafel stall. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Well, my sad little dreams anyway. The stall offers several variations on a theme but the one I went for was the falafel wrap – Lebanese flatbread, smeared with hummus, topped with several warm smushed falafel and then topped off with tomatoes and lettuce. Once again, I was so busy making inroads into my food that I forgot to take a picture. I’ve really got to work on that. Sadly, it also meant that I was so full that I didn’t have any room for anything from…
· The Californian Market Bakery – Mr B was strangely attracted to this stall. Big surprise as it was loaded with enormous muffins. Lots of tempting flavours to choose from, including lemon and poppyseed, orange-cranberry-almond, and some kind of double chocolate with cream cheese. I’ll have to go back another time to tackle one of these giant treats.

And, of course, there was Llewellyn’s Orchard Produce and those beautiful apples.

I’m almost unreasonably excited by the idea of going back to this fantastic farmers’ market sometime soon to see what else is coming into season during autumn, but there are plenty of others to explore in the meantime…

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