Peaches and Mushrooms and Basil… Oh My! September 17, 2015 11:39
It is no secret that I have pined after a fresh fruit and veg section in Provender Brown for years. Every time we’ve had a re-shuffle I have tried in vain to clear enough room for a selection of tasty peaches, giant red peppers and an aubergine or two. This desire was fanned whenever I received an email from Brindisia, who currently supply us Spanish meats, cheeses and olives but who also specialise in sourcing fresh produce from small artisan producers across Spain.
As you all know by now, I was determined to find the silver lining under our mucky floorboards, and I knew the refurb was presenting me with one of those now-or-never opportunities. Some swanky new shelving in the back shop and the necessary moving of the big chills meant that I could clear enough space to free up the shelves on our island at the back. And I knew exactly what I was going to fill them with!
In keeping with our ethos here at Provender Brown, I wanted to create a fruit and veg section that would allow us to bring together local produce from around Perthshire and wider Scotland and sit it side-by-side with fresh, artisan produce from the continent. Yes, you can get Spanish peaches and peppers in the supermarket but I know that Brindisia source from small farmers, who care about their environment and the people who work for them, and who are given a fair price for their produce. And because they’re not mass produced you get the tastiest, more delicious versions of what’s on offer.
We started with aubergines, giant red peppers, sweet Spanish onions, yellow peaches, coeur de boeuf tomatoes and courgettes. It was wonderful to have all these amazingly fresh ingredients available for our customers but of course, we had no idea just how popular everything would be and the peaches were sold out within a few days! Since then we’ve had Spanish figs, spaghetti squash, round courgettes and so much more.
My fruit and veg dream became complete when I started chatting to the people at Falkland Kitchen Farm and discovered I could source local organic salad & veg from them! The scent coming from these freshest of local herbs is amazing and we’ve taken stock of mixed salad leaves, rainbow chard, Russian red kale, golden beetroot, spaghetti squash, purple podded peas, sorrel and FIVE different types of basil - sweet, lemon, purple, Thai and cinnamon!
Falkland Kitchen Garden also offer a box scheme – HOORAY! – and we are delighted to finally offer this service to our customers. You’ll all know I’ve tried this a few times over the years but the quality and value has to be right and I think this time we may just have cracked it! Boxes are £10 and you’ll be given a mixed box of seasonal veg and herbs which you have to order in advance. So one week you might get broccoli, the next a spaghetti squash! Please do pop in and have a chat about this if you’d like to know more.
The icing on the cake is that through our friends at 63 Tay Street I've also now discovered a really fab general fruit and veg wholesaler who can supply us with just about anything. So next time you're looking for galangal or white currants or a particular variety of heritage potato, get in touch and we should be able to help.
Apart from pleasing me no end and giving all of our loyal customers a great new service at Provender Brown, it has been wonderful for Paula to stand at our own fruit and veg, choosing fresh ingredients for her soups and quiches that we’re now making here on the premises.
A proper full-circle operation for PB. I’m smiling just writing about it!
Diane and the team X