Earth Fair Market review

Although I am a fan of fresh/local/organic food markets and believe every area should have one, I don’t visit markets all that often. So while I will share my opinion, I wouldn’t call it an expert opinion. For expert opinion on markets, check out http://www.mothercityliving.co.za/

My favourite market in Cape Town has always been the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Salt River. I’ve been to a couple of other markets and have always happily returned to the Neighbourgoods Market. But this last weekend I went to check out a new market in Tokai (not the Porters Market, which has been going for a while), in the Builder’s Warehouse centre. It’s called the Earth Fair Food Market.

When we arrived we did a quick walk around and I really liked the feel of the place. After the walk around we chatted with Jacqui Simpson who runs the market and I realised why I liked the market so much. Jacqui revealed that one of her strategies for the market is to allow only top quality stalls. I realised then that the quality of the stalls is a big factor. I prefer it when each stall has something to offer which is worthwhile, rather than having to skip every second stall completely because their wares are just plain weird.

The other strategy that Jacqui has applied isΒ to focus the market more on buying things to take away than buying things to consume there. There are several stands selling food for immediate consumption, as well as a coffee stand and a bar, plus some tables and seating. But the majority of stands were offering foods and consumables for off site consumption. Having said that, there are also some activities for kids to enjoy while the parents grab a bite or relax for a bit.

As usually happens at markets, I couldn’t stop myself from buying things. I bought some cheese, some artisnal sausage and some fresh bread. I found the fresh seafood stall very appealing but knew I wouldn’t get a chance to cook the fish until next week. Other things on offer included: fresh pasta, vegetarian products (homemade patties etc), jams, olive oil, wine and much more.

We went at about 11:30am and the market was buzzing nicely but not too busy (a problem with Neighbourgoods Market). We enjoyed having some breakfast and browsing the stalls before moving on to our next appointment. I would recommend this market for a visit. They are open on Saturdays, but plan to open on Wednesdays from 2pm until 8pm which will be perfect for a mid week fridge top up.

Earth Fair Food Market
South Palms, 333 Main Road, Tokai
Tel: 021 788 2333
http://www.earthfairmarket.co.za/

13 Comments

  1. Pia August 31, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    my new favourite market… well, i can tell you the seafood is fantastic! i can’t ever resist it. the scallops i bought on saturday were delicious – and i’ve never even cooked the things before. couldn’t find out anywhere whether they are on the SASSI green list, but i certainly hope so, as i’ll definitely be back for more.

  2. Liz September 1, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Sorry Pia, they won’t be on your SASSI guide as they don’t come from SA! Rather from Japan, China and the USA.. Shame, they are tasty!

  3. Pia September 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Darnit! Ah well, such is the life of a wannabe-locavore… Guess I’ll just have to find some other fish to, um, fry. Thanks for letting me know, Liz πŸ™‚

  4. Liz September 1, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Oysters work for me!

  5. Dax September 1, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Why don’t you ask them where the stuff comes from? That’s one of the reasons we go to markets, so we can find out about the source of the food.

  6. Pia September 1, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    true. and i normally do, but i was so distracted by those fish with enormous bulbous eyes, which i did ask about (they’re called Jacopevers, which I’d never heard of, nor seen before) that i kinda forgot to get the scoop on the scallops.

  7. ClayOne September 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    I work just down the road and had no idea this place existed.

  8. Dax September 6, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    @ClayOne, go check it out. Hopefully you’re not at work on the weekend but they should soon be open on Wednesday’s from 2pm.

  9. Massimo October 8, 2009 at 11:18 am

    my Limoncello and Chocolate liquor are now for sale at the Earth Fair Market, they are at the Dorcester stall, some Saturday mornings, from 11, me and Tracy will try to be there offering samples of the 2 liquors.
    One more reason to visit this fantastic market!
    Thanks to this market is discovered Rudi’s sausages and now i buy the chorizo for my pizzas from them!

    Massimo of Massimo’s Pizza Club, Hout Bay

    1. Dax October 8, 2009 at 11:22 pm

      I love Rudi’s Sausage deli, I always buy something from them when I’m at the market.

  10. Nadin October 16, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    great Market for buying and selling. Dax, have a try at my lovely MACAROONS next time

  11. Pia October 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm

    Mmmm… Rudi’s – I didn’t touch sausage before I discovered those guys. Just a few days ago, I had their dark chocolate + chilli wild boar sausage. INTENSE.

    @Nadin – love your macaroons, they’re crumble-in-the-mouth delicious!

  12. Peter October 21, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    You all forgot to mention the unbelievably fresh nuts and preservative-free dried fruits. Nothing quite like it in the supermarket, especially the organic pineapple