Thursday, January 28, 2010
There's something incredibly cheesy about a French onion man, particularly in England, so I've always resisted buying from them in the past imagining they're bound to be a rip-off. However the onion man above looked so jolly and his onions so tempting that I stopped to ask how much they would cost.
The answer, for a big double string weighing 3 kilos at least I would guess, was £5.50, not bad for what Maxim (for that was, unbelievably, his name) told me were AOC pink onions from Roscoff in Brittany. (The AOC system, as those of you who are familiar with wine will know, recognises products that have a specific geographical origin. The French apparently have two for onions - Roscoff, which was awarded last July and L'Oignon Doux des Cévennes, awarded back in 2003)
Maxim had such a perfect cod-French accent that I wondered if his real name wasn't Mark or Matt, especially when he told me he worked for a Cardiff-based company called Patrick Onion which I failed to find on Google when I checked it out. However there does seem to be a tradition of French onion selling in Wales according to this book which did crop up in the search. There also seems to have been another sighting of him at the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff last year.
Due to having developed a streaming cold on Sunday I still have to make full use of them but the couple we used on Saturday night in a tray of roast vegetables were wonderfully sweet. And they do look very beautiful hanging up in the kitchen so I don't feel I've been taken for a ride.
Any Cardiff readers out there who can shed light on the mysterious Patrick Onion do get in touch . . .