The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmer’s Market This Weekend

I feel you, friends. You’re back home in Philadelphia after a few days elsewhere with your family, gorging on roast beef or turkey or ham or moo shu. You’ve also likely eaten a great deal of cookies and consumed more than your share of booze. There’s nothing in your fridge except for some tired cucumbers and some petrified pizza that you ate in a wrapping-paper frenzy sometime last week (or, you know, Monday). Maybe this bender continues through New Years Day, or maybe you’re back at work already, trying to make sense of things. Either way, you probably need some groceries. Headhouse is done for the year, so Rittenhouse it is if you’re a Center City dweller and Clark Park if you’re in West Philly.

–Ferments  And not of the beer variety. Shore up your gut bacteria with a dose of lacto-fermented veggie goodness from Food & Ferments. Though you might mistake these tang of these products for a vinegar-based pickle, they’re actually made by brining vegetables with only salt and water. The natural sugars present in the produce ferments, and the result is a pleasant tangy flavor and a super-charged dose of all-natural probiotics. They’ll have a selection of fermented veggies, kombucha, kvass, and a brand new mustard garlic kraut. If that won’t jump start your cleanse for the new year, I can’t imagine what would.

–Tango Lettuce Pennypack Farm has beautiful, curly lettuce – a variety called tango – from their hoophouse. Perfect for a cool weather salad. 

–Black Garlic High temperature fermentation yields heads of garlic where the cloves are pulpy, sweet, and yes, almost black. Though black garlic is still something of a specialty product limited to restaurant menus (where it is becoming increasingly popular due to its mellow flavor and punchy color) the New Jersey-based Obis One is making it locally and the bulbs are for sale at The Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market. Whip some into butter or smush into fresh pasta dough to appreciate this distinctive, mild garlic flavor.

–Miner’s Lettuce This salad green is typically foraged, but some growers from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative have started cultivating it. The heart-shaped leaves are a succulent, and they make a great, juicy addition to a salad. Look for it at the Fair Food Farmstand.

Find something great at your local market? Instagram it and tag accordingly: @foobooz #thedirt