A Guide to Bangkok’s Farmers Markets

Posted on October 17, 2013

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The smell of freshly baked bread, sizzling meat on the grill, and gorgeous, gooey raspberry jams are just a few reasons why people are packing the city’s numerous green markets. Don’t know what to expect at your first one? Here are our favourite vendors and why we love them.

Maison Jean Philippe

If you crave wholesome artisanal bread, then get familiar with Maison Jean Philippe. The bakery was initially based in Koh Chang, and Tom Kirk and Jean Philippe Arnaud Landry used to “smuggle” bread off the island by speedboat at 2am to make it in time for the now-defunct Bo.Lan farmers market. When their first lot of 80 kg sold in a record time of four hours, they decided to move to Bangkok permanently. Their selection of over 50 varieties comes from Jean Philippe’s own inventions and his prior experience working with a fourth-generation Maître Artisan Boulanger in France. Their products have all the qualities of good artisanal bread—hard crust, holey dough, acidic and sweet flavours, and an elastic and creamy texture from prolonged fermentation.

Masala’s fave: We go ga-ga for their figs and barley sourdough (B180), but their ebene (B160), with its signature black colour courtesy of vegetable-activated carbon, often generates the most curiosity. facebook.com/MaisonJeanPhilippe

Sloane’s

Sloane’s sausages are only for the early birds at the farmers market as they are usually sold out within two hours. The fiery chorizo sausage (B100 per piece and B600 per kg), which Joe cures himself, is made with smoked Spanish paprika and garlic, and comes freshly grilled between ciabatta bread. Don’t forget to smear some of his homemade chipotle (B100) made with jalapenos from the Royal Project—or his homemade ketchup (B100). The former head chef at the Rib Room & Bar steakhouse at the Landmark Hotel gets whole organic pigs from permaculture farms and proudly butchers them himself. Apart from 20 different types of sausages, he also makes bacon, ham, and terrines.

Masala’s fave: The classic herby Cumberland sausage (B500 per kg) has us salivating and British expats weeping with nostalgia. sales@sloanes.co.th

Good Food 4 U BKK

Despite Bangkok’s extensive culinary selection, it can be tough to find products without MSG. And that is what got former lawyer Pretima Patel from New Zealand to make her own range of all-natural products. Starting out at home and then partnering up with her friend Priya Nagan, Pretima launched Good Food 4 U BKK. Her homemade recipes stem from her Indian roots and Western upbringing and cover everything from dips to low-fat sauces.

Masala’s fave: Check out their refreshing beetroot and chick pea dip (B160 and B210), whipped together with lemon, dill, garlic, and olive oil. For a sweet treat, try their passion fruit and lime curd, perfect for making cheesecake. goodfood4ubkk.com

Bon Appétit, La Cuisine de Nathalie

Nathalie Sibade’s cheerful Julia Child–like “bonjour” and a sample of her decadent strawberry ginger jam (B150)—in mason jars with colourful covers—can transport anyone to France. A native of Bordeaux and former chef at O’mix French restaurant in Bangkok, she started Bon Appétit, La Cuisine de Nathalie because she found pleasure and satisfaction in working from home. Her recipes, she says, are a mix of her own culinary creations and some that have been passed down from her grandmother. The majority of her ingredients come from the local market and the Royal Project. Alongside jams, she also makes sourdough bread (B150), pork pâté (B390), and lasagna (B180–250).

Masala’s fave: Try the spicy Basque pork pâté made with chillies from France. frenchfood.ns@gmail.com

Yogi Dairy

If you fancy spreadable cheese for that artisan bread you just purchased, then you should head over to Yogi Dairy. Managed and operated by a team of highly trained expat and local cheese and yoghurt makers, the boutique dairy specialises in fresh products made from local cow and goat milk, which are free from preservatives and artificial colours. Their range of products includes different flavours of fromage blanc (B90–110), Mediterranean sour cheese (B110), hummus (B150), and tzatziki (B130).

Masala’s fave: We often pack a can of their apple and cinnamon yoghurt (B37) in our lunchbox. The soft texture and natural sweetness from the fruit are just perfect. yogi-dairy.com

Published in Masala Lite magazine, October 2013

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Posted in: Dining