One of the most enjoyable ways to get acquainted with a destination is undoubtedly through its food. Known the world over for its street food, Bangkok is also home to farmers’ markets, a relatively new concept to the Thai capital but one that has been embraced wholeheartedly by residents. For visitors to the city, the monthly event provides a glimpse into a regular event on the local calendar.
For more than a year now, the Bangkok Farmers’ Market has put the focus on fresh, locally sourced produce such as fruit, prepared foods, artisanal breads and jams, beauty products, clothes, jewellery and much more. Born out of the smaller market held every last Saturday of the month at Bo.lan restaurant, the new organizers have expanded the concept and today the market is the driving force behind community projects, classes and workshops.
For a taste of what’s on offer, here is a selection of the products available at the Bangkok Farmers’ Market during their one year anniversary celebration at the end of March 2014. Some stalls are regulars, some only come occasionally.
Vivin sells gourmet foie gras in three varieties – original, black ruffle, and Chalong Bay Rum, the latter with rum produced on Phuket – starting from 420 baht for a small tin of originals. What started as a passion, Vivin, which is owned by Samantha and Nicolas, is now a full blown enterprise with an outlet in Ekkamai soi 22 and at Bellino wine bar in Thonglor.
Galaa Food and Beverage Company is owned by mother and son. The date juice they sell has a number of health benefits similar to those of the fruit itself. They also sell date syrup which they recommend using in hot drinks as a sweetener or as dressing on salads.
Maison Jean Philippe is one of the longest standing vendors at the Bangkok Farmers’ Market. The bakery has risen to local fame for its artisanal French bread made using imported flour and traditional bread making techniques. The result is savory sourdough breads and indulgent butter croissants.
Bon Appétit – La Cuisine De Nathalie is another regular. The friendly Nathalie sells her home made jams, preservatives and pates that she has been perfecting over 7 years. I recommend you try the bean cassoulet.
The Bite Me Softly stall serves the most indulgent, rich brownies you can imagine, all packed up in pretty cloth for added cuteness factor. The brownies come with different toppings and in a matcha tea version as well.
Adam’s Organic sells organic fruit and vegetables from their farms north of Bangkok. Produce is seasonal and due to freshness restraints, the stall is usually only open one of the two days that the market is open. Adam’s Organics is also behind CSA Munching Box, an initiative which delivers weekly fresh produce directly to customers’ homes.
The Lifestyle Juice Cleanse stall sells nut milk, nut-lattes and fresh, cold pressed vegetable and fruit juice with no added sugar or preservatives. They also offer juice detoxes.
The Soapbox is another regular at the Bangkok Farmers’ Market. Their soaps are hand made from essential oils with no preservatives or palm oil. Rattaya, the owner, reveals that one of her bestsellers is the Scent of Bangkok, which has notes of cinnamon.
TE serves tea made from loose teas leaves from Thailand and China including purple rice, green tea, and oolong tea. At the market, they were selling a ready-to-drink cup of tea, either hot or cold, at 35 baht. They also offered fresh strawberries, lime, lemon and mango for a twist to the beverage.
The Bangkok Farmers’ Market is held every last weekend of the month at the K Village community mall and sometimes during the months and in the evenings. The weekend market in particular has a great atmosphere where people can come and relax, shop, listen to music or attend various workshops.
The easiest way to get to K Village is to take the BTS skytrain to Phrom Phong and walk down Sukhumvit soi 26. The street turns a few times along the way, but just follow the curves and after about 10-15 minutes you will see K Village on your left hand side. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every last weekend of the month. The best way to stay tuned on events and market dates is the visit the website or the Bangkok Farmers’ Market facebook page.