Happy National Farmer’s Market Week, everyone! If your meals at this time of year aren’t positively bursting with locally grown goodness, you probably need to examine your life. Not sure where the market most convenient to you is? Check out this handy map of markets run by The Food Trust or Farm to City’s comprehensive listing. Once you’ve found your market, you might also be lucky enough to find some of these local treats as well.
Okra – The crunchy, juicy, and viscous texture of these little seed pods make them a deeply polarizing vegetable. Folks who love okra look forward to it and everybody else wonders why. Not sure which camp you’re in yet? Try pickling them for a juicy addition to a bloody mary, cook up a batch of gumbo, or slice them into rings, toss them in cornmeal and fry them. Root Mass Farm and Three Springs will both have it at Headhouse.
Huitlacoche – Huitla-what-now? Huitlacoche (also called corn smut) is a particular fungus that grows on ears of corn. It has a grayish black color and a nutty flavor that is particularly good with cheese. Prized in Mexico for culinary purposes, it can typically only be found jarred or canned, but (chefs take note) Primordia Mushroom Farm (Clark Park) has got the fresh stuff this week!
Peaches – They’re not a new addition to the Market line-up, but consider this a gentle reminder to be picking up some peaches as the early season “cling” variety yields to the later season “freestone” ones. A little easier to slice neatly. Pick up some from Hands on the Earth (Clark Park) or skip right over the fresh fruit to the peach pies from Forest View Bakery.
Fairy Tale Eggplants – The eggplant family has some amazing variety in it (Two Gander Farm at Bryn Mawr has *five* different varieties for sale), but none are cuter then the petite purple and white fairytale eggplants. Leave the eggplant parm to the big guys, these sweet little babies are best for halving and marinating or grilling.
Bulk Produce – You don’t have to be an end-of-days hoarder to appreciate a nice jar of pickles, peaches, or tomatoes. Frecon Farm has blueberries in bulk at a number of different markets and Three Springs has peaches, zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes available for pre-order and ready for some hot mason jar action!
Find something great at your local market? Instagram it and tag accordingly: @foobooz #fooboozthedirt