Farmers Markets

How many of you take advantage of these gems in the summer? Did you know that some have already started up again in NJ?

I love farmers markets. There is nothing better than buying food directly from its source. Summer and fall are ideal times to shop for produce, naturally, but there are some really great buys that show up during the off season. They shouldn’t be overlooked.

In Denville, NJ, their farmers market brings quite a few artisan food makers. There’s a guy who makes gluten free and organic trail mix. Another who makes all different types of hummus. There’s the empanada lady. There’s Boboli- they make artisans cheeses (free samples!) and breads made from heirloom wheats and grains. There’s the pickle people, a truck that stretches FRESH MOZZARELLA! right in front of you and then there’s the pork farmer and the Mini Mac farm that does all meats and dairy.

So it’s pretty awesome- if you’re into all that. And yes, these things can get pricey.

But how many of you live near a local market that they call a ‘farmers market?’

I do. And I always forget to go in there. It’s what I think is an asian produce and seafood market. And for as much as forget to go there as often as I’d like, every time I do get to go I get so inspired!!!

First off, their seafood counter is fresh every other day, everything’s wild caught and about half the price of the supermarket. So good! Their produce is off the chain! I bought a guava today. Why? Just because I’ve never had one before… This is the kind of produce market that houses many of the crazy ingredients in the Chopped baskets!!!!

So after a trip there this evening, we are having sesame crusted seared tuna with julienned  carrots and jicama, avocado with wasabi mayo. Made that up as I browsed… I guess that’s what cooking is all about. Seeing what’s good and taking advantage of it.

So moral of the story: keep it fresh. Keep it local. And support your local farmers market if one’s nearby.

“On an Island”

I was catching up on Top Chef last night, and all the contestants were killing the time by asking each other if they were on an island, “what three foods would you bring?’ It then led to a Bravo poll and the top choices were bread and cheese.  Bread and cheese???? I guess I could see that, but I was surprised no one chose anything sugary. Surprised in a good way.

What would you bring with you?

I always say it would be shrimp, eggs and avocado. Although if I’m on an island, I guess I could fish my own shrimp…