Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Get along to your Tonbridge Farmers Market....

A date for your diary especially if you like cooking seafood is the Tonbridge Farmers Market on Sunday February 10th. I can't believe that anyone hasn't yet been to this wonderful monthly market but, if you haven't, it's held on the second Sunday of every month on the car park area at to the back of Waitrose. Quite simply it's a foodie's delight. Here's the latest press release about "Scollop Sunday!" That's me calling it that not them but I don't mind if they nick the idea!

"Scallop Special

The market is always a great place to get your fresh local produce, but this time of year, with the cold water around our fabulous coast line, there's no better time to try our local sea food.
With this in mind, in conjunction with Enterprise Fisheries we are having a Scallop Special.
Gary Copeland from Enterprise said “Although most people are aware of the fabulous sea food we have it amazes me how few have cooked or eaten this fantastic Mollusca.”
To start the new season Gary will have an extra stall by his normal stall selling and giving advice about this local delicacy.
The market kitchen will also be serving up some wonderful dishes that will centre on this fantastic seafood. "

Of course if you don't care for seafood there will be around 59 other stalls to choose from. You'll probably find me over at the cheese of real ale stalls sampling their delights. If I'm honest, even for someone as supportative as me of local events, I do find the prices on some of some stalls a little on the pricey side but I think we sometimes forget just what work goes into proper food production and preparation. So actually, all things considered I don't mind paying the extra once a month because you simply cannot compare a lovingly produced, award winning pot of Seville marmalade with one bought from a well known brand at Sainsbury's. The branded one would no doubt be okay, alright, so so, average, passable but the other would be simply sublime and make you taste buds explode. Yes I'm talking about Kathy's Great Preservations stall again as partly I love her marmalades and also I love the name which has a distinctly literary flavour to it. It would be like comparing Maxwell House coffee granules in a jar, which might be quite pleasantly drinkable, with an espresso using freshly ground Arabicca beans and prepared by an experienced barista in a time honoured fashion, who knew precisely how finely to grind the beans, how evenly to tamp them and the exact moment to pull a perfect tasse. In other words no comparison....

7 comments:

Paul Bailey said...

Are you being paid a commission for this article, TB?

Tim James said...

I've yet to visit Tonbridge market, but I'm determined to go to the next one. It sounds as if that marmalade you speak of was rolled on the silky thighs of Dame Kelly Holmes, and then marinated gently in Jane Austen juice. I must get down there and try a mouthful.
Speaking of scallops, I love em, but it shouldn't really be considered a delicacy in this country. Scallops are nice fried with a bit of butter and garlic, by the way. We have very unique, productive coastlines when it comes to shellfish but we sell it all for some reason.

Paul Bailey said...

Tonbridge Farmers Market does seem to be going from strength to strength, which is good news for both producers and consumers.

Tim James said...

Paul Bailey, by consumers, what do you mean? The consumer that can buy things from farmers markets, or the consumer that buys from supermarkets?
There are consumers that buy shit every day because it's cheap and it feeds their kids, or there are the consumers that buy, simply because they have the money to buy it, such as the people you find in Tonbridge Market.

Paul Bailey said...

All of us are consumers of one kind or another Tim, irrespective of where we buy our food from.

I suspect that most visitors to farmers markets still buy the bulk of their food purchases from the supermarket, but will then treat themselves to something a little bit special, once a month, when the market is on.

Tim James said...

I doubt it, Paul Bailey. People that visit Tonbridge market are people who have a few quid to spare at the end of the week. People who can buy expensive cheese, or try the local cider. Not that I object to that personally.
There are a lot of people who are just about spent out by the middle of the week. They buy the cheapest stuff they can lay their hands on if it means feeding their kids. Tonbridge Market penciled into their diary do you think?

Paul Bailey said...

Tim James, the fact that Tonbridge Farmers Market is growing in popularity, proves it fills a need in certain quarters, but probably not in others (such as with the people you refer to in yout original comment).

In other words it's horses for courses, and there's nothing wrong with that!