Having made the relatively painless move from Singapore to Bangkok I was faced with the decision on what to do on my first weekend as a Bangkok resident? I was alerted to the existence of the Bangkok farmers market http://www.bkkfm.com/ by a tweet from one of the accounts I have started to follow here and thought that would be a really fun way to spend my Saturday and so off I headed! The market seems to rotate between venues, the weekend I visited it was at the K village on Sukhumvit Soi 26, not far from Phrom Phong BTS station which is just a short journey on the BTS from Ploenchit where I am now living. Their mission statement is ” To connect non-gmo/organic/pesticide free producers with consumers directly and foster a vibrant community focused around Healthy Living. We support the communities in Bangkok by giving back through education, charitable works, and free programs to bring people together. Our primary goal is to help build strong foundations for communities and focus on life.” and there was certainly a real community vibe when I visited. There was a great band playing music in one corner of the open air mall and a mix of families, groups of friends and food industry professionals made their way from stall to stall. I started off with a refreshing cold drip iced coffee made from Jak Jai coffee beans from Doi Chang in Thailand which helped to cool me down in the midday Bangkok heat.
I wandered around the stalls, admiring everything from home made peanut butter to local cheese, olives, soaps, organic vegetables, jewellery, clothes and more.
The home made cheese company http://www.homemade-cheese.com/ caught my eye immediately. Made daily in the centre of Bangkok the cheese is made using milk from local farms and is additive and preservative free. Did I mention they make LABNEH?! well of course I had to buy some – especially when I saw it came topped with a layer of zaatar & olive oil & this was to be my breakfast for the next few days. As I do not have cooking facilities where I am living, I passed on the opportunity to buy any of the lovely looking herbs and vegetables although I may give in and buy some herbs for a fragrant window display on my balcony at some point. There were also a number of food stalls where you could buy snacks or lunch from local producers. Pad Thai, banh mi, khanon krok, spring rolls and THE most delicious porchetta I have ever seen.
Appia is a local restaurant based on the classic Roman trattoria owned by chef (and butchers son) Paolo Vitaletti. They make their pasta daily and more importantly, their porchetta (pork stuffed with fennel pollen, garlic and rosemary and roasted until crispy) is roasted behind their bar. Their menu is here http://www.appia-bangkok.com/images/pdfmenu1.pdf and I will definitely be visiting them for dinner in the not too distant future. The porchetta was chopped up and served in a crusty chunk of fresh bread before being drizzled with what I think were the cooking juices and garnished with a few pickled vegetables before being served up to the hungry masses for a bargainous 200 Baht ($8 Sgd) This was just heaven, the combination of the crispy crackling with the succulent meat and glistening white fat was just perfection and I ate it with somewhat indecent haste. The only way it could have been improved would have been if there had been a local craft beer stall serving up cool beers for me to wash it down with!
I perused the rest of the stalls for a while longer and then spotted a Wine Connection so I settled in for a quick glass of rosé ($4 Sgd for the house) before making my way home. I noticed they have a “Twilight” farmers market back there at K village on the 19th of September so will probably head back again for a repeat visit as it sounds like fun! I can certainly see the Bangkok farmers market becoming a regular diary fixture for me!