When someone talks about a farmers market I immediately think of a man with his bullock cart selling bajra. Well this one wasn’t exactly quite like that. The idea is to encourage small entrepreneurs and introduce a new range of treats to people. I’ve heard about the one that happens in Mumbai but I was told its only organic stuff and was expecting this one in Pune to be similar but it really wasn’t.
The Westin at Koregaon Park hosts a bi-monthly event called the Pune Farmer’s market which turned out to be like a box of hidden treasures. Weather you cook or eat, if you’re a food obsessed person this event has your name written all over. The market encourages local sellers, home makers and a host of other people to come and showcase their products. From frozen prawns, pickles and masalas, fragrant teas, juices, organic vegetables and so much more the market is buzzing with different stalls to choose from. I’m not sure how the market was last time but in this event they included some lovely wine stalls, a stall dishing out yummy hamburgers and a gorgeous bakers pavilion with loads of people selling jams, cupcakes, cookies and an array of sweet treats. There is also a list of restaurants that make up an entire section dedicated to eating equipped with tables and chairs for hungry shoppers to dine comfortably.
As much as I’d love to singlehandedly photograph every stall there was, here are some of my highlights. Amrita Kaur who retails her stellar product range under the brand life ki recipe. She’s famous for her innovative bacon jam and bacon butter but also has a range of other exciting treats like chilli chocolate.
Anisha Bangera who was showcasing her signature banoffee pies but is in the process of launching other goodies in her range.
Karen Anand who actually spearheads this entire event has a stall at the market which retails her lovely product line of dips and vinaigrettes along with the books she’s written. The one I picked up from the market is dedicated to oil free cooking and I can tell you it’s like the bible of cooking in my house. Dad swears by her recipes (he’s very fussy so this is high praise indeed)
Snigdha Manchanda and her brand tea trunk which has some lovely teas.
Nikhil Merchant, a popular blogger and writer held a special demonstration with Karen Anand to showcase her secret recipe of spicy prawn malabari soup.
Pooja Dhingra A.K.A macaroon queen also demonstrated how to make macroons and even held and impromtu cupcake decorating class for children which was quiet a success!
I even had a chance to indulge in a lovely foot massage which I think is a smart addition because its perfect for shoppers who are tired and want a quick foot rub before they head back to more shopping and eating!
Under the mango tree which is a social enterprise that helps poor primary producers and simultaneously increasing their agricultural productivity. They have a superb range of organic products but my all time favourite is their litchi honey.
The stall that impressed me the most was called Western Routes which is a travel based company that provides unique tours in Maharashtra. One of their tours is food related where they take you on various culinary journeys. I was lucky enough to go on one of these trails which was a chance at experience local Puneri food treasures. However I’ll leave that excitement for another post. Somewhere I heard a murmur about an exclusive seafood trail which has caught my attention and I’m happily going to set up one.
These are just some of my top picks but the festival has a lot more to offer. The next edition of the Pune Farmer’s Market is on 27th of October. If you’re a Pune local then you have no excuse not to visit. If you’re from Mumbai or around, I highly recommend a weekend trip to Pune to enjoy the festival. A little tip – stay at the Westin, they really know how to treat their guests!
Photo Courtesy – The Pune Farmer’s Market And Western Routes Facebook Pages.