Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Farmer's Markets In Your Area NOW!!

Farmer's Markets are fast becoming the new place to be when it comes to food. A good Farmer's Market will remind you of what you're missing in terms of individual, local foods - and you can now find one most weekends in most counties. Yeah, some of them may require a little drive into the country, but there's probably more in the cities than you think.

An excellent resource on the web is www.farmersmarkets.web - you could'nt really ask for more in terms of simply telling you where to go, week in, week out.

Coming up, I'll be visiting the Headingley Deli Market, and in May, making our annual trip to Leyburn for the market there - a huge event that is really one not to miss.

For more info on the Headingley Deli Market, visit: http://www.headingleydevelopmenttrust.org.uk/pages/deli.htm

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Leeds Kirkgate Market


Right, I’m going to step up onto my soapbox for this piece and spend the next ten minutes acting as the official Leeds Market PR Guy. Why?

Because, quite simply, Leeds Kirkgate Market is a foodie’s paradise. Its easily the best place to shop in Leeds for food - and not enough people know this.

Ok, cast aside all those images of the market you have probably grown up with – cheap, nasty food, rangy market-traders flogging cast-off goods, overflowing bins, all that stuff and listen: In terms of food and drink, Kirkgate Market has everything you need, and more.

Did you know that Leeds Kirkgate Market has over 800 traders, and is actually the second largest covered market in Europe? Marks and Spencer started out here; its a grade one listed building, don't you know...

Take for instance, The Fish Row. As with the Butchers row, there's some great produce here. Scores upon scores of fresh, just-caught fish nestle side by side with any kind of crustacean you can wish for. Visit early enough and the fish are still moving; that’s what I’m talking about! There’s game, hot and cold meats, bakers, chocolatiers, cheese stalls and more fruit and veg stands than you can shake a stick at; all selling not only fresh, home made, and local foods.

The indoor market has certainly come a long way in the last five or six years. Now, it boasts not only one but two – yes, two polish delicatessens, but at least three carribean stalls selling the likes of salt fish, plaintains and jerked meat. A special mention goes to Kostas’ Olive Stall, a greek market which sells some fine cheese, meats and sweets all direct from Greece. And I mean direct – for a few pounds you can buy Olive Oil from his family and when youre’ done, bring back the bottle and get a refill. Excellent.

In terms of food to eat there and then, there are countless cafĂ©’s selling hot food, as well as hot meats, fish and chips, sandwiches and a Chinese Rotisserie, where not only can you buy excellent roast duck with rice and green tea for under a fiver, but, if you wish, you can order a whole suckling roast pig, and pick it up three days later - I’m not kidding. A whole roast pig.

A few weeks back, my partner and I had a Tapas night, and every item on the menu (at least eight dishes) was bought fresh that morning from the market; peppers, rice, fresh king prawns, seabass, tortillas, vine tomatoes etc etc …the list goes on. I understand there is a farmer's market there every month also, although I have yet to attend one.

All right, you're not going to fill up bags and bags of shopping and cart it round town all day, I understand that. But, if you have a car and are willing to get into the market early on a weekend morning and get all that good, fresh stuff, you will be richly rewarded. Try it – for me, it’s a monthly trip.

Check out the website for more details - www.leedsmarket.com

Welcome!

Welcome to the first post of The Good Stuff.

Hopefully, if you've found the site, then i can assume you're someone who wants a little more from food and drink. You want to keep your shopping basket local, filled with fresh, unique food that simply cannot be beaten by the major suppliers. You want tips and hints on where to eat and drink that are off the beaten path. You want to support independent food and drink suppliers and producers. All this sound familiar?

Then you're in the right place.

The Good Stuff exists simply to promote the aforementioned causes. Starting off in my home county of Yorkshire, and my home city of Leeds, The Good Stuff will be a guide for those who demand more from thier food an drink than simple convienience and price.

Don't forget - as someone more famous than me once said; 'Good people eat good food.'

Thanks for stopping by.