The Swan Market was on my list to visit this entire year already, but because every time I wanted to go, there was something important I had to go to as well, I could just go to the last outdoor market of this year in Rotterdam. The Swan Market is held in various cities on several sundays throughout the year. It is a lifestyle market where many different creative things are offered varying from fashion, handmade jewellery, accessories, interior items and affordable art to kids items. There is live music from new and upcoming artists as well as more known artists and very important for me as well: many specialized food stands and food trucks.
I loved the relaxed mood that was radiating from the market: everybody was just strolling around, having something to eat or drink on a bench and enjoying the nice weather and the music. I saw some very nice antique interior items: vases and teacups as well as new rugs. I hadn’t had lunch yet as I arrived there around 12.30 o’clock, so I first went into the food area. The first few stalls sold amazingly specialized food, like cheese, tea, tomato sauces and even a stall devoted to caramel (I just couldn’t believe my eyes!). But the one that got me very interested was the stall with ‘Cocosballen’ (coconut balls). They looked like regular macaroons, but they had lovely adittions in it and they are freshly baked at the stand. I chose the one with dark chocolate and it was wonderful! Great taste and great texture of cocos! To go with it, I went looking for some coffee. I found it at the Smaakbus: a Minivan from which they sell coffee. They had various different coffees and each coffee was made to order. I chose a latte, as usual, which was ok, not spectacular, but a good latte. On the other side of the market, they were selling coffee from a Volkswagen Beetle as well, which was also a very funny sight. I love this kind of creative initiatives!
After the coffee, I was walking past all the nice stalls with handmade items, antiques and vintage clothes. Between these stalls, I found a stall devoted to dried fruits from www.mijngedroogdfruit.nl. They have everything you can imagine and it’s either sugared or without sugar, so you can choose whichever you want. There were little bowls where they allowed you to taste each variety, before you would scoop them into a bag. You could just mix and match and all of the fruits were the same price per 100 grams. I took a superfruit mix and cocos slices home to add to my breakfast bowls. On the opposite side of the market was a stall from Heerlijk & Eerlijk that sold all kinds of mushrooms you could imagine. Their stall looked amazing, I never knew there were so many edible mushrooms! They also have other delicacies and sausages and it all looked delicious. When I walked on, I found the cutest bakery stall and I decided to buy an oatmeal cranberry cookie for me to enjoy at home. I saw other bakers, olive sellers and many more food stalls. But I had to stop at one in particular: Jolei’s Fudge-World. They sell British handmade fudge and nougat in every flavor you could wish for, with names like: Double cream fudge, Vanilla nut sundae, Oreo cookie fudge and Death by Baileys truffle. How could you not want to eat this??? So I took home 4 different kinds: regular vanilla, chocolate caramel fudge, Oreo cookie fudge and a salted caramel nougat. The smell alone was divine!
So after being inspired by all the handmade home items, I decided I needed to have a true lunch (the macaroon alone wasn’t enough), so I headed to the food area again. By this time, there was live music in the tent as well, so it had become a bit more busy around the food trucks where people would go get something to eat and then go and listen to the music. There were many options for lunch: the Dutch Weedburger, Crepes, Wraps, Hamburgers, Saté and other sandwiches, but I knew I had to try one thing for sure. I noticed a big barbeque from Grill’nSmoke near the entrance of the market where they sold ‘Pulled Pork Cheeseburgers’. Pulled Pork was kind of on my wishlist to have at least some time soon, so I could not let this opportunity pass by. The meat they use is organic and the pulled pork is braised for 12 hours before you get it on your burger. You can choose a wrap to put it on as well. I figured I had to go ‘all the way with this’ so I chose the cheeseburger. It was prepared right before your eyes and it was utterly mouthwatering to just watch that process. So when I got my burger, the hopes were high. And of course it did meet up to my expectations. The burger itself was well done, tasty and still a little moist, with the cheese molten on top and some salad underneath it. The pulled pork was as tender as you could want it to be and it tasted awesome! The barbecuesauce that was added made a wonderful addition to the pork as it enhanced its’ flavor. On top was coleslaw. The bread was very nice and fresh as well.
Another thing I wanted to try were the fries from Fritez, Haute Friture. They sell fries from Dutch organic potatoes, which are nice and thick like I like them the most. I saw many others walking around with them and I knew the portion would still fit in my stomach after the burger. The fries were cut coarsely, with the skin of the potatoes still on them. I personally think this helps keep the flavor of the potato more and that is what I like for my fries. They were not at all greasy or too salt and the mayonaise tasted like very nice as well, again, not too greasy. So I sat there, just enjoying the music, the atmosphere and my fries and I thought it was just a perfect way to enjoy my sunday afternoon.
I absolutely loved the Swan Market and I will go to one of the next editions for sure. Too bad the next one is on the 20th and 21st of december (an indoor edition) and my schedule is booked full on those 2 days now already. If you can go there, definetely do so! So I guess I’ll have to wait untill next year, somewhere in spring. But I will be back!