Farmers markets east and west

Strawberry meringue

Strawberry meringue

Farmers markets

The east west divide
For some time now I have been doing demonstrations at both Fife farmers markets and at Loch Lomond Shores and it is interesting to consider the differences. In effect my job is to chat to the stall holders and get small amounts of produce from them and then cook simple dishes using that produce to give people ideas as to how to use it. Whilst the meats remain constant. Beef lamb chicken etc. I can celebrate the seasons using vegetable and herb accompaniments, and in the summer I can use berry fruits for pudding ideas and in the winter apples pears and plums even though most markets don’t sell these they also go well with game dishes so i use venison more at that time of year.
Loch Lomond shores is limited in what it has in he way of prime products ( meat game etc ) and not helped by the reluctance of some stall holders to see the merit in giving me product. In Fife they are all very happy to do so. So First difference! Fifers understand how promotion works and see the benefit of having their product used in a dish, indeed its very satisfying that at times I can cook a dish using a specific product and that stall holders sells out of it! Luckily for me both markets have good vegetable stalls, I can do a lot with veg and it’s cheap! It is also the way to show the seasons as I mentioned before. Loch Lomond has a very friendly veg man and veg forms the base of all my work there. Otherwise the only enthusiastic suppliers are the wonderful Thomson from Nethergate Larder who gives me great pork and he has just started to experiment with curing his own beef. And then the fish stall, who often have good lesser known fish such as Hake. Look out for those markets on alternate Sundays

In Fife This Saturday Barbara the organiser has given the market a fruit theme which is great so that I can plan in advance what I might cook. There will be summer pudding, fruit tarts a fruit fool and then using fruit in meat dishes such as pork with gooseberries and venison with rowan berries ( yes foraged fruit too!) It’s all happening at Kirkcaldy this Saturday and Fife farmers markets occur on every Saturday First is at St. Andrews the second is Dunfermline the third is at Cupar and the last Kirkcaldy the variety is far better than on Loch Lomond with Ian Spink actually cooking his smokies live! There are wonderful chocolate drinks from Sophie at the Cocoa tree and often two veg stalls including an organic one and all meats from Puddledub buffalo to seriously good venison.

See you there

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