“You support a lot of values when you shop at the farmer’s market.”
As promised, this week I’ll be sharing a bit of a photographic journey rather than a recipe and a rant. And since I am simply bonkers for farmer’s markets I thought this would be a good place to start. There’s no other way to phrase it. I love absolutely every single thing about them.
I visited some of my personal faves in the city to share some sights with you. I hope it will entice you to pop out to your local market and enjoy the wealth to be found there and support some local talent.
It seems a bit obvious to start with the venerable St. Lawrence Market, but if you are from the area and have visited you know how truly spectacular it is. Although the actual farmer’s market located just south of the big building only runs on Saturdays, it’s well worth braving the throngs of humanity not only for the superior produce, but the experience of chatting with the vendors themselves is generally most interesting and informative, oftentimes rather amusing too if you stick around to listen to their stories
I believe it is entirely possible that some Muppet’s characters were dreamt up while at a farmer’s market. Oh! Such inspiration!
And yeah, it gets real down some aisles. Photos like this one are always guaranteed to gross out some unsuspecting recipient of a text message from me.
I overheard one woman say upon seeing these little beauties that she might like to carry one as her wedding bouquet. As delicious and tender as they are beautiful!
Okay, so next stop is the massively popular Leslieville Market on Queen St. E. It has grown steadily in size and turn out every year since it began only a few short years ago. It is truly a Sunday morning destination with everything from wine and cider, musicians to amuse the masses, hot grilled sandwiches and popsicles, maple syrup and honey. Fresh fish from one of my personal faves”Hooked” (Kensington Market – not a farmer’s market but a wonderful place to food shop nonetheless) and some of the best and most unusual and gorgeously displayed produce anywhere. And yes, even sea asparagus. Yup, it’s a thing.
Their motto is “Connecting Everyone to Good Food” A market after my own heart!
Isn’t this simply gorgeous? I can almost not bear to cook it. Romanesco is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, and the best way to convince me that cauliflower is worth its weight. I want to decorate my home in this colour palette!
Each of the markets hosts an assortment of bread makers. These people are artists. I’ve recently taken up making sourdough (post in the fall on that topic!) and I can assure you what they are capable of and displaying for sale is nothing short of masterpiece!
Behold the freshness! Can’t you almost just taste it!?
I made some scratch pasta to accompany these little gems. Super simple and oh so satisfying!
Although not simply a seasonal farmer’s market, I’m including the St. Lawrence main building as it’s, well, it’s the ST. LAWRENCE MARKET! I like to go during the week when the vendors have a bit more time to talk about what they’re selling and the atmosphere is considerably more relaxing. If however crowds and noise and the best peameal sandwich in the world is what you desire then Saturdays are for you.
Established in 1803 and recently rated one of the top ten markets in the WORLD! YES! the WORLD! you really don’t want to miss this place even if you’re only in town for a short stay. And if you live here and DON’T visit often, I would like a private word with you.
Everything home cooks, professional chefs and just those who love food could ever possibly require all on two floors of culinary heaven. There’s even a cooking store right in the centre upstairs where you will find ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! No lies, EVERYTHING, and the staff miraculously know where even the tiniest or most obscure items are located.
Although I could happily share images from several more local markets, I’m going to control the urge and share only one more, Located just south of the Danforth in beautiful Withrow Park, the farmer’s market here also runs on Saturday’s, offers up some rather interesting and unusual treats. From crafts and canned goods to the wide assortment of farm fresh produce.
I thank you all for indulging me while I shared what I hope accurately represents the joy I find in farmer’s markets. Stay tuned for another culinary adventure soon!
I have two back to back food experiences coming up that I’m most excited to share with you; a Rooftop Italian Dinner as recreated for me by our resident wine expert AKA my big brother, based on his recent trip to Southern Italy (and the man can cook I assure you!) As well as a trip I have been dreaming about for a very long time to St John’s Newfoundland, where I will NOT be kissing a cod… absolutely not, although I might have photos of someone else doing it.
And quickly on the topic of wine pairing, I do not recommend pairing wine with farmer’s markets, unless it’s from the vendors selling their own… although a travel wine, er coffee mug frequently made the journey to family fun night when the kids were in elementary school, farmer’s markets are typically a little early in the day for me.
Enjoy & Namaste!