A Beginners Guide To The Moor Market
Sod whether you’re a Blade or an Owl. For me, the true test of character is whether you shopped at Castle Market or not.
To be fair many were put off by the groups of lads hanging around outside and should any have made it inside, the scrotty and dilapidated interior would have left many searching for the nearest exit do that they could flag a cab to Waitrose.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived in Sheffield for 15 years and I only shopped at Castle Market (mostly because of the reasons set out above) for the last 3 of them. I am also quite partial to a trip to Waitrose (whenever the budget allows), but I think it was my sheer determination to break into the unknown, to learn a little about real Sheffield and its history and, of course, to save some cash that kept me going back.
But, Castle Market is no more and although I will miss it I don’t intend to harp on about the past. What’s more, I’ve already slotted Moor Market into my shopping routine. Ok, it’s going to take a while for me to get my bearings (I looped around four times the other day looking for the main exit), but I love how my favourite Castle Market traders are now working in clean, tidy and warm environments. Yes, there have been a few casualties on the way (Sheaf Valley bakery and All Seasons Fruit and Veg will be greatly missed), but on the whole I’m pleased with the selection of traders down there – especially as there are a few newbies too.
And, although I’m sure you’ll each have your own opinion about the Moor Market and the way it works, as do I, I’m not going to dwell on such points here. The purpose of this post is to celebrate the traders in the market, nothing more. So, here’s a bit of a guide to my favourites…
Formerly known as Buntings, Deans Family Butchers is a haven for any meat lover. Head here for some friendly market banter and make sure you have a good look at the produce whilst you’re at it. I shop here for joints of lamb, thick pork chops, steaks and the freshest beef/pork and lamb offal I can find.
Renowned for their pork pies, which are made fresh every day, the Waterall Brothers Ltd stall is your one stop shop for all things pork. Roasting joints, sausages and bacon are available along with cooked ham hocks and belly pork. Also head here for sliced cooked meat and Horlicks Mature Cheddar (a favourite of mine) and do not forget to pick up one of the mini pork pies to keep your energy levels up whilst shopping!
Morleys Poultry sits alongside Morleys Meats and Castle Meats and is great for chicken (including fresh chicken liver and hearts) and cheap as you like ham hocks. Talking of bargains shoppers should also head to TM Meats for their student meat pack. Also available to non-student shoppers, this pack includes 2 beef steak burgers, 2 pork loin steaks, 2 chicken steaks, 2 premium sausages and 4 rashers of bacon for the bargain price of just £5!
Fishmongers Anthony Andrews sells a range of popular fish including salmon, tuna, cod and mackerel, but you’ll also find some more unusual specimens such as cat fish here… along with scallops, prawns and mussels. Anthony Andrews also has a fair selection of poultry and game on offer and they currently have pheasant and duck in stock.
At Binghams you’ll find the standard selection of fish, including salmon and cod, but I head here for cocked seafood especially the rollmops! I also buy my rabbits here as they tend to have them all year round. Smith and Tissington are also on my shopping list as they stock free range eggs at a very reasonable price.
Stuarts Fruit and Veg is probably my favourite fruit and veg stall at the moment. There’s a wide range of produce available and in addition to the freshest of produce, you’ll find a few bargain bags too. I often pick up a bag of tomatoes or aubergines for as little as 50p or £1 and their prices regularly put Tesco et al to shame.
Fruit Fayre is similar to Stuarts in terms of pricing and variety. I especially like Fruit Fayre at the moment as they have taken on the ex H Coates fruit and veg (another casualty of Castle Market) employee who calls everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) babs. Aside from the friendly staff, you should head here to pick up some bargains.
Set out like a mini grocers stall, Bingham and Browne will suit those who aren’t quite used to the market atmosphere and banter yet. A trip is also recommended to anyone wanting a glimpse of that famous swinging monkey… For anyone who likes to eat organic produce you’ll find some fine specimens of fruit and veg at Barra Organics. Also keep a look out for some of the more unusual varieties that you won’t find at the other stalls.
With two stalls – one dedicated to bread and the other to cake Turners is worth a trip, as is Punch Stores who has a range of breads, cakes and sweets, all at reasonable prices. If you have a rather sweet tooth then you also need to head to Cakelicious to grab one of their Chinese style cakes. With a range including the likes of green tea eclairs, Portuguese egg tarts and full size celebration cakes there really is something for everyone.
Moor Market is currently short of a dedicated cheese counter, but S & J’s Pantry does have a fair selection. They had Ribblesdale Goats Cheese, Shepherd’s Purse Harrogate Blue, Yorkshire Fettle and Peakland White when I last visited. You’ll also find jams, chutneys and traditional soft drinks amongst other deli items in this pantry. I also spotted an olive stall recently; Green Leaves which looks like it’ll be worth a punt.
The Continental Foods stall has got to be one of my all-time favourites. With a larger set up than they had in Castle Market, customers can now browse the shelves of produce. Expect to see all manner of foodstuffs including yams, drumsticks (the vegetables) and scotch bonnets as well as packets of spices, rice and pulses. Head here for very reasonably priced fresh herbs and any Indian or Caribbean ingredient that you’re trying to source. For Chinese ingredients, Wong’s Oriental Food will serve you well.
New to the Market scene is Yee Kwan and her Happy Valley stall. Stocking all things sweet including a range of her famous ice creams, handmade chocolate bars and all the toppings that any ice cream lover could ever wish for, Yee’s stall is truly a happy valley for anyone with a sweet tooth. Me, I like to stick to the sorbets; they’re really refreshing and packed with fruity flavours. Beer Central also needs a mention here as this tiny shop stocks a great range of beers from across the world with a special focus on local Sheffield breweries.
So there you have it; a brief overview of my favourite food stalls in the Moor Market. If you’re interested in finding out more, I highly recommend that you follow @SheffieldMKTS on Twitter and like their facebook page. Happy shopping!