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


Summertime, and the living is easy. Fish are jumping, and you can find them from Shore Catch. The sweet corn stands high at AT Buzby farm and they’re packing it downtown. It’s the last weekend in July, and one of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing and get to the farmer’s market. You don’t have to be rich or good looking to fill your hands with beauties like these. I’m sure Louis and Ella would agree.

Plums – Grocery store plums tend to be of the same variety, yellow fleshed with purple skin, and while they’re good when they’re in season, they’re not that special. The plums that you’ll find at farmer’s markets—large and small, red, yellow, and dark purple— are just such a different category of fruit entirely. Look for deep red sugar plums, pulpy and sweet. Oblong Italian prune plums are toothsome and subtle, excellent with cheese. And my favorites? Shiro plums, yellow with a pink cheek. They’re a bright explosion of tart, sweet flavor, especially good straight out of the fridge.

Edamame – Fuzzy, little soybeans are back on the table at Queens Farm at the Headhouse market. Simply steam, apply salt, pop out of pods, and eat!

Donut Peaches – Also called saturn peaches, these sweet little nuggets are flat and juicy. Honestly, they don’t taste any different than other peaches, whether white or yellow, but there’s something about twisting them in half, revealing the jelly bean-sized pit, and pulling it away with your thumbnail that is supremely satisfying. It’s easy to put away three of these in a sitting. Look for them at Frecon, Beechwood, Three Springs, and wherever else you buy your stone fruits.

Heirloom Tomatoes – We’ve arrived, everyone, at what may be the best moment of the year and the crowning glory of the farmer’s market–a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes is finally hitting the tables. Happy Cat Farm specializes in a breadth of varieties, and their pint boxes of mixed small tomatoes in all shades of red, yellow, orange, purple, and green make for an effortlessly beautiful salad. Taproot, Weavers Way, Savoie, and loads of other growers have big heirlooms too. Don’t miss favorites like big, pink Brandywines, tart Green Zebras, red and yellow Striped German, deep red-green Black Prince, and custardy Jaune Flammes.

Hot Peppers – Peppers, one of the final summer veggies to arrive in force, are beginning to roll in, and they’re starting from a delicious place. Root Mass Farm has the medium-spicy yellow Hungarian wax peppers, which are great pickled. Dark green poblanos, from Weaver’s Way and Two Gander Farm, walk the line between spicy and mild, and they’re awesome for lending zip to a chopped salad or stuffing with cheese for chiles rellenos. If you can stand a little more heat, pick-up the jalapeños instead, available at 52nd and Haverford from Lone Wolf Farm, adaptable and with true heat that isn’t face-melting, they’re super versatile in the kitchen.