Tuesday, 11 January 2011

If only....

 I have searched everywhere for Seville Oranges this year. It has been quite a sad little journey really - at one time you could have bought them anywhere at this time of year, but I suppose if there is a lack of demand they are less likely to be imported or stocked - also all our local markets seam to be on a downward spiral. 
Our nearest 'big' market is Blackburn. This has been a huge vibrant market all my life and way way into the past, however over  the past 5 years the number of stall holders has dwindled. A couple of years ago, the MALL bought the town centre and market. They have been refurbishing the shopping centre and building an all new singing and dancing market hall where rents will be higher and stall holders will have to be open 6 days a week. This has put most stall holders out of business or caused them to move to other markets. Last week the very last of the fruit and veg stalls closed on the old market. Very sad - and all we can do is stand and watch as it all vanishes.
A similar fate has been working it's way through Clitheroe Market - a smaller market for a smaller town, but after a huge over haul about 10 years ago, that too has become smaller and smaller.
It doesn't help that both these towns have a large amount of supermarkets, and that for the average working person a weekday market that closes about 4pm is just not practical, and Saturdays are spent trawling round the huge shopping centres and supermarkets - to be totally honest, we only have our selves to blame.

So it is with a certain amount of shame on my part that I finally found my oranges in one of Clitheroe's Supermarkets. And yes, I am as bad as the next person - I could have supported the markets more, the local shop keepers and helped to keep my community alive, but I do go to each of the supermarkets, have a loyalty card for each, am loyal to none, and if I can get it cheaper their, I probably will.

Anyway - I have those darned oranges now, I just hope the marmalade will taste sweet, and not leave a taste more bitter than it should be!


Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to buy Seville oranges, despite being surrounded, or so it feels sometimes, by Tescobury's as one blogger calls the two biggies. The supermarkets are all twenty minutes away, and the village shops haven't got Sevilles, so I made Sainsbury's Moreish Marmalade... and it didn't set. It used ordinary oranges, three, and lemons, two. But had WAY too much peel and was runny. Husband suggested using it as the liquid in my bread when I made it, then we'd have ready marmaladed toast!!!! Needless to say, that's another useful (?) hint I shan't be following. Meanwhile, I have to get more bread flower from a farm shop at Norfolk Lavender at the weekend, so will look to see if they have Sevilles in there. Hope yours is good.
And I know what you mean about it being our fault really that there is takeover by the supermarket giants. However, I live in a village, and even though big shops and town aren't that far away, I do support our local shops, but like you say, money is the key and if I can find it cheaper elsewhere, then that's where I'll buy it.

Anonymous said...

Of course I meant bread FLOUR.... I think my brain is having it's afternoon nap!

Nita said...

I am with you al the way on this one. Here in Coventry the only reliable place to source Sevilles is the independant fruit and veg shop chain Joe Richards(which is fabulous on price and quality and beats all the supermarkets hands down in both departments!) Our City Market looks like it needs artificial resusitation it is so bad. Thanks for your comment, it's not so much the 'fiddly' stuff that I love, but I have to do a job properly or not bother at all.