Today I discovered something that brings together two of my favourite things, food and Walthamstow. Whilst out for a sunny Sunday wander we decided to have a mooch around the stalls on the farmers market. We did the usual thing and bought some eggs, then looked longingly at the cake stall wondering how long I would have to run to burn them off. Having decided that buying an entire fruit cake for just the two of us might be a tad bit greedy, we turned and headed for home. That’s when we found the stall belonging to plot 44. We nearly walked past as there were a group of people chatting in front of it, but the sight of open jars of chutney waiting to be sampled drew us in.
The stall holder was talking to another customer so we made a start and tried the sweet pepper relish then the corn relish, both were delicious. I moved a little further down the stall and started scrumping on some onion and cranberry relish, as I was eating I noticed something printed on the front of the jar Hand made in ridiculously small batches in London, E17. The stall holder, Sam, told us that he doesn’t just make the pickles, jams and relishes, he also grows the ingredients in Walthamstow. Sam’s partner is from Pennsylvania, his family grow much of what they eat and the pair carried on this tradition of growing. At first the excess food was turned in to jam or pickled and given to friends and family as gifts. The feedback was good and Sam had the idea to turn the pickles in to a business so plot 44 was born.
Plot 44 is a modern-day cottage industry, harking back to earlier days when people would grow their own food and sell the excess at market. And it’s another example of a locally made product spreading from E17 and finding a wider audience. For us here in Walthamstow, plot 44 provides us with a great locally made alternative to the major supermarket brands. As for the flavour of the chutneys, ketchup and pickles, the ones I tried today were lovely and Sam does ask his customers to send feedback, good or bad so he can improve his recipes. Pay the stall a visit the next time it’s in town and help support the latest reason to shop local. For more information including how and when to find the plot 44 stall check their website.