A Shout Out to The Farmers Market

* by Mark

I am a sinner, for I partake in the nasty habit of smoking and so I am often relegated to the cold and wet outside to satisfy my cravings. Over the years I have grown accustomed to the downside of my habit and accept it as a norm. Oh yes before you think it I have tried to quit and sure one day I will quit with the help of vaping but for now success eludes me. So you may now be wondering what on earth this has to do with a farmers market, let me explain…

We smokers are often told from learned and wise people that one of the many downsides to our habit is a reduced or even the total loss of our sense of smell and taste and as they are indeed wise I for one took them at their word.

In a busy and hectic modern lifestyle we as a society have reduced our foraging for food down to the weekly visit to one of the main supermarket chains, its normal and everyone does it. Now as I wander around the fruit and veg section of our local supermarket the smells are muted and in many cases missing, even in the cut flower section. Once home and dinner is prepared my taste buds experience the same muted sense. It must be because I smoke right, my fault right….

A Shout Out to The Farmers MarketNow we live in the deepest darkest corner of Bulgaria, miles from anything resembling a supermarket and having missed the summer so the veg patch is currently bare we have to go foraging in a new way. So to the farmers market we go on a chilly but sunny Wednesday morning to browse a hundred different stalls stacked high with seasonally appropriate vegetables and fruit. This is where I had one of my life changing experiences.

Maybe it was a miracle, maybe Bulgarian cigarettes are made different whatever it was my sense of smell was reeling from all the inputs. I could smell everything and in many cases I didn’t even have to be an inch away but several paces away was close enough to smell the produce. It was an amazing experience and has left a lasting impression on me. When we returned home and prepared some of our newly acquired food my taste buds also joined in with the revelation of working again as the taste of everything was distinct and filled my mouth. I am hooked.

…and yes I still smoke, probably more now than ever as the novelty of £2 a pack makes quitting just a little harder!

So why, I was left wondering, why have my senses returned to me so suddenly after all these years of being dormant. Turns out if you eat stuff grown in clean soil, that’s clean in the sense of not being saturated in chemicals and in a natural environment as it is meant to be grown as stated by Mother Nature the end product smells and tastes amazing. If you eat stuff grown out of season, stuff that grew in a polly-tunnel and that was fed chemicals to facilitate the fastest possible growth cycle to maximise profits the flavour and smell is muted. It is all to do with the micro-organisms in the soil, all the creepy crawlies who defecate and die in the soil, the rain water and the whole ecosystem that the plant grows in. Things we probably don’t want to think about as we are eating but are vital to the amount of smell and taste we experience at the end of it all. Commercially grown stuff tends to be shielded from all that stuff and we pay the price.

So I return to my starting point, with a huge shout out to the farmers market, they are not perfect but they are a far better option than the supermarket shelves of commercially churned out produce. So support your local business person and visit your farmers market and spend a little extra cash, trust me your nose and tongue will thank you.

Review – Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts

I don’t know about you, but I just love coconut… coconut water, coconut milk, dried coconut… anything coconut related is on my favourite foods list. This is one of my happy foods, there is something about it that just makes me want to have more and more and I never get bored of it. Pair my coconut obsession with a lovely offer of reviewing some of Cocofina products (all coconut based) and you have one happy me!

I’ve never tried Cocofina before so I wasn’t picky with my selection of products. I asked their PR to make the choice for me, simply because I just wouldn’t be able to decide what I want; I would want it all.

Cocofina

This is what arrived in the post – a great selection of products for a Cocofina noob.

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts - bars

After the initial pictures were taken the first thing eaten were the bars. Yummy! There is a choice of three flavours:

  • Organic Coconut & Date Bar
  • Organic Coconut & Cocoa Bar
  • Macaroon Bar

Both date and cocoa bars are certified organic. They are 100% vegan and have no GMOs. The ingredients list is clear and easy to read, there are no chemical wording or symbols we might not understand. Let’s take a look at the date bar for example…

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts - date bar

Ingredients of Cocofina Organic Coconut & Date Bar: Raisins (99% raisins, 1% sunflower oil) (39%), coconut (28%), dates (28%), oats (5%), water. That’s all. And not to forget all these ingredients are 100% organic certified.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

My macaroon bar came in just a silver wrapping, so I actually have no idea what’s inside of it, but trust me, whatever it is, it taste divine.

After I munched on some bars (I didn’t eat them all at once and all by myself… I was a good girl and shared the love), I really needed a drink so it was very handy I had some coconut water around 🙂

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts

The flavoured coconut water comes in three flavour combination:

  • Coconut Water Mango & Guava
  • Coconut Water Apple & Blueberry
  • Coconut Water Tea and Passion Fruit

The last one was my favourite, but this said they all tasted really nice. You know sometimes when you have a flavoured drink you get a weird aftertaste or the flavours feel just a bit off, fake like… this isn’t happening here. All the drinks taste genuine and simply nice. You get a base line of coconut and all the other flavours on top. They are quite subtle and for sure not overpowering. The same applies with the bars. All the drinks are 100% vegan and with no GMOs addition. Despite me loving all the drinks I was a little bit disappointed to see that they are made from concentrate and have natural flavouring and sweetener added to them.

Cocofina – The real taste of coconuts - coconut water

So I checked the coconut water packaging. Woot! 100% coconut water, nothing else. How great is that? The small note on the side of the box made me smile: “Cocofina coconut water may vary in taste, colour and sweetness depending on the season”. At least you know that this is a natural product and not modified to fit the “standard”.

If you are like me are a coconut fan you should really try Cocofina products, especially the water. It really tastes like the real deal.

Cocofina products

Do you love coconut and coconut based products?