Meet the makers at Cornwall's biggest Christmas market
- Credit: www.stewartgirvan.co.uk
Get into the Christmas spirit with a visit to Cornwall's capital and its month-long festivities of food, fun and entertainment - and a little shopping that runs right up to Christmas Eve.
As Truro Farmers Market embarks on a month-long run of festive markets in the heart of Cornwall’s capital city, we rediscover the joy of buying local food and drink at Christmastime.
The BIG Christmas Market will run from 24th November through to 24th December on Lemon Quay, and will feature a revolving selection of the finest local food and drink, as well as arts and crafts. With all the sights, smells and flavours of the festive season, this will be an irresistible invitation to buy from local farmers, small food producers and talented craftspeople this Christmas.
Food lovers in particular will be greeted with an array of tempting stalls. Treat yourself to fresh, sustainably-caught fish and shellfish from Cornish waters. Choose grass-fed and free range meat from local farmers. From artisan dairy products to sought-after store cupboard ingredients, the market is home to some real delicacies for the Christmas table.
Visitors shopping for the main event itself will no doubt make a beeline to the Treway Farm stall, where Kate and Will Martin’s bronze turkeys await. Meanwhile the Goonown Growers – an organic growing cooperative based near St Agnes – have an array of freshly-plucked seasonal vegetables, including sprouts of course…
Drinks aficionados can expect a huge swathe of locally made craft beer, small-batch cider, award-winning wine and artisan spirits from Cornwall’s finest producers. You’ll find something for every festive moment – from leaving a snifter for Santa, to pouring that glass of bubbles on Christmas morning.
And, as well as shopping for supplies, decorations and gifts, visitors can immerse themselves in a proper festive experience, with street food stalls, music and entertainment - in short everything you need to get into the Cornish Christmas spirit. We went behind the scenes to uncover some of the food and drink highlights to look out for amongst the stalls.
Driftwood Spars – Pudding Ale
This coastal microbrewery in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes, produces an array of gluten-free beers using small-batch methods.
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We’re big fans of their rich and spicy Pudding Ale, which is released every year in time for the festive season. This year we’re branching out from traditional Christmas cake and putting a glug of this in everything from decadent brownies and rich truffles, to boozy chocolate trifles.
Rosemullion Distillery – Christmas Spirit
Rosemullion is a craft distillery based near the Helford River, which handcrafts its award-winning range of spirits in small batches.
A new release of ‘Christmas Spirit’ will be available at market, and it’s a drinks cabinet essential for the festive season. Infused with the flavours of nutmeg, cloves, candied orange, raisins, ginger and muscovado sugar, it really goes down a treat! While some love to sip this on its own, we prefer it with ginger ale or – even better – drizzled over vanilla ice cream for an effortless seasonal dessert.
Cornish Sea Salt – Roasting Salt
Top of the list of seasonal cooking essentials is Cornish Sea Salt’s Roasting Salt, which is the perfect mix of garlic, onion, rosemary and sage, blended with Cornish Sea Salt to create a moreish savoury seasoning.
Try it sprinkled on your roast turkey and you won’t look back, but it’s also great to have to hand for any joints of ham or beef you’re planning on cooking for family and friends over the holiday season.
Delea Fermented Foods
All self-respecting foodies should have fermented foods on their Christmas shopping lists this year. At the Delea Fermented Foods stall you can pick up all the staples (Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Curtido) all of which are great for Christmas cheeseboards, and go amazingly with festive ham or turkey itself.
This year Founder Caitlin Walsh will also release a new seasonal special – Sweet Red Cabbage Christmas Kraut – a blend of red cabbage, orange, cinnamon and cloves.
Food of the Gods Raw Chocolate – Spiced Orange Chocolate
Food of the Gods raw chocolate is handmade in small batches in West Cornwall using raw, organic and fairtrade cacao from Peru. The chocolate is made using the sought-after criollo bean plus a small amount of date syrup.
Infused with natural orange oil, cinnamon and nutmeg and topped with candied orange peel, this Spiced Orange Chocolate might just be the ultimate Christmas chocolate bar! We’re planning on stockpiling a few of these for those moments when you just need something a little sweet, and also trawling the recipe books for festive dessert uses…
The Cornish Italian – Panettone
Panettone is a tradition which originates in Milan, but has spread to all corners of the world. Making proper panettone is an elaborate and long-drawn out process - just proofing alone can take several days, which is what gives panettone its unique fluffy texture.
The panettone sold by Ugo, Founder of The Cornish Italian, is made by Fratelli Carli in Imperia (where Ugo grew up). It is prepared with olive oil (8%) rather than butter, meaning it has the same richness but is slightly less indulgent. It contains candied orange, honey and raisins laced through soft, mouth-watering cake. Delicious! When we're feeling indulgent on festive evenings we enjoy ours with spoonful's of Ugo’s award-winning tiramisu. Bliss!
La Pineta Italian Deli – Cheeses
Valentina Langley of La Pineta Italian Deli has won the hearts of market regulars with her irresistible Italian cheeses, charcuterie and street food. Having grown up in the Campania region not far from Naples, Valentina has a deep love and knowledge of Italian food culture and a network of small, specialist suppliers in the country to tap into.
This Christmas she has gone above and beyond to source cheeses from a producer called Moro who specialise in some amazing flavour combinations. You’ll find cheeses soaked in Limoncello and Grappa, as well as one incorporating chocolate and many more.
Valentina also has specially selected panettone from a producer called Fiasconaro in Sicily; handmade and hand-wrapped, these are beautiful gifts or treats for the whole household.
Also at The BIG Christmas Market, discover a treasure-trove of art and craft stalls will feature everything from vintage homewares to willow weaving, handmade soaps to eye-catching jewellery – perfect for picking up unique gifts.
The BIG Christmas Market is supported by TruroBID and will run from 24 November to 19 December on Wednesdays to Sunday and daily from Monday 20th December to Friday 24 December.