On the first Saturday of every month St Andrews holds its farmers’ market. I think I became aware of its existence towards the end of first year (before this Saturday mornings involved sleeping off Bop drunkenness), but even with the knowledge Saturday mornings still revolved around my lie-in.
Fast forward a couple of years – often filled with lectures on sustainability and reducing carbon dependence – and although I realised I was becoming even more interested in good food and local produce (quite possibly spurred on by a dislike of hall food) I still kept forgetting, sleeping in, or just generally being a little lazy and I still had not gone. I think this is a family trait, my parents are always talking about going to the Farmers’ market on Castle Street (in the ‘Burgh), and yet still none of us ever quite make it.
This finally changed at the start of March. Thanks to agreeing to go with a friend, I now had to go – laziness was no longer an excuse. I think it will now become a staple in my diary. It might not be huge in the Bubble, but it’s enough (even if I’m not such a fan of the smoked fish smell which permeates every item of clothing you wear).
But just because it’s not a huge market does not mean that there’s not a good selection. I’m a big fan of the Island Cheese Company and their range of flavoured cheddars (Claret infused, being my favourite). Closely followed by the Pittenweem Chocolate Company (definitely going to be making a trip there soon) and the Really Good Fudge Company (cinnamon and nutmeg – amazing!) which are both fantastic.
The two markets we’ve been to have also featured a stall from Mitchell (Purveyor of Fine Food and Wine). I’ve been in this town long enough to remember the carcases hanging in the window of Murray Mitchell’s Butchers and there has been a large gap in Market street ever since it closed. So obviously there was a lot of excitement when boards went up and the idea of what it was going to be started trickling out. It’s taken a fair while for it to get round to opening, but I’m now very excited about it. Their stall has had a selection of samples and cooking demos, this morning’s being (mouth-wateringly gorgeous) lamb in a marmalade and whisky sauce. I will most certainly be paying it a visit when it opens on the 18th!
So, it may have taken me a fairly long time to get there, but I think everyone should visit the farmers’ market. It may not be Tesco Value prices, but it certainly tastes infinitely better. Go, support local farmers/businesses and get some great tasting food – especially if it’s as sunny as it was today!