27 Sep 2013 09:34am

Six of the best farmers' market

Autumn is finally upon us. But besides the chilly evenings and impending Christmas adverts, it’s harvest season, which means there’s plenty to be excited about food-wise. There’s nothing quite like a good wander around a market stuffed full of fresh produce, so we’ve lined up a taster of the best farmers' markets to tempt you

Stroud Farmer’s Market, Gloucestershire

Launched by fashion designer Jasper Conran and the late magazine editor Isabella Blow in July 1999, Stroud’s market is something of a celebrity in its own right, regularly appearing on TV programmes such as Blue Peter and The Hairy Bikers. Producers set up shop here every Saturday, and there are around 60 stalls to browse, selling anything from the regular fruit and vegetables to speciality cheese and an abundance of all things pork – all sourced within 17 miles of the market itself.

Every Saturday 9am-2pm, See more at Stroud farmer's market website

Winchester Farmer’s Market, Hampshire

The cathedral city is home to the UK’s biggest farmer’s market, with around 90 producers selling their goods, all sourced within 10 miles of the Hampshire borders, on the second and last Sunday of the month. It’s a favourite of seafood guru Rick Stein, which is perhaps testament to the big selection of locally-sourced lobster, crab, wet fish and New Forest smoked trout on offer. If you’re looking for something a little unusual though, look out for Broughton Water Buffalo’s stall as well as those with ostrich on offer.

Second and last Sunday of the month,  

La Boqueria, Barcelona

If you’ve been to Barcelona, chances are you’ve been to this culinary haven, or at least heard of it. Its long-standing status as the place to go for food originates from the 1200s, when it was a meat market for local farmers. Today, it’s a sprawling area of Catalan tastes and smells, from traditional Spanish ham and cheese to Monserrat tomatoes and razor clams. The best thing about this place though is the many tapas bars dotted around, so if it you find it a bit busy (this is where many of the locals go to shop), have a pit stop and tuck in.

Monday – Saturday 8am-8:30pm,

Moseley Farmer’s Market, Birmingham

Not everyone is surrounded by idyllic countryside, but there’s still plenty of foraging to do in the urban jungle. Birmingham’s volunteer-run Moseley Farmer’s Market is a prime example – it’s been voted the UK’s best urban farmer’s market in 2009 and the Country’s Best by the National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association last year. Produce comes to trendy Moseley from all over the Midlands, and as many as 50,000 people visit each market. Keep your eyes peeled for wild game and Moreton Mushrooms, who dedicate their offering to the humble vegetable.

Every fourth Saturday of the month, 9am – 3pm,

Union Square Greenmarket, New York

This is another foodie gem for the urban dweller (or visitor), and comes fully-endorsed by American-British chef Loyd Grossman. Found in lower midtown Manhattan, it attracts farmers and growers from all over the region, and has occupied Union Square since 1976. Saturday is when you will find most producers there, and thus the full range of fruit, vegetables, artisan breads and cheeses, meat, pickles and jams. Look out for the vast array of wild-caught seafood, from bluefish to bonito, and the enormous emu and ostrich eggs. There are also cooking demonstrations on each of the four days as well as celebrity chef appearances and book signings.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8am-6pm, Union Square Greenmarket's site

Port Louis Market, Mauritius

While the intrepid traveler may come to Mauritius for the affordable but suitably exotic beach holiday, venture into the island’s capital and you’ll discover the Central Market – a wonder in itself. Built in 1844 and reconstructed in 2004, the market’s main building houses local farmers and growers all vying for visitors’ attention, be it for their fruit, vegetables or pungent selection of herbs and spices. As you might imagine there’s a lot of seafood here too, and because of the heat it’s advisable to get there early before the it descends – gates open at 5:30am. Another tip is to know how to haggle with the traders – be firm but friendly, and if you fancy chancing your luck at trading, items in short supply like pens and whiskey are good to take along.

Farquhar Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, Monday – Saturday 5:30am – 5:30pm, Sunday 5:30am – 11:30pm

Francesca Cotton


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