As much fun as it was trying the food of Madrid, Marrakech and Borough market (see previous Blogs) It only makes sense to enjoy the food that’s right on my doorstep. Every Saturday the farmers and food makers of Fife gather tpgether for 4 hours so we can all buy local food, directly from the producers themselves, The Fife Farmer’s Markets
For this blog I visited the Cupar market, which takes place on the 3rd Saturday of the month.
The Fife Farmer’s Market were an early stepping stone for Trotter’s, they were good for a few sales, but more importantly, they advertised the product, I got the chance to meet my customers and other traders.
On this visit I was purely here as a customer.
After a disappointing ‘home cooking’ experience in Marrakech I decided to buy the ingredients to make a tagine.
Sadly the inclement Scottish weather was not in favor of the market. The light drizzle made for a quiet market but this was ideal for me as it gave me the chance to have a good chat with the stall holders, which is one of the many reasons for choosing a Farmers’ market over a supermarket.
On my list of things to buy was Meat and veg for the tagine, beer, cheese, fish and olives.
The Fife beer at the market is from the St. Andrews Brewing Co. All made in St. Andrews, one of 8 brewers in Fife, I’m not sure who the others are but I don’t think you can find their beers outside of Fife. There was a deal on for a case of 12 Fife Golds for £12, I accepted. This is one of the other great advantages of the markets, you can usually get a good deal.
The St. Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Co. Is Fife’s only Artisan cheese maker, they make Anster; a Cheshire style cheese, a mature cheddar, and a Garlic and chive cheese. I’m an Anster Man myself. It’s great on the cheese board, in a ploughman’s sandwich with some Mostarda or grated over a bowl of pasta.
The St. A cheese co. have been a part of the Fife Markets since they set up, Back when I used to attend the Market’s Jane (the owner) and I would share a market stand. Chutney and cheese go awfully well together don’t you know.
My olives come from Olives and Thingz. Tony Benacci has been attending the markets since 2004 and I have always bought his Olives as they are very good. He also does a very good humus, Pesto and other anti pasti dishes, and you’re sure to get a good bit of banter from Toni.
One of the main attractions of the markets is the Arbroath Smokies being smoked fresh at the market, the smoke is certainly a beacon that guides you to the market. I bought a couple of Smokies, which I ate for my lunch with some Mayonnaise and some sourdough.
On this occasion I bought some diced turkey for the tagine from Gartmorn, rather than the more traditionl lamb. The reason being, I passed the Gartmorn stand first, turkey is cheaper then lamb and once it’s coated in the spices for a tagine the flavour becomes less important. As it happened, the turkey worked our great for the tagine.
Farmer’s markets have mixed reviews, often you here people say they are expensive, I can’t deny that farmers markets are not the cheapest place to shop but comparing a farmers market to a super market is a bit like comparing an Aston Martin dealer to a Ford dealer. You get what you pay for. Cheaper food often has artificial ingredients, such as preservatives, which our body has not yet evolved to digest properly and this can often lead to allergies and intolerants such as Celiacs Disease, and, environmentally, there is often a high cost to cheap food. Shopping at a farmers’ market gives you the piece of mind that the food you are eating is actually food and not chemicals. I think that’s worth paying a bit extra for.
Read my next blog to find out how I got on with the tagine.