Trader Profile-Get Pickled Somerset
For our October market we’re celebrating the incredible edible bounty that’s available on our doorstep, and we’ve invited the Frome Food Network along to the Village Green area, where there will be lots of food-related activities to get involved with. You can try your luck on the tombola to win a prize from one of our regular traders – Get Pickled Somerset, who we caught up with recently to chat about the inspiration behind the business – read on friends!
Tell us a bit about you and your business…
Hello there, I am Paula – Brazilian born, Frome based and the person behind Get Pickled Somerset. My love for the kitchen started with my grandmothers, one Italian and the other Native Brazilian. I think that set the tone for my curiosity in the kitchen and for a wide range of flavours. I travelled widely before and after I was married and had the chance to try some of the incredible cuisines around the globe.
This business was born out of a passion for preserving food, our community, and our planet – and a genuine desire to create more out of fresh ingredients. A move out of London, combined with UK lockdown 1.0, provided the catalysts for a cloudy, life-long dream to be turned into a clear reality. Even though I had a background in academics and art history, being in here in the Somerset countryside really ignited my passion about how we engage with food systems and the need to deal with food surplus.
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
I am all up for upcycling any kind of plant matter that falls into my hands. And to make it as tasty as possible using all the globetrotting cabinet of spices I’ve developed throughout the years. I take great inspiration from my colleagues at the Fermenters’ Guild and I am learning new techniques that I can apply to my seasonal produce. I try to engage with producers and the Avon Gleaning Network as much possible to tap into any local surplus, which then always challenge me to create new ferments.
I also deeply committed to use ethical suppliers and organic ingredients. I also believe in educating people around all those issues and skilling them up in the fight against food waste – I have a program of fermentation workshops, which you can find on my website.
Why did you choose to come and trade at The Frome Independent?
Even before I have started my business or moved to Somerset I had had the chance to visit the market and was so impressed with the quality and mixture of independent brands, makers and food. I cannot praise the whole enterprise enough, it’s a mammoth operation that seems to run super smoothly. Since then, it made sense to apply for a pitch as I wanted to add my Get Pickled flair to their already great roster.
What do you like most about market trading?
I love the opportunity to meet people face to face and talk fermentation, surplus and upcycling. I think there is a growing thirst for knowledge regarding the way we eat and what we eat. As education is a great part of my mission, being at the market is a fantastic opportunity to deal with questions and address a lot of their concerns. It is also a great opportunity to get to meet and engage with the community and other traders – I always come back with special trade deals of some of favourite stalls.
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
Oh that is a difficult question, I tend to over try and test each of my products… to the point there are hardly any left when I finish a first batch! Having said that I have just won two awards for my Alt Kimchi (Taste of the West and Great Taste Awards). Our Alt Kimchi offers an alternative, citrusy spin on the classic, dropping the gochugaru chillies in favour of shichimi togarashi; a Japanese, seven-part, umami-laden spice mix. This hits all the right spots – and acts as fairy dust in any savoury meal, from salads, to burgers, to scrambled eggs to ramen.
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
There are two stalls there always visit on the market… Eat Dark Matters for their divine and moreish vegan brownies – such a treat after a long market day. And for all things fashion I love to check out what Evie from Daines Atelier has in her stall, her handcrafted creations are works of art to be worn every day. I love it!
And finally, some quick-fire questions….
Where to start? I think a recent book that stayed way after I finished it was Girl, Woman, Other from Bernardine Evaristo. On a rainy holiday nothing beats a Jane Austen… and when I am missing home I might read South American classic, something by Jorge Amado, Isabel Allende or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Describe your dream day off
Wake to a cup of coffee and a potter around in the garden. A walk with my boys and maybe lunch with friends. I love having people around… that might finish with a movie in our sitting room or a rave in my kitchen.
What are you listening to right now?
I have just recently got into digital radio and have been enjoying Radio 6 Music tremendously!
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
Right at this moment? Planning dinner for 8 at mine, probably a pasta aglio e olio from my Nonna’s recipe and having a pre-game glass of rosé. We are just back from summer holidays in the South of France and brought back a considerable stock as we drove back home!
Thank you Paula! If you fancy taking your meals up a notch we highly recommend seeking out Paula’s ferments at Get Pickled in Market Place on Sunday 2nd October at The Frome Independent…