Bahrain Farmers Market
Roaya grew up helping her uncles plant vegetables in their gardens, picking herbs and fruit from the trees for her grandmother’s kitchen, helping to create the cuisine of home.
Searching for these flavours of her childhood, Roaya worked with local Bahraini farmers to build a community, to reunite growers with cooks.
Held each Saturday in the Budaiya Botanical Gardens, the Bahrain Farmers Market celebrates the wealth of fresh, locally grown produce. Stalls are piled high with crimson tomatoes, glistening dark purple eggplants, mountain garlic, dates, beetroot, cauliflower, striped cucumbers, pumpkins and frilly kale. There is an emphasis on organic growing and farmers chat eagerly with their weekly customers, visitors and expats.
Alongside nursery stalls selling herbs, daisies, alissium and fragrant fig trees, other farmers bring goats cheese, milk and yogurt, and jars of homemade chutneys, marmalades and spicy pickled vegetables.
Families arrive early to share breakfast under the palms. Bahraini craftsmen offer their handwoven baskets for sale and women sit intricately decorating hands with terracotta henna. Artists display their work and chefs are invited to give live demonstrations, choosing from the market’s finest produce.
It is a morning of inspiration, sharing and encouragement, where food is the heart of our community.
This too is the ethos of Villa Mamas. Each week Roaya returns from the market brimming with inspiration and ideas; our menu is driven by the quality and abundance of local ingredients, respect for the farmers and their produce, by tradition and experimentation.
Each Saturday 8am – 12 noon, December to April, Budaiya Botanical Gardens