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Patrik's Preserves & Pickles

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published April 1st 2013
Sinful Shortbread & Brilliant Breads
patrik's, market, merton abbey mills
Patrik's Chutnies

Most of the stalls at Merton Abbey Mills's weekend market are for arts & crafts, but the one I most enjoy visiting is Patrik's. It is a farmer's market stall specialising in preserves, but also sells homemade bread & cakes, eggs & cheese, as well as a few bits of fruit & veg to tide you over if you don't feel like doing a big shop in the supermarket.

The stall is named after the couple who own it - Pat and Rick - who are very friendly, and always offer you to try a sample of their food. While some stalls just give you one example, Patrik's has over a dozen open jars to test. As well as traditional flavours like strawberry conserve, they also have more imaginative combinations too. The first I tried was peach and cardamom jam; the taste was good, but I was put off by the fact that the cardamom seeds were left inside. I've bitten into cardamom seeds before, and they can be quite pungent. I sampled most of the preserves, including some rather spicy chutneys at 3.50 each.

I was considering which ones to buy when I noticed a basket of cakes to try out. Not one to turn down a free sample, I tried a piece of brownie, flapjack, and billionaire shortbread. The brownie was dry, the flapjack had a nice fruity kick, but the shortbread - oh my - was irresistibly moreish. The dark chocolate topping was very rich, the biscuit bottom was incredibly buttery, and the caramel filling - I have never seen such a thick layer of caramel before. At only 1.50, and with only one slice left, I whipped it up sharpish before anyone else came along.

My eyes were also drawn to the other products on the table, which included giant goose eggs between 1.40-2 depending on the size, a few cheddar and stilton cheeses, and a beautiful looking loaf of multi-seeded & multigrain bread dusted with semolina. I didn't buy any more at that point, but after looking around the rest of the market, I went back and bought the loaf for 1.40.

When I took it home, however, the thing I had been attracted to most, actually turned out to be the bread's downfall; it tasted too floury. I soon solved this problem by toasting it and spreading it with honey, which went well with the seeded texture.

Not only is Patrik's good for stocking up your own kitchen, but with their customisable hampers, they make great gifts too.
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Why? Delicious cakes, breads, and preserves
When: Weekends
Phone: 01883 818368
Where: Merton Abbey Mills
Cost: Bread 1.40-2, preserves 3.50, cakes 1.50
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