What are the 10 things I’d really like to see at my farmer’s market?
Can you imagine cooking with vegetable or chicken broth made by your local farmer? The exceptional taste and nutrients you’d be getting–as opposed to the canned stuff in the store? Or imagine making a BLT with everything made locally, including the mayonnaise. Yum!
Here’s my list of the 10 things I’d like to see some farmers and artisans make and bring to the market, which would totally make my life easier–and give me more time.
- Canned, crushed, and pasted tomatoes. Seriously, most of us that cook, even minimally, uses some form of canned tomatoes (tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, etc.). This would be a great option for times when you need something other than a fresh tomato or when tomatoes aren’t in season anymore. I’m pretty sure there’s more of everything good in locally grown and canned tomatoes than the store version. Oh, and I’ll take some salsa too!
- Freshly-made mozarella and ricotta cheese. Not only have I tasted these I’ve made my own ricotta (very easy to do!). The fresh version of these cheeses is so much better. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make a lasagna or homemade pizza with these beautifully crafted items from your local farmer’s market?
- Vegetable, chicken, beef broth and soups. Please, will someone make these for me? Having these staples made with fresh, local vegetables, chicken and meats would be fabulous. I would use them with care and love. And freshly-made soups? Wow, what a treat that would be. I’m so tired of the soups in the store, even the organic ones, that have flour and sugar.
- Whole-wheat pizza dough. Okay I’ve made 100% whole wheat pizza dough (using whole wheat bread and pastry flour) and it makes an awesome pizza. Knowing that I’m eating a pizza that isn’t full of white flour to gum up my system makes me feel so much better. And I like that my body’s not getting flooded with insulin too. Making pizza dough can be time-consuming and space depleting so this would be a real cool thing to be able to buy at the farmer’s market.
- Blueberry syrup. I made some of this myself with locally-made maple syrup and it was out of this world! It was just slightly sweetened to enhance the beautiful, deep blueberry taste. I just don’t have the time to make everything myself so finding this at the farmer’s market would be like gold to me. I would also, maybe surprisingly, love an unsweetened version for those days when I’m trying to get less sugar. Or it would make a great base to a savory sauce. Check out this gorgeous photo on Urban Spoon from Nessa Voigt for Prawns in a Blueberry Tarragon Sauce.
- Mayonnaise and ketchup. Need we say more? These are such staples that I would imagine that almost everyone who goes to the farmer’s market would want them. I have never tasted mayonnaise made with eggs that were pastured and raised with love, eating insects all day instead of grains. An enterprising artisan could even offer a line of mayonnaise including tarragon mayonnaise, lemon pesto mayonnaise, indian-spiced mayonnaise and more!
- Fresh herbs. There are never enough when I go to farmer’s market and I can never get all of the herbs I use for cooking and salad dressings. Can we have some more herb farmers at the market, please? Better yet–can I get them delivered each week (think herb CSA)?
- Almond milk. With recent doubts about the safety of carageenan, I can’t even go to the health food store to get some without stuff in it that I don’t want. A jar of freshly-made almond milk at the farmer’s market? Heaven.
- Canned beans. Call me crazy, but I’d love to be able to get canned heirloom beans. This would be great for adding to soups, salads and stews.
- Heirloom fruits and vegetables. So why do I love heirloom? Because the colors and shapes are so much fun. Sometimes the taste is intriguing–and better. And mainly because I don’t want these older varieties to disappear. I like having a great diversity in our food system.
What kinds of items would you like to see at your farmer’s market? Write us a comment and let us know!