The Dirt: What To Get At The Farmers Market This Weekend
Though it’s definitely cooling down out there, and yes, there will likely be some precipitation sooner or later, area farmer’s markets are still going strong. True, the red on the tables is from apples instead of berries, but there are plenty of lush greens, shiny root veggies, and bulky squash to take home. Even seasonal markets will continue to operate through November and, some of them, into December and through the new year as well. Because chill or no, nothing’s cooler than rocking some local goods. Here’s what you should pick up this week.
Holiday Turkey Pre-orders – Now that we’re firmly into November, it’s nearly too late to place an order if you’re interested in having a local turkey for your Thanksgiving feast. Stop by Canter Hill Farm (Bryn Mawr), Livengood Family Farm (Clark Park), Griggstown Quail Farm or Hillacres Pride (Headhouse) to put dibs on some drumsticks.
Ice Lettuce – No, it’s not some crackpot marketing attempt to sell wilted lettuce. Ice lettuce is a succulent green with stems are coated in tiny bubbles that makes it appear as though it is covered in frost. One of those special micro-greens that you might have only seen tweezer-ed onto precious restaurant plates, you can now try it at home thanks to Z Food Farm at the Rittenhouse Market. Discard any very tough stems and enjoy the juicy leaves raw to appreciate their lemony flavor.
Quince – A beautifully perfumed seasonal darling, quince is an relative of both apples and pears, and it looks a little bit like a cross between the two with a light green-yellow hue and a fuzzy exterior. Though the fruit, when ripe, smell good enough to eat as is, you won’t want to. The flesh is tannic and hard, totally unpleasant without cooking. Take the time to peel, core and cook them down with something sweet though and they soften into rosy, autumnal goodness. Pick some up from Beechwood Orchards (Ritten-house, Headhouse, Fairmount, N3Rd).
Leeks – It’s potato time, people, and nothing goes better with spuds than ketchup…I mean leeks. Fortunately, you won’t have to go out of your way to find some for that batch of soup you’re planning. Beautiful bunches have been spotted on the tables at Hilltop Farm, Two Gander, Weimer’s Organics, North Star Orchard, and Blooming Glen Farm at markets all over.
Ketchup – In the event that you simply must have ketchup with your potatoes, you’re in luck where that’s concerned, too. Look for homemade ketchup from Rineer Family Farm at Chestnut Hill, and from Hilltop Farm at Rittenhouse. At Headhouse, stop by Three Springs Fruit Farm to pick up one of six flavored ketchups. Try ketchups flavored with curry, chili garlic, wasabi, chipotle, ginger lime, or smoked paprika, and don’t be shy with your feedback – they’re looking for customer opinions to determine which the best recipes are to make again next year.
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