The mighty return of the original Farmers’ Market

Farmers Market - radishes galoreDubai; Not only is FooDiva loving the sublime, balmy weather these days, but so does local produce which thrives in the current harvesting season. Hence the original Farmers’ Market in Dubai that championed a trend in all things local fruit and veg is now back for its third season at the Souk Al Bahar terrace every Friday.

FooDiva counted eight farms flocking their fare; crops included cucumbers, capsicums, zucchini, radishes (red and white), aubergines, lettuce, rocket, plus herbs such as mint, coriander and dill. It’s still a tad too early in the season for fruit, but sweet melon, and pomegranate abounded. Yael Mejia from the organisers Baker & Spice sources organic produce where possible, predominantly locally grown from the renowned Mazaraa (Abu Dhabi Organic Farm), as well as Bufjar, a Dubai farm in Khawaneej, and Al Shuwib Abu Dhabi-way – but you can also find regional crops from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. A dozen cucumbers (deliciously sweet), half so of zucchini and a bunch of rocket came to a measly AED13; so incredibly cheap!

Farmers MarketCucumbers and zucchiniRocket and radishesHerbsSweet melonPomegranatesBaker & Spice's shakshoukaBaker & Spice's eggs en cocotteDown To Earth produce

Added bonus, the new organic store Down To Earth just recently open near the Union flag, is selling its wares; FooDiva can testify to the nourishing organic brown rice (am addicted!), kidney beans, chick peas and chilli spice. Makes a wonderful chilli con carne. All produce is organic and sourced from India. Italian Dairy Products whose locally made, divine burrata I recently blogged about is also on hand to entice with all things mozzarella and ricotta. You will even savour it in Baker & Spice’s salads and desserts. Talking of which, you really can’t leave the market without brunching at Baker & Spice; the traditional Libyan dish, shakshouka (click here for FooDiva’s review) continues to be a breakfast must, as is the French-inspired eggs en cocotte – basically eggs baked in a pot mixed with butternut squash, leeks, fresh thyme and cream. Marvelously moreish. All served with thick chunks of toast.

New Dubai residents, you’ll be pleased to hear Baker & Spice is set to open its third cafe at Marina Promenade sometime in January. If this Farmers’ Market continues to thrive which with your support will, perhaps we’ll see one cropping up that side of town too? FooDiva certainly hopes so!

Whilst FooDiva’s all for organic groceries, locally sourced fruit and veg which is more likely to be fresh, is a bigger priority in our battle to reduce our carbon footprint. And when I say local, I mean U.A.E, even though the wider Middle East region and Asian subcontinent may not be that far away. If produce is both local and organic, we’re onto a winner.

What are your thoughts? Do you prioritise local over organic, or vice versa? Why?

The Farmers Market is located on the Souk Al Bahar terrace next to Baker & Spice. Every Friday from 9am to 3pm (due to U.A.E National Day, the December 2nd market has been cancelled and will resume on December 9th). T; +971 4 425 2240.

Enjoy the long National Day weekend!

A bientĂ´t.

FooDiva. x

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24 Responses to “The mighty return of the original Farmers’ Market”

  1. Yael Mejia November 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

    just a quick update, due to National Day there will not be market on 2.12 11.
    The Farmers’ Market On The Terrace will resume a weekly show at 9am on 9.12 and every friday hence. we look forward to seeing all you foodiva followers joining the fray.

  2. Nausheen Noor November 30, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Sam, what do we need to do start a farmer’s market on the Marina side? I’ll support it any way I can!!

    • FooDiva November 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

      Hi Nausheen. I think Yael may already be onto it, but any support we can give her helps 🙂

  3. camille November 30, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Thanks for the post. Where is the 2nd baker and spice cafe? Ifeel like I’m missing out something….thanks

  4. I Live in a Frying Pan December 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the info, I had no idea it was so cheap, so can’t wait to try! I’m glad I read the comments, was planning to go tomorrow until I saw Yael’s note.

    • FooDiva December 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm

      I know incredibly good value Arva, as it should be really. I did include this Friday’s postponement at the end of my post, but I guess I should have highlighted it earlier. Glad Yael has also pointed it out.

  5. Edwina December 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Great post Samantha. I think this will be a great outing, treat and shopping experience rolled into one.

    • FooDiva December 1, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks Edwina. Definitely, a great day out – love to hear your feedback.

  6. angela December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Thanks for the tip! Will be there on the 9th to get some veggies!

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