Wetherby has long been a market town and continues to be so. There is an open market held every Thursday next to the Town Hall in, would you believe, Market Place.
The stalls sell a variety of produce, from food to clothing and even magazines. On the second Sunday of every month between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm, however, the same site hosts a Farmers’ Market where the emphasis is definitely on locally sourced food and crafts. It is quite a small affair but, as they say, size isn’t everything and most bases are covered.
My first port of call was my favourite bacon stall. I regularly shop with Piercy’s as he stands the Harrogate Farmers’ Market each month, when I buy in bulk and freeze butty size portions for Sunday mornings. I always buy some with a higher proportion of fat than normal because it is dry cured and the fat renders in the pan, enabling me to dip the bread in it rather than apply butter. This makes it taste wonderful. Enough of my Sunday hangover habits.
The neighbouring stall was a baker, specialising in handmade cakes from his farmhouse in Bedale. The cakes looked delicious and a lot of the buns were of the old school variety, but as I had had my aforementioned breakfast I had to be strong. The other adjacent stalls were selling locally produced honey, gourmet lasagne, fruit and veg and fudge. The fudge came in some novel flavours, such as tiramisu and rhubarb with ginger gin. I would not be doing my job properly if I didn’t sample the goods which, as they were in small bite size pieces, I did – and they were delicious.
Should you possess four legs rather than two, then well done on reading this. To reward you for doing so, get your owner to take you to the doggy stall for some WooWoo worms or WooWoo seeds unless you can drive as well as read. To pay, you could always use Master’sCard. If you have a formal canine event to attend then you can also buy a dog bow tie. They were woven out of tweed and so just the thing to be seen in, at the following week’s Great Yorkshire Show.
Other stalls scattered round the Town Hall sold preserved chillies, plants and both dried and growing herbs. I always envy people who can pop out to the garden and snip off some mint or sage to add to a recipe. My flat does not even lend itself to a window box a la Jamie Oliver. One of the more eclectic stallholders was selling goats milk and olive oil soaps made in North Yorkshire. Is there anything that Yorkshire people can’t do? Editor’s Note: Yes. They cannot make Stilton cheese, at least not in Yorkshire. (If they could, it would probably be better than Stilton.)
I had a lot of sympathy for the traders on this particular Sunday as the Wetherby Food Festival was being held nearby, so I should imagine that some of their regulars may have been at that. I have made a mental note that the next time I go I will arrive a little later and pop into the Black Bull for a beer, which would round off a stroll around the market a treat.