It's been a ridiculously long time since I visited the Farmer's Market here in Berkhamsted. So long it's embarrassing as I live a 2 minute walk away from the High Street so shame on me!
I was a little worried about what the weather would be like today as over the past few days we've had everything from the hottest temperatures so far this year to epic thunderstorms and torrential downpours. Luckily the weather gods were in favour of me taking a stroll into town - overcast but still warm - perfect for buying some local produce!
Grasmere Farm had a stall laden with every kind of porky product you could want - sausages of all varieties (I bought some Lincolnshire ones), all with a minimum of 75% pork, bacon, steaks, pies and sausage rolls. To ensure the pork is the tastiest it can be this Lincolnshire based farm make sure the piggies are well looked after - they're outdoor bred and spend their days in open straw yards. They also make their pies and pastries on site so you're guaranteed a delicious treat. I had a little taste of 3 of their sausages and let me tell you - they were all delicious!
2 Lincolnshire sausages - 90p
Farmhouse pork pie - £2.75 - £3.75
Pork steaks - £7.85/kg
Onwards to meet Simon from Frithsden Vineyard! Who'd have thought that 2 miles from my doorstep there is a vineyard with 6000 vines that result in delicious local wine?! In Hertfordshire! What caught my eye, of course, was the cider. Cloudy and dry, it was everything I like in a cider and had to agree with the customer next to me - it's perfect for sipping while sitting on the patio when the weather is warm and muggy like it is today so into my bag went a bottle! Did you know Frithsden Vineyard do tours and tastings? I might just have to take a trip up there...
Cloudy dry cider - £3.50
Solaris white wine - £7.99
Next I met a man I've followed on Twitter for some time and was happy to finally meet him - Mat from Curious Foods. He makes all of the salami by hand and in small batches. He was clearly passionate about the products he makes, how he makes them and what goes into them. No nasty preservatives in these! Today he had 6 different types of slices salami, all with interesting twists - quinoa, beetroot and caraway, "Ashbrook" Asian, "Harizo" are just a few of the amazing flavours. Unfortunately the one I had my heart set on (the "Umami") wasn't available. Mat - don't forget to let me know when you have some!
Just next to Curious Foods I found A Bit Chilli! All hand made locally, fat free and with no artificial ingredients or additives, if you're someone who loves a good chutney then you need to have a taste of these mild to hot chutneys, ketchup and curds! Although some are a little spicy, the focus is on the flavour of the chillies, not a competition for hottest chutney. Being a fan of a good smokey flavour I tried the "Serrano Smokey" - not too smokey, a tang of vinegar and great flavour combination of paprika, peppers, onion and brown sugar. I can't wait to use it the next time I nibble on some cheese or make a toasted sandwich!
Chutneys & curd (website prices) - £5.99
Scorcher ketchup (website price) - £6.99
There were so many other vendors at the market that I could probably go on for days and days! Fresh organic breads and pastries from Celtic Bakers, coffee from Joe's vintage van, delicious smelling candles from Imogen's soy candles, Meah's curry sauces, local honey, oils...
What do you think of my purchases? Looking good, hey?!
I'd love to hear about your trip to this market or one local to you! Do you have a favourite local food?