Bristol Farmer's Market, England
(this post makes more sense with accompanying pictures - skip to the link at the bottom if you want to see them too)
Corn Street, Bristol (0117 922 4017) Wednesdays 9.30-2.30
Bristol Farmers Market
On Wednesdays, in an old and historic part of English west country city, Bristol, a farmer's market is held. The setting is in a central part of town called the Corn Exchange. In the old days this is where merchants would come to make deals. To this day, you can still see what are called the nails. These are flat-topped large bronze pillars. It was on the top of these nails that money exchanges used to take place. The nails are smooth and worn on their surface, from hundreds of years of use. These days you might find them being utilized as a resting spot for a box of apples on market day. Over a dozen stalls are set up on the pedestrian-only cobbled street between a maze of ancient buildings. There is even one of those clocks that you always imagine in European town Squares, which once a day make a song and dance about telling the time.
The Bristol Farmer's market is quite a departure from what I have become used to in San Francisco. It's more down-to-earth, much smaller and certainly less touristy. Take a look at the English vegetables and fruit. In contrast to California's current Spring bounty, all that is on offer at this time of year are apples, pears, cauliflower, leeks, carrots, purple sprouting, cabbages, swedes and a few sprouts.
Despite not having the range and variety of our Californian market, Bristol's still has a good heart. Bristol is the home of the The Soil Association, the UK's leading campaigning and certification organisation for organic food and farming, and about 20% of the food sold at the market is indeed organic. All the stall holders are friendly and helpful. This market isn't a fad or a new enterprise. It has been here for years and was last year voted Second Best Market in the UK.
Things you might find at this market:
Beautiful fresh fish caught off of the English coast are on offer.
Hand Made Cheeses
White breads with blackened crusts are piled high
Granary is a popular loaf here too. Not something you see in the States, the Granary loaf is the most common cause of unplanned trips to the dentist in the UK. The bread contains nibbly, whole pieces of grain which have the reputation of damaging fillings. The brown bread is soft and chewy with a yeasty flavour and a crispy crust.
yoghurt and hummous
The most delicious hummous and Lebane with herbs and olive oil