I love having a free Saturday morning. There is nothing like rolling out of bed to the knowledge that you don't have to get up to an alarm, but that if you still wake up early, there is a fun place to go explore. The Farmers Market!
When I was a kid, my family would go to the Stockton Farmers Market which was held under the freeway. It was pure insanity with foods from all over the world that had been grown right in the Central Valley!
I loved to find some new and interesting food item and to ask about it. Even when I was a kid, food entertained me! I would save my allowance (or beg the parents) for enough money to buy a raw sugarcane to chomp on while we wandered the aisles.
As I grew older, I found out that chefs from the glamorous Bay Area would come down to Stockton as well, looking for that special item that would inspire them, that might complete that perfect dish.
While I don't live near that particular Farmers Market any more, I still love to roll out of bed and explore my local markets. Each time I go, I try to find something I have never had before. And while there is no raw sugar cane to chew on at my local stands, the delights of the market are sweet to me.
The market is a bustling place, where a special community comes together. Connecting the farm with the city in a place that smells like both. A hard feat indeed!
You can't go to the Market and leave in a bad mood. The bright colors, teasing smells, variety of textures all serve to make it a place of amusement and mystery. What mysteries have you uncovered at your local market?
The idea that you can connect straight to the source. Cut out the trucks and florescent-lit megastores to get back to the sense of food and community is almost spiritual.
But when you get those goodies home and start playing with them... that's when the magic really begins to happen!
Here are some sites that can help you find a local market:
If you are new to Farmers Markets, check out this article from the Huffington Post: