Previously on this blog, I gave you a taste of the various excellent local food producers that you can find at the Supernatural Food Market on Pearse St, every Saturday from 9:30am to 3:30pm. I will now attempt to do justice to the rest of the stalls that I visit. Note these posts do not cover all of the wonderful food and products on offer at the market, merely the ones that I visit every week. There are always lots of other people selling their equally lovely wares, but in the spirit of honesty, I felt it was better to focus on the stalls I shop from. If you want more info on the rest of the market, check out www.supernatural.ie for more detailed descriptions. They also have a Facebook page here and a Twitter account here.
Inside the market there is a wonderful dry goods and groceries section, which stocks plenty of organic brands such as Ecover, Biona, Sonnetor, Dove’s Farm and Kallo to name but a few. I tend to be weighed down with heavy fruit and veg so I have to confess I don’t buy that much from this part of the market but they have a wide range of kitchen cupboard essentials and they always have a few unique ingredients that you will not find in your local supermarket. They have a handy Ecover refill system too, so if you want to reuse your Ecover bottles you can get refills of washing-up liquid, detergent, fabric softener and a few other Ecover liquid products. It’s a very admirable idea. I have yet to actually get around to bringing my empty bottles in though. Maybe if I had a car I would make use of it.
There are two local fruit and vegetable stalls inside the market. Penny and Udo Lange have a farm in a “forgotten corner” of West Wicklow called Ballinroan Farm. They have been farming organically there since 1988. Most of the seasonal veg is from their own farm and it is delicious. They also sell a lot of seasonal organic fruit that by its nature has to be imported. It is also excellent. They have a real passion for the food that they grow and sell. They also have stalls at other farmer’s markets such as the Dublin Co-op at Newmarket Dublin 8, on Saturdays from 9:30am- 4pm and at Brighton Square in Rathgar on Thursdays from 11am-4pm. They don’t have much of an online presence but you can contact Penny at email@example.com for more information.
They also sell a good selection of organic cheese, with about 60% made by themselves and the rest both Irish and imported. At the moment they have some of Penny’s handmade pestos and preserves in stock. They will give you advice on how to use a new ingredient (like their homegrown variant of pak choy that I have since forgotten the name of). They also stock my favourite eggs from Boyne Pastures in Meath. I don’t know why but every time I buy these eggs, and they nearly always sell out quickly, there is often at least one gigantic egg that may or may not have two yolks inside! The colour of these egg yolks is always a deep golden orange that reflects the extra flavour you get from organic eggs that come from a small farm. There’s no comparison between supermarket organic eggs and these eggs, and they are about a euro cheaper per box. If you like baking, these eggs will make a huge difference to your finished product, trust me. I am evangelical about this. I think eggs are the most important factor in any cake recipe. Many’s a time I have arrived at Penny’s stall to find they are all long gone, so get down there early.
The other fruit and veg stall at the market is Rose O’Sullivan’s Spring Cottage Farm stall. Rose is not there herself but the choice of produce on offer is substantial. She has been farming organically since 2006. Her farm is near Kinnegad, in Co. Westmeath. When I spoke to her on the phone she told me they have 8 acres, and they grow mostly seasonal field vegetables, as well as having 5 polytunnels where they grow more delicate crops such as salads. They also import plenty of organic fruit from Holland and Spain. When I took these photos, they had lots of plums, grapes and other stone fruit. Rose also sells eggs but they usually sell out fast. If you like spinach and other similar leafy green veg, Rose always a few different options like beautiful cavolo nero and swiss chard, all home grown.
The Tartine bakery stall is a more recent addition to the market, but a very welcome one. The sourdough, baguettes, brioche and cakes that they sell are the closest thing to being in a French boulangerie that you will get in Dublin. If you eat out in Dublin you will probably have already eaten their sourdough, as it is becoming very popular with a lot of restaurants and cafes around town. It has a very moreish taste so be warned you won’t be able to stop at one or two slices. But I’m not complaining. It makes excellent sandwiches, as well as the perfect toast topped with poached eggs and served with some Coolnanowle organic sausages. At least that’s what I usually make once I have hauled myself back from the market and worked up a good appetite in the process.
I hope this has given you a taste of what is on offer every Saturday at the market. It’s a relatively small space and you’d easily walk by without realising what was on offer inside. I’d love to see it grow in size and maybe one day it will make an appearance mid-week!