Eat Responsibly Day at Bo.Lan

Each first Saturday of the month, the upscale, down-home Thai restaurant Bo.lan hosts a farmers’ market they dub “Eat Responsibly Day.” Located on Sukhumvit Soi 26 in Bangkok, chefs Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava and Dylan Jones’ commitment to slow, local, organic, and sustainable food shines at this market, which is held on the front yard of the restaurant.

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Tawn and I visited in early April. We arrived shortly before 11:00 on a hot morning that threatened rain, midway through the market’s run, which begins at 8:00 and runs until 2:30. At least a dozen local vendors were present, selling everything from produce to prepared foods. Here is a selection of what was offered:

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From Samut Songkhram province, one vendor had fluer de sel (sea salt – left) and palm sugar (right). These are two staple products made in the smallest of Thailand’s 77 provinces and I had to chuckle a bit as the palm sugar comes from the sub-district where I used to volunteer as an English teacher. Every time I went down there, it was all I could do not to return home carrying several kilos of the palm sugar. It didn’t occur to me at the time, but I could have repackaged it with a nice label and sold it as an artisinal product!

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Another vendor was selling freshly-baked bread and jars of homemade roasted tomato relish. This relish was amazing, full of whole garlic cloves and cooked at a low temperature for several hours until the flavors combined beautifully. The lady who makes it brought the recipe back from Europe and has been making it for friends, who would wash and return their empty jars, asking her to fill them up the next time she made a batch. April was her first time at the market, and I certainly hope she returns.

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Maarten Kaspersma runs a busines selling microgreens, evenrything from mustard greens to carrot, kale to mizuna. The business name is Mr. Maarten’s Microgreens and you can find them on facebook.

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We bought a pair of trays. I recall that one was mustard but I don’t remember what the other was. They certainly make for an interesting way to spice up the flavor of salads or sandwiches. I could also use a pair of tweezers and artfully decorate a plate with them and charge an extra few dollars. (If I was charging for my food!)

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Joe Sloane of Sloane’s Sausages made an appearance with his grill. Joe has gained fame around Bangkok as a purveyor of fine pork products. He doesn’t yet have a retail outlet so he informs his customers whenever he has purchased a hog or two (always organic breeds that come from up-country) and has more products for sale. In the near future, he hopes to open a proper storefront so he has more processing space.

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Cumberland sausages and fresh chorizo. These were so nice, I see no further need for me to experiment with sausage making at home!

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Homemade sauces and onion relish with which to tart up your sausages.

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Fresh baguette from Le Blanc on Sukhumvit Soi 39 with a heap of onion relish, fire-roasted tomato ketchup, and a chorizo sausage. Heaven on a Saturday morning.

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Accompanying Joe Sloane’s sausages was galangal porter, brewed at home by our friend Brian’s Happy Cat label. Hopefully, he will one day turn this into a proper business and make his fine hand crafted brews available for retain sale.

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We stopped by the table hosted by Pattaya’s own Lulu and Daisy Goat Cheese company and bought two rounds of medium-aged goat cheese. Nice and tangy, we’ve been shredding this on salads for a wonderful, rich flavor and aroma.

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Organic, free range eggs. Not sure if I understood correctly that these came from hens that live on the restaurant’s property. Perhaps I’m mistaken. They were tasty, though.

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The restaurant does have its own mushroom hut and so we purchased mushrooms freshly harvested on-site. While it has been more than two years since I wrote a review on Bo.lan, at which time I found the food very tasty but the prices just a little dear, I have to commend the chefs’ commitment to local and sustainable foods. Quite an emphasis on quality!

Breakfast

When we returned home, Tawn whipped up an omelet using the eggs, mushrooms, goal cheese, microgreens, and tomato relish that we had purchased at the farmers’ market. Another Eat Responsibly Day will be held on Saturday, 5 May and will continue on the first Saturday of each month at Bo.lan restaurant, Sukhumvit Soi 26. I already have my calendar marked! 

 

0 thoughts on “Eat Responsibly Day at Bo.Lan

  1. Really interesting. I like the thought of micro-greens. I have been trying to eat more sprouted seeds myself. I bought some Organic Chia seeds to add to my foods. I might see if I can get some greens for my Green smoothies. πŸ™‚ Nice Omelet with all that goodness you must have felt that much healthier.

  2. I so miss the chickens at work. For nearly 10 years we had free fresh eggs – they would have been laid within 12 hours when I took them home. Those things were amazing. I’m pretty sure the copious number of eggs consumed had some bearing on my high cholesterol – well, along with the cheese.. Both items are now rarely found on my plate. Yes, I drooled at the photos of the omlets – eggs and cheese. *sigh*

  3. i’d be in food heaven if i were there. if only we have such market here in jakarta. i’m craving those breads and tomato relish.

  4. @rudyhou – Well, if a foodie scene can develop in Bangkok, I’m sure one could take root (eventually) in Jakarta, too. @beowulf222 – Yes… almost San Franciscan, too.@murisopsis – That must have been fantastic, to have fresh eggs like that.@brooklyn2028 – The palm sugar has a really interesting taste, doesn’t it? Kind of like brown sugar but “fruitier.”@nov_way – My pleasure. Enjoy your microgreens.@Fatcat723 – Indeed you would! Ha ha!@Ikwa – Well, with the eggs and cheese I must confess I didn’t feel all that much healthier afterwards. But I sure felt satisfied!@Passionflwr86 – Yes, and he just changed the label name from the much more generic “Bangkok Brewing.”@CurryPuffy – Oh, Tawn’s always been a perfectly good cook. I just get worked up with the way he cooks – he doesn’t really subscribe to the “clean as you go” theory. Ha ha!  

  5. There is something really neat about knowing not just from where but from whom one’s food comes. I can’t wait till the farmers’ markets reopen for the season here.

  6. Great post. Fresh eggs with some micro greens and fresh mushrooms sure sounds wonderful. I am sure Tawn is a wonderful chef also.

  7. as always your food choices are impecable.  the tomato relish reminded me of when i was in lancaster pennsyvalnia and bought tomato jam from the amish store.  i would love to have some of that relish.i think it would be far superiot to the jam.  i grow sweet basil, cilantro, rowemary, and parsley on my patio. i must say i love the fresh herbs espcially the sweet basil in soups and salads but i never dreamed of frow mustard greens what a novel idea.

  8. looks delicious! i love little farmer’s market type, local-business markets. the food is usually fresher and of much better quality, and it’s a great way to support your own community.

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