The Sutton Bonington Farmers’ Market or should I say “Award winning” Farmers’ Market is based on the University of Nottingham Campus in Sutton Bonington. It is held just once a month during the term times on the 1st Wednesday of the month. This was my first visit to the market which is only a couple of miles away from my house (probably my closest market). It is run by the student community and they have done such a good job that they were recognized with an award for the Market of the Year at the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2012. I thought it was about time that I checked them out.
The first purchase of the morning was a pack of beef sausages from Tori & Ben’s Farm stall. They are based at Woodhouse Farm, Isley Cum Langley, Diseworth in Derbyshire and specialize in Longhorn Beef, Jacob Suffolk Lamb, and Rare Breed Pork.
In addition to selling fresh meats, sausages, bacon, and burgers to cook at home, they were also cooking up some of their Longhorn Beef burgers and rare breed bacon for you to sample at the market, in exchange for some of your shiny gold and silver coins. They had a continual line of punters waiting to get their hands on them so I think they must be doing something right.
The next stall that we visited was one that we had come here specifically to find, and that was the Black Goat Farm stall. About a month back I bought some goat meat from the Bakewell Farmers Market and made a fantastic goat curry. Since then we have been trying to find a more local supplier so were very happy to find the Black Goat Farm from Old Dalby here at Sutton Bonington. They had goat and kid meat available, we got goat as it has a stronger flavor, the kid is a bit milder more like older lamb meat. I was pleased to see a group of students at the stall trying out some samples of the goat meat, nothing like a little bit of meaty adventure to open the taste mind. The lady running the stall was really helpful and even offered to put us on her delivery list and drop off meat in future with one of her local customers for us. We also found out that they supply the Star Inn in West Leake, I had a look online at the pub menu and they serve the meat as a “Slow cooked goat chilli, with herb rice and flat bread”. Sounds like a good reason to walk over the hill from Gotham
As well as being at the Sutton Bonington Market, Black Goat Farm can be found at Bingham (3rd Sat), Leicester (1st thurs), Wollaton (1st sat),West Bridgford (2nd and 4th sat) and at Loughborough (2nd wed of every month).
Now we were starting to feel a little bit peckish, and this market had plenty of food options. There were four meat produce stalls all selling hot food that they were cooking up fresh, plus a couple of indian type food stalls, a thai stall (more on that in a minute), plus ice cream, cookie, and cake stalls.
We checked out the hot meat sandwich options and settled in on the selection on offer from the Bouverie Lodge stall who had both Bison or Venison burgers. I have bought their meat before to cook on my own BBQ when I have seen them at West Bridgford Farmers Market, but never eaten one cooked freshly by them at the stall.
I had a Bison Burger with Red Leicester cheese and onions. I quite enjoyed this, it was well cooked, still juicy, nice char, the cheese melted nicely, and sweet soft fried onions. I have bought these same burgers and cooked them at home, but these tasted even better today for some reason but then again these types of burger sandwiches always seem to taste better when eaten outside in a field, just like hot dogs at the fair ground, and fish and chips on the seaside promenade.
Now we had eaten lunch we started to think about tonight’s dinner and we walked over to the very popular Niangs Thai Snacks Stall. We saw that they were not only selling food to be eaten there and then, but also selling it in plastic containers to take away. That was going to be just perfect then for this evening. We ordered a portion of their Yellow Chicken Curry and one of their Penang Pork Curry, both with noodles. We then walked off clutching our boxes alongside many others who were doing the same thing. You know I would have killed for a market like this on my doorstep back when I was a student. No wonder it is popular on this campus.
Note: By the way both curries were very tasty even if they were a bit light on the meat and chicken content. With the noodles there was plenty of food.
It seemed totally reasonable at the time that we should pick up some nibbles from the Feast bespoke catering stall to go with our Thai Curries. They were selling freshly cooked onion bhaji, and falafel, plus wraps and dhal curries from their stall and they also had quite a queue. Hot fresh food does seem to be very popular at this market.
We bought a couple of the Falafel which ended up being OK, not fantastic, but acceptable. In marginal contrast the large onion bhaji were really quite delicious. Even heated up to go with our curries for tea they were still good. I would buy those again but probably not the falafel.
I can see why this market has won acclaim. It is well organized, well attended and is in a really nice location on the University Campus at Sutton Bonington at the School of Agriculture. We drove here and the parking was free. There is a bus that stops right outside.
Sadly I now have to wait until October for the next market, but I am hopeful that it will be as good as this one was today.
Gallery of Food that escaped this time
Buffalo Brownies were selling a selection of chocolate brownies and fudge blondies. They had small samples of each, which not wanting to appear to be rude, I partook of (several times). My particular favourites were the Atomic Blondie, the Klondike which has Maple Syrup in it, and the Foretnoir which had cherry in it. These were a pound each, but they was some sort of deal going down and the students were lapping that up.
The Tan Rosie stall was selling packets of spice mixes and bottles of sauce. On their website they invite you to “Taste The Spice With The UK’s Tastiest Hot Chilli Sauces, Jerk Seasoning and Caribbean Recipes, Supper Club Restaurant Birmingham UK.” claiming that they “…create tantalising Caribbean food products inspired by our family recipes from Grenada and Carriacou”
I tasted their Spicy Mango Sauce, it tasted nice not that hot only a little mild spice, some mango sweetness and I could see it would be a nice dip. To be honest I would have liked it a bit hotter. They had some packets for spicy jerk chicken which I almost bought, maybe next time.
Platinum Pancakes were proving to be popular also, even if the line disappeared as I took a photo.
Farmers Fear Cider were offering free samples. Things have changed since I was a student. In my days this stall would have had the longest queue! Just a side note, the Langtrys Pub in Nottingham use this cider in quite a few of the dishes on their menu
As I said earlier on the page too many to mention. So sorry if I missed you out. Next time if I catch you there.