Monday, June 05, 2006

The Farmers Are Back!

The Farmers are back! The Markets are open. The WesFoodie is very excited. We are celebrating the opening of the area’s farmers’ markets this past weekend. Finally, some tasty fresh morsels outside of Whole Foods.

On Saturday we trekked over to Hastings-on-Hudson to the mist enshrouded cliffs overlooking the River and Jersey (where there are other cliffs staring back at ya). There atop a hill and next to the public library was the Hastings-on-Hudson Farmers Market. This year looks like a good one too.

In addition to the old favorites, the market has added Panzarella Food Supply which has some of the silkiest mozzarella this side of Hoboken with a just slightly salty flavor of fresh and rich ripened dairy. They also carry a deeply smokey mozzie with the familiar browned skin and a drier, firmer mouth feel. Panzarella’s breads are exquisite and plentiful.

Another new favorite is Pickleicious' pickles. Wow. These are some outstanding crunchers. The half sour pickles taste like you always wanted them to taste: fresh but briny; salty but retaining a bit more than a hint of their green garden flavor. And they are crisp. The pickled tomatoes are a different food than the inedible sour stuff at even the best delis. These have the same bite of brine but true flavor too. Love um. If you like hot, try the hot sours – tasty, but not overly puckering and with a real kick. These are artisan pickles and at $3.50 a pint, a real bargain.

Orchards at Concklin, an anchor merchant, has some very sweet strawberries with real berry flavor and soft juicey flesh – red from skin to center. Get them while they are still in the short season.

There is also early garlic (with sweet undeveloped bulbs and flavorful greens for soups and sauces), chives with beautiful, delicate (but workable) purple flowers perfect for adorning salads or bowls of rice; great chicken (buyer beware, once you taste these birds, you will not be able to eat the supermarket stuff - really); plants (mostly perennial flowers, i.e., don’t come for a full selection of heirloom tomatoes); and a huge selection of lettuces and herbs.

The Hastings market feels genuine and friendly. There are kids running around and dancing to the live fiddle and horns. People shop here for their kitchens, its not a tourist site, but folks are there to see as much as to buy. Walking from booth to booth, checking out the ever-changing offerings, one feels a part of something. Something good and real.

See you there next week!

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