Leeds and Beyond – Farmers Market 8: Leeds

On the first and third Sundays of each month, Briggate is transformed into a farmers’ market. The likes of Harvey Nichols and Louis Vuitton rub shoulders with Sian’s India Express and Jilly’s Larder from Pontefract.

All photographs by Stan Graham.

Sadly, there are not as many ‘real’ food stalls as one would like to see as the bulk of traders seem to purvey jewellery, t-shirts and gifts. The ones who do sell food are, as usual, passionate about what they do, witness the aforementioned Jilly’s Larder which sells chutney, relish, sweet chilli sauce and preserves, all of which are handmade.   As they are from Pontefract, in addition to the usual unusual flavours their speciality in the chutney line is liquorice.  What else? Their stall is sandwiched between a spectacular Italian baker and the homemade curries and Indian snacks of Sian. Why would you not put chutneys in a sandwich?

There are also a couple of stalls selling an array of fresh olives which they both pair with Turkish delight and baklava. Should you wish to make your own exotic dishes when you get home, then there is La Pican Teria which sells Mexican ingredients, Yaya’s Spices which does the same only with an Indian flavour, and The Chilli Shop. Muscle di Grano caters for the vegan/vegetarian, market with its plant-based meat.  That’s what the sign says. Drinkers need not worry with the presence of Riverside Spirits and ‘Udders Orchard Cider from, you guessed it, ‘uddersfield.

Cryer and Stott Cheesemongers were present with their array of cheese, pickles and chutney, as were two stalls run by that Leeds institution Hepworth’s Deli only about fifty yards away. One of them sold baked items such as quiches and cakes whilst the other called Skotch’d sold ‘ludicrously posh scotch eggs’. I am a sucker for a scotch egg and so that was lunch taken care of. They have six flavours, from the classic sausage meat through to The Scotch Bhaji. My Flamenco, made with chorizo and Yorkshire pulled pork, was amazing.

If Hepworth’s cannot satisfy your sweet tooth then there is always the appropriately named Podge with their array of cakes. Should all of this food perusal make you hungry, then do not despair, there is a hog roast selling hot pork sandwiches and La Focaccia, a purveyor of Italian street food to either take home or have warmed up to eat on the hoof. Last, and by no means least, we have those two stalwarts of farmers’ markets, Organic Pantry with their locally produced fruit and veg, and Sticky’s Honey.

Although the market is more of a conventional one nowadays it does add a lot of colour to Briggate on a Sunday and is well worth a visit.  It is a great alternative to the supermarkets for your food shopping. Unlike a lot of the other farmers’ markets it is open for most of the day so you don’t need to get up at the crack of dawn to do your shopping. Works for me.

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