Sunday, 26 February 2012

Farmers Markets

Over the last few years we have seen a rise in the number of Farmers Markets that are setting up in our communities. These touring markets are a great way of local producers getting their products into the public domain, as well as a fantastic opportunity for us all to try things that we may never get the chance to buy in the supermarkets.

With a wide selection of fresh fruit and veg, eggs and poultry , fresh meat, fresh fish and other seafood, fresh cheeses, and fresh baked goods, it's well worth checking to see if there are any markets near where you live.

In the Glasgow area there are a few organised markets that operate regularly across the city. Check out the links below to see if there are any in your area.
Glasgow Farmers Market
Lanarkshire Farmers Market
Scottish Association of Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets give an alternative to the supermarkets, and contrary to popular belief, are not overly expensive. I have a number of favourite vendors I will go looking for when the markets are in town.
For fresh fish, Fencebay provide a wide range of locally caught fish and shellfish, as well as a fantastic range of their own produced pâtés. Another delicacy that is definitely worth trying is the smoked duck breasts and smoked chicken breasts that are created in Fencebay's own smokery.
Sunnyside Farm, have become a firm favourite in my kitchen, mainly down the outdoor reared veal that Sunnyside produce. Rose Veal is a delicious and light meat and a great alternative to beef, but due a lot of bad press in the past, lots of people are still wary of trying it. In actual fact there are still a large percentage of butchers who will not stock veal! Dominic Smith and his family also slow rear and produce a fantastic range of pork, lamb & beef products. Yesterday I bought a pack of the Gloucestershire Old Spot pork sausages to add to my homemade steak pie, 90% pork sausages that taste exactly as you would expect sausages to taste. Delicious!
Puddledub are a Fife based producer of all things pork. Tom Mitchell and his team do a great job from the breeding of home grown pigs, through to butchery and preparation of a huge range of pork products. If you get the chance, try their excellent range of sausages. From the straightforward 'Breakfast Sausage' to their own version of the ever popular Spanish Chorizo. Puddledub's home produced bacon is a popular choice at with celebrity chef Nick Nairn, who uses Puddledub's pork at his cook school at Lake of Menteith. The company slogan is 'Perfection in Pork', you know what - they may be right!
These three are just a few of the vendors that I eagerly look out for when the markets comes to town, however I am sure that over time there will be a few others who make my favourites list.
I urge you to use these Farmers Markets when you can, support local farmers and producer and try new things. You never know, you may find something that you never knew existed that becomes a firm favourite in your own kitchen.

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