In other words, the street market for artisan food producers. There’s something for everybody here:
- Honey- a great variety of honeys, my current favourite is the orange blossom honey with its subtle citrus tang and fine nose. In winter when its cold and wet, I like to settle down of an evening with a glass of hot milk liberally dosed with thyme honey and brandy – great before bed when you have a touch of cold, or even if you don’t.
- Handmade honeycomb candles and moulded beeswax
- Marmalades and jams made from fresh local fruits
- Dried wild and cultivated mushrooms and truffles from the foothills of the Pyrenees. Monbolet specialises in wild and cultivated mushrooms and also prepares pre-mixed, ready-to-cook rice and pasta dishes flavoured with several kinds of wild mushrooms. If you fancy trying your hand at making a Catalan fricandó –a braised steak stew– buy some moixernons, tiny button mushrooms.
- Goat and cow’s milk cheeses. Cheese lovers are spoiled for choice. I’ve tried lots of these and every one has been first class, some are drier and stronger, some more softer and smoother, but all first-rate. My all-time favourite is the creamy goats’ cheese called Formatge mantegós de cabra.
- Wines. Ecologically produced wines and sparkling wines from the Tenes valley.
- Pastries and biscuits. Typically Catalan pastries and biscuits all made using ecologically produced flour: deliciously crunchy and crumbly carquinyolis, made with eggs, sugar and almonds; chocolate, orange and almond biscuits; savoury cookies made with olive oil, eggs, herbs and spices; wholemeal and fibre rich biscuits…
- Dairy produce. Fresh cottage cheese, yoghurts, kefir, honey, marmalades, crème caramel from Can Corder, pioneer in high-quality, kilometre 0 dairy production.
- Herbs. Single herbs and mixtures to alleviate all conditions. Galangal to stimulate appetite, camomile to help digestion, herb mixtures for calming burns, easing pain; artichoke and bitter herbs for detoxing your liver, thyme for clearing your chest.
Fira d’ Artisans
Plaça del Pi
The first and third Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of each month.
11.00 – 14.30 and 17.00 – 21.30
Google map: bit.ly/j3LF4b
A home-made cake stall found at Dorchester Farmers' Market selling the most scrumptious looking cakes. I bought the best Dorset Apple Cake I've ever eaten - thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Can't wait for their return next month.
1 Quarr Farm Cottages, Quarr Lane, Lytchett Matravers, Poole
They told me they sell at Dorset Farmers' Markets in Blandford Forum, Broadstone and Dorchester.
A lively and varied mixed market held every Wednesday for the last 700 years or so. Everything from veg to fish, and socks to tap fixings. Bigger and busier in the summer, but worth visiting at other times to hear Welsh being spoken and to buy the best home produced pork you can find. Really fantastic cheese stall too, and one selling local produce. Stall selling things made out of slate and felt, and one selling organic veg, as well as very wide range of other stalls.
Main High St (Maengwyn Street) Machynlleth, SY20.
Parking difficult in summer holidays, find a place as you enter town.
Google map: bit.ly/hab3JI
For a market with great food and a great atmosphere, try the one in La Rochelle, a beautifully maintained harbour town on the Atlantic coast in western France. We stumbled across it as we strolled through the deserted streets of the old town on a quiet sunny Sunday morning. As we moved further away from the harbour, we noticed the narrow streets becoming livelier, filling with people carrying bags of fruit and vegetables, bunches of colourful flowers and the obligatory baguette, its top - as so often is the case - missing, presumed eaten already. Housed in and around an ornate 19th century market hall surrounded by bustling restaurants and cafes, this market has it all. Amazing fresh and varied seafood (cooked and uncooked) laid out artistically on ice beds, meats, charcuterie, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, cakes and pastries, chocolates and some of the nicest and most enticing traiteurs we've seen in France for a long while. Made ravenous by the smell of baking wafting about us, we set about buying up a picnic to eat at the harbour's edge, watching the yachts bobbing up and down in the gentle sway.The food was delicious. The memories linger on.
Every morning at the Place du Marche, La Rochelle. To stay, try Masqhotel (17 Rue de L'ouvrage à Cornes, 17000 La Rochelle; www.masqhotel.com), a conveniently situated modern hotel.
Google map: bit.ly/edRwUa
I know that this might be a long way to go for food but just the mention of it makes my taste buds tingle and I am trying not to drool over my keyboard as I write this.
Not only are there rows upon rows of stalls selling organic fruit and vegetables, but there are also Ollie Bollens (a Dutch doughnut.)
A stall that claims it sells the smallest doughnuts on the planet, Sweets and Treats, sells the freshest crumbliest shortbread I have ever tasted, giandujah a slab of soft chocolate with whole hazelnuts, and another chocolate that is like a cherry ripe (coconut mixed in with cherries squashed between two layers of dark chocolate).
As you walk around filling your bags with goodies for later your nose twitches with the smells of satays, noodles, spring rolls, German sausages all these made by the wide ethnic mixture of people who live on this island.
The market is flanked by sandstone buildings which used to be warehouses for ancient mariners who fished for whales. They are now craft shops, galleries, restaurants and second hand book shops.
And don’t worry about gaining weight, the stalls are along a long street that is blocked off for this occasion every Saturday and if you feel naughty at having sampled all the products you can always run up and down Kelly’s Steps (named after one of these successful fishermen) a few times which take you in the direction of Battery point.
Salamanca Place, Hobart, Tasmania 7000
(Near the waterfront in the centre)
Google map: bit.ly/hvJGWq
The islet of Trogir is a popular Croatian tourist destination and World Heritage site. Billionaires park their yachts here during the summer months. However, a short walk round the town and away from the quayside leads you to a causeway back to the mainland and the extensive daily market. Under an array of shady parasols local produce – fruit, preserves, fresh herbs, cheeses and vegetables - is displayed in abundance and elderly Croatian ladies are set up round the edges with tiny trestle tables, eager to sell you their pots of honey and hand-picked crops; anything from plums to courgettes. Afterward you can pick up a coffee and a Croatian pastry in one of the nearby bakery stalls.
Trogir is on the Dalmatian coast about 20 miles from Split. The market is just off the main road beside the causeway that leads on to Trogir island.
The market at the Quai Ste Antoine on the banks of the Saone offers food and flavours from across all southern France in one place. Local market gardeners jostle with producers from Provence. A must for all visitors to Lyon.
Quai Ste Antoine in Lyon
Google map: bit.ly/f0LtIA
A fascinating market which reflects the diversity of the local population.
A stroll down Atlantic Road and Electric Avenue in the centre of Brixton will take you past well established British fishmongers and more recently arrived Portuguese grocers. Further into the market are the stalls and shops stocking Caribbean staples, salt fish, plantains, green bananas and cassava. Butchers shops cater to many different communities, some are halal some sell pig's trotters and tails. Others sell Brazilian sausages or Columbian delicacies. In the last 12 months the Brixton Village project has seen the development of previously empty market units so that there are now new shops and stalls in the Granville Arcade, sitting alongside those selling dried fish from West Africa and a bewildering variety of yams. These ventures include small independent coffee shops and pizza restaurants, bakeries and an old fashioned sweet shop. Best of all there is always something new and especially on a Saturday you never know what you may find.
The Windward Islands of Dominica and St Lucia both hold special food markets during their Creole Week festivals at the end of October. The
festivities include a focus on the produce of these very fertile islands and this is celebrated in the colourful food markets.
Stunning displays of local fruits, vegetables and spices are created for the event. Market vendors wear traditional costumes, stalls are festooned with brightly coloured madras fabrics and decorated with tropical flowers. Visitors can also sample the delights of a fresh jelly coconut, sugar-cane juice or a more substantial meal from a roadside snackette.
For a few days visitors have a glimpse of the past, away from the multi-national fast food outlets that are now sadly springing up near to these long established local market places.
Roseau market in Dominica
Castries market in St Lucia
The last Saturday in October
The Neighbourhood Goods Market is Cape Town’s answer to Borough Market. It is housed in an old Victorian Warehouse at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. This trendy, bustling market has over 100 speciality traders and one can find anything from cupcakes to chutneys, beers, organic local wine and beer, biltong, various mushroom varieties, pastries, meat, vegetables, bread (sold out of an open trailer) and, and, and ... Grab a coffee and sit on one of the long tables that are set up down the centre to soak up the atmosphere. It does get busy so best to get there early.
Saturdays 9am - 2pm.
By pasting Ville de Paris into your browser then clicking the shopping basket icon top right, you will find listed almost one hundred, first-rate, Parisian neighbourhood food markets for your pure pleasure. Meanwhile, here’s my tip for a Sunday, ‘two for one’ epicurean, Parisian market outing.
My two favourites are conveniently close yet delightfully different in atmosphere:
1) Marché d’Aligre:
With its village atmosphere you might catch yourself fantasizing that you are in a vintage French film, rubbing shoulders with locals as they fill their shopping ‘caddies’ to the brim with every type of food from fish heads and tripes to organic bread and wild mushrooms. Specialist food shops surround the stalls here and cafes, with terraces for people watching, are plentiful.
Open 6 days, Tuesday to Sunday -7am until 1.30pm.
2) Less than a mile by foot from rue d’Aligre is Marché Bastille, (old name Marché Richard-Lenoir). Here you will find a vast, glorious feast as most traders offer morsels for tasting (dégustation) of every kind of food for free. As you munch your way through the happy throng you’ll find food for the soul and mind too as street performers and assorted, small, political manifestations (demos) are on hand to entertain and politically educate …. Bon appetite!
Open 2 days, Thursdays and Sundays, 7am til 3pm.
Pl d'Aligre, rue d'Aligre, 12th Arr.
Google map: bit.ly/fJwQDn
Bd. Richard Lenoir, 11th Arr.
Google map: bit.ly/hfvYIf
Full range of market stalls from butchers, cheese producers, foragers and farmers producing organic fruit and vegetables. The market in the old town isn't bad either. Great atmosphere from a market that goes back centuries.
Boulevard Nicollet and Boulevard Taine
Google map: bit.ly/eODuRv
Similar to the Boqueria but with a greater selection and less tourists - the fruit stalls have the most incredible selection. Pick something you have never seen before, chances are it'll be local and beautifully fresh. The stall holders know enough English (or at least have good enough miming skills) to tell you how to eat it, so go find a park and try something beautifully fresh and excitingly new - I dare you.
The moment you enter this covered market, you step backwards in time. This is no longer a busy European city of the 21st century. Rather you find yourself in a Balkan ambience of the Ottoman Empire in the mid 19th century, full of smells and languages and music.
You can find there the finest fish, meats and vegetables, alongside with local specialities.
A few good taverns offer amazing mezedes, and are famous among the city's good eaters. "Myrovolos Smyrni" is one of them.
The most interesting thing happens there on the 24th and 31st of December around noon. People celebrate the forthcomming holiday with a rather special way. After finishing work they go to Modiano for a quick tasty bit with their friends and co-workers. The atmosphere there is magical. Gypsies with loud Clarinettes and drums pass by to sing, Brass bands are around to play traditional music, people dance and are cheerful in a Market packed with people.
This is the place to see strangers join hands and dance together, hug and kiss and wish each other well and offer wine. A true anthropological experience for outsiders, and a human moment for the insiders.
Ermou str. Salonika
Just off Piazza Maggiore is one of the most tantalising sights in the world - a warren of streets dedicated to the best fresh produce in Italy. Cheese, salami, fish, chocolate, fruit, vegetables, bread, pastry, and even a Chinese takeaway - all will arouse your taste buds. And on Viccolo Ranocchi - heralded by the single word Vino - is the ancient Osteria del Sole where you can take your food and buy a drink to wash it down.
Take via Pescherie Vecchie off Piazza Maggiore and follow your nose.
Google map: bit.ly/fmzvyZ
Doncaster Market has been at the heart of the town since medieval times. It covers a large area with inside and outside stalls. It consists of a general market where any manner of non perishable items can be purchased but the real treat for foodies are the outdoor fruit and vegetable market and the indoor fish and meat markets. Who would have thought that a walk through Doncaster town centre would lead to the opportunity of buying the best fresh ingredients for any meal you could possibly be considering cooking. Local produce is available as well as the more exotic items now popular as the community becomes more diverse. Stallholders are great Yorkshire folk always ready to chat, offer cooking tips and advice (whether you want it or not).
The market building is a riot of colour and competing smells. Spices of brilliant hues vying with fresh vegetables from the surrounding small holdings. Cheeses of all shapes and sizes,un-named animal parts fashioned into sausages varying from cream to black. By 10.30 the stall-holders are relaxed and gossiping. Les menageres have gone home with their purchases and only the tourists remain. By 1 p.m. the building is swept clean and the Antibois sit in its shade drinking their pernod.
Old Market Hall, situated along the South Harbour and Market Square, has been selling Finnish delicacies to locals and tourists for over 120 years. It’s a well-known place for meeting up with friends over a cup of coffee and cinnamon buns before shopping for berries, wild mushrooms, game, sea food and freshwater fish. Try fried reindeer slices with potato mash and lingonberry sauce followed by oven cheese with Arctic cloudberries and cream. Alternatively, taste Karelian pasties, made from thin boat-shaped rye crusts filled with savoury rice pudding. Most importantly: don’t forget to buy those all important sausages and beer for the evening of sauna, skinny-dipping and barbecue!
Wanha Kauppahalli, Eteläranta, 00130 Helsinki
+358 9 636177
Open 8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm Saturday
Google map: bit.ly/fvFoj7
Hala Targowa is a bit off the beaten track in Krakow - I found it by getting lost - but is a genuine market for locals, piled up with produce from nearby farms, and also cheap. I bought 1kg of succulent strawberries for 2zl last summer. Wonderful fruit and veg in mouthwatering displays, as well as flowers with cheese, bread and meat to the side. There's also haberdashery, clothes etc. A short walk away is where pigeon and rabbit swapping goes on in another small market at Plac Nowy twice a week: you have to get up early but it's worth it.
Hala Targowa is to the south-east of Wawel Castle on Grzegorzecka street close to the viaduct. Plac Nowy is in the Jewish Kazimierz district.
Google map: bit.ly/glfOSv
No trip to this wonderful city is complete without a trip to its famous Fish Market - a real foodie's paradise. It is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and auctions over 100 species daily. You can have a guided tour or you can take a course at the Seafood School. Best of all, you can eat delicious, freshly landed seafood on the quayside, but watch out - you may have to share your meal with the locals - cheeky pelicans that come right up to the table in the hope of a free lunch.
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