Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Shopping the Market and Planning Your Menu and This Weeks Market
In France and much of Europe going to the farmers' market several days a week is quite normal. There you meet and develop a relationship with the grower, the small artisanal baker and cheese maker, the butcher and even the woman who takes joy in growing the best herbs and flowers.
There is a general attitude to support local and independent farmers. Typically big agriculture is avoided. What is important is taste and quality and the relationship the market shopper has with the local farmer. Local produce is fresher because most of the time it's just been picked. That adds up value to the shopper because fresh = flavor = nutrients.
At present our own French inspired market is providing a variety of the freshest and tastiest and beautiful food, herbs, flowers, artisanal breads and goat cheeses that we possibly can.
Helpful Hints To Shop The Farmers' Market
Don't necessarily go with a firm shopping list. You might have an idea of what dishes you want to prepare but try to be flexible. Remember, you're trying to eat local and what's in season. It's better to plan your menu after you come to the market, see what's available - meaning what is in season.
Bring your own bag or basket - we try to provide them, but it's often a good idea to bring your own.
Bring your own egg crates.
Plan to go right home after shopping. This way your produce, eggs, bread, cheese, honey, herbs, flowers stay fresh.
Be aware that you might be buying produce that is best eaten within 2 or 3 days. Plan your menu for that.
Remember that you can keep your things in your market basket and still take a few extra moments to enjoy a cup of coffee, our Moroccan mint tea and some sweet breakfast breads.
Plan Your Menu Around The Market
To help you with some planning ideas . . . here's what you'll find at our markets this week:
Greens and Beans
Yard Long Beans
French Breakfast Radish
Cukes and Melons
Breads and Cheese
Crow's Dairy artisanal goat cheese - chevre' and feta, quark, sour cream
Grano de Vida Artisanal breads - ciabatta, pita and more
Onions - yellow, white, purple
Speckled Hound Squash
Red Wine Jelly
Lemon Verbena Jelly
For Your Table
Fresh cut gladiolas
Farm bouquet with zinnias and other colorful gatherings.