They way we buy and consume food is almost entirely different to how our parents would have twenty years ago, our great-grandparents probably wouldn't even recognise a lot of the food we now eat. Change is often a great thing and we now have the luxury of world cuisines at our fingertips that wouldn't have been around when we were kids. We can conveniently eat something quick and cheap when we're in a rush for a few euro. There are places that kindly squeeze our GDA of vegetables into bottles for us. We're able to learn about and try outlandish health foods like acai and gojis that travel all around the world just for our pleasure. We can also get all our weekly groceries under the same roof and often for bargain basement prices.
While change is great and I love trying out new things, one thing I hate is the fact that many independent retailers like butchers, greengrocers and bakeries are struggling as they can't match the prices that supermarkets sell cheap food at. While it's beyond convenient being able to get everything you need under the same roof, if you look at the packaging on the fruit and vegetables in your local supermarket you might be surprised. The potatoes my local supermarket sell are almost entirely from Isreal. Why on earth should potatoes (for God's sake this is Ireland, surely we have enough bloody potatoes) be flown all the way across the world when our own local farmers are struggling for fair prices? It has a serious impact on not only the local economy, but the environment and often our health depending on how the vegetables are farmed.
Thankfully we still have a great selection of greengrocers to choose from in the city and not only are you supporting local business but the knowledge that these guys and gals have about food is incredible and can be really helpful when you're planning a special meal or want to try make something new. If you're food obsessed and love cooking then having a good greengrocer is so important. While there are many amazing independent supermarkets, organic shops, delis, farmers markets and more in the city, we wanted to highlight some of our favourite old-school greengrocers in Dublin.
5. The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market is known to most people in the city as a quality greengrocers and they have multiple locations in the city including: Marino; Mary's Abbey; Cabra; Malahide; and Artane. A good greengrocer is essential to any person who has a strong interest in food and/or health and The Fresh Market not only sell beautiful fresh produce, they also sell a great selection of health foods.
4. Moore Street Fruit Market
Okay so technically these are stalls rather than shops but I love the buzz and the banter of shopping for my fruit and vegetables on Moore Street. I always pick up gorgeous berries, peaches and apples here in the summer, but of their selection is so much wider than that. The men and women on these stalls are great sales people so I often leave with way more than I need. They also sell beautiful fresh flowers should you feel like making someone's day! There's a great sense of history and tradition on Moore Street and it's a great part of our city to do a bit of shopping on to soak of some of the atmosphere that makes Dublin famous.
3. Roy Fox Gourmet Food
Roy Fox Greengrocer in Donnybrook is another great, classic greengrocers. Not only is it really important to support independent retailers, but the knowledge these men and women have about the food they sell is second to none. While the staff at your local supermarket may be very helpful, generally they don't have an ounce of the specialist knowledge that greengrocers have, nor the dedication to supporting local farmers where possible. This can be really helpful if you're cooking something for the first time and want advice on preparation, cooking time etc. Roy Foxes is a great spot that we think is a must visit.
2. Jackie Leonard and Sons
This greengrocers is a Dublin institution. Set up in 1891, this family business still enjoys a roaring trade thanks to the passion and knowledge of all things fruit and vegetables. Jackie Leonards is located on Anne Street North and as Ireland's oldest fresh produce company it's definitely somewhere to get acquainted with.
Luckily for me Evergreen on Wexford Street is near to where I work and not far from where I live so I've been enjoying their produce for years. The fruit and vegetables here are fantastic quality. They always have a great selection of local, seasonal fruit and veg like gooseberries and rhubarb, and also more exotic ingredients like fresh shiitake, chanterelle and oyster mushrooms which I have used many times for the most beautiful mushroom risottos. This is a family run business and the staff are really helpful, genuinely lovely and really passionate about their produce. I love this place and always pick up some nice bits and pieces that motivate me to try out a new recipe.
I'm sure there are a few more spots that we may have missed so make sure to drop us a comment if you have a local greengrocer that you think kicks ass that we should check out.