Whenever Nick and I travel to visit a new city, we always do a bit of separate research on what’s worth doing and seeing in the city, pick some favourites, and then put our lists together to see whether we can come up with an agreed itinerary. Nick’s lists always feature a tall building that we can ascend to see the view and possibly a modern art museum. Mine always feature a fancy restaurant and a flea market. As a result, we usually go up the tall building, eat in the fancy restaurant and visit the art museum. On the flea market suggestion, Nick usually screws up his face in disgust and says: “You probably want to go and buy some more mismatched cups and forks and napkins and old pots. We have enough of those in the house already!” I reply: “No food blogger can ever have enough props!”. And then we compromise and go to a farmers’ market instead, which keeps us both entertained (and I sneak off later on my own to go prop shopping!).
When we recently visited the beautiful southern Swedish city of Malmö, the farmers’ market was one of the things I was most looking forward to. In most European markets, you will find fairly similar ingredients – fruit, vegeetables, chutneys and jams. But this was Sweden and I knew there would be things we do not get at home – lingonberries, sea buckthorn and the like – and I was not disappointed. Join me on a visual tour as I explore the 40 stalls or so that make up the regular Malmö farmers’ market that takes place on Saturday mornings on Drottningtorget – and don’t forget your shopping basket!
The first things that caught our eye were the baked goods – crates of wonderful artisanal breads made with all manner of different flours, and flavoured with herbs, sea salt, basil or tomato; and of course that most Swedish of carbohydrates, knäckebröd, aka Swedish crispbread.
Then there were the vegetables – the plentiful beets, potatoes and other root vegetables like radishes and these delicately dirt-encrusted carrots; baskets of eternally photogenic globe artichokes; golden cascades of chanterelle mushrooms; and more different varieties of Swedish-grown tomatoes than you can shake a stick at, including these gorgeous stripey ones.
And then there was the fruit. Oh the fruit! As when we visited Coustellet farmers’ market in Provence earlier in the summer, cherries were still very much in evidence, but it was the berries that really caught my eye – from the luscious strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to the more unusual crates of fresh lingonberries and luminous orange sea buckthorn berries sold still on the branch. And I was astonished by the variety of plums (from chartreuse green to deep purple) and rosy-cheeked apples on offer.
There were also a number of intriguing artisan products on sale including rhubarb lemonade and carrot marmalade, both from Skänehill farm in Kvidinge (they are also Sweden’s smallest microbrewery!). I was also particularly entranced by products from Hallongarden, a berry farm 20km outside Malmö where they make their berries into juice, jam, marmalade, raspberry ketchup, chutney and raspberry vinegar. My favourite was the cerise-coloured sweet but tangy raspberry ketchup – dangerously addictive!
But my favourite thing at the market (other than the slightly bonkers stall shaped like a giant wooden barrel from which you could buy no less than FOURTEEN different flavours of pickled herring) was the people – full of stories, knowledge and passionate enthusiasm for their products.
DISCLOSURE: I was invited to visit Malmö by Malmö Tourism and Visit Sweden, who paid for all flights, accommodation and meals. I received no remuneration other than the trip itself and all opinions are my own.
I am thrilled to be able to announce that my amazing sister-from-another-mother Meetawill be jointly hosting an amazing 2 day Supperclub | Food Styling and Photography Workshop in London, together with the talented Sumayya, on 15 & 16 February 2013 - and I will be a guest speaker! The concept behind the workshop is to create a full food experience for the people who attend this workshop, including ahands-on food styling/photography workshop with Meeta, a session on overcoming the challenges of restaurant and low-light photography by ME(!), as well as a culinary tour led by Sumayya where participants will learn different cooking techniques used in the Indian/Pakistani kitchen, create some mouth-watering dishes, and indulge in an array tantalizing South-Asian street food. The main venue is the stunning kitchen at the Central Street Cookery School, which provides huge windows for gorgeous natural light as well as plenty of space for cooking, styling, photographing and eating; and we will also bedining at a gastropub so as to practise the low-light photography skills that I will be teaching.