The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend

Despite the inevitable hand-wringing about the cold winter ahead, it is worth noting that we are currently smack in the middle of some of the nicest weeks of the year in Philadelphia. The humans love it and the vegetables do, too.

Guinea Hens – Not a fowl that you’ll ever find in the grocery store, Ruth Reichl is eating guinea hen this week, and thanks to Canter Hill Farm in Malvern, you can, too. Guinea hen meat is of the dark variety, richly flavored but leaner than chicken, so take care not to overcook it. Reserve yours to pick-up at the Chestnut Hill Market this weekend via e-mail.

Kabocha – Not to be missed if you can find it, this variety of winter squash (which often appears in Japanese and Korean cuisine) has a gnarly, dark green skin. It’s flesh is firm and dry, never stringy, and it has a subtle sweetness reminiscent of chestnuts. Look for it on the Queen’s Farm table at the Headhouse Market.

Alliums – Onions and garlic are a sure thing, but this week you’ll also be able to find more diverse onion-y goodness as well. Z Food Farm has the oblong tropea onions and cute little cippolinis at the Rittenhouse Market, and Hilltop Farm (Rittenhouse), Two Gander Farm (Bryn Mawr), and Taproot Farm (Chestnut Hill) will all have leeks.

Mexican Sour Gherkins – They look like dollhouse watermelons, but these little guys are a tiny variety of cucumber. Crisp skins give way to lemony, juicy flesh. Try these uncommon treats from Z Food Farm at Rittenhouse.

Asian Pears – Delicate, juicy, and subtly crunchy, the most sophisticated of the tree fruits has returned. Frecon Farms will have hosui Asian pears at Bryn Mawr and Rittenhouse and North Star will have theirs at Headhouse.

Peaches – Yes, the weather is cooling, but it’s not too late for peaches! Beechwood still has them,  Three Springs still has them, Hands on the Earth still has them, and so does Frecon. Now is the time for canning a batch of peach salsa or cutting and freezing some for smoothies.  Ask any fruit grower about bulk pricing this time of year and you’re sure to get a deal.

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