Yesterday I went along to Sheffield Farmers’ Market, which seemed surprisingly small considering that it’s August Bank Holiday weekend and the weather was lovely. A little disappointing.
It wasn’t just the size. I don’t know whether this is just Sheffield or whether there’s a more general trend in farmers’ markets, away from being places packed with lots of great quality and relatively cheap raw ingredients to cook for yourself.
There were plenty of stalls selling pies and pasties, tubs of interesting ready-cooked dishes, cakes (some very good cakes!), bread, preserves and sauces. But fresh fruit and veg, meat, cheeses, what I’d think of as the essential ingredients of a farmers’ market – these all seemed a bit thin on the ground. I’m not saying the former type of stall shouldn’t be there – it was all good, interesting, local produce (and I’m looking forward to trying out my tub of curry goat) – but the balance between the two types of stall seemed different from what I’ve been used to in the past.
Are farmers’ markets starting to turn into high-class fast-food markets?