I know I’ve said the best day to go grocery shopping is on Sunday, but the Farmers’ Market isn’t open on Sundays.
I started going to the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, on Saturdays, a few years ago. I even wrote a profile for my Food Writing class on Brit Pfann, one of the farmers who sells goat’s milk and cheese products from his farm in Siler City, North Carolina. At the farmers’ market, I learned a new way of shopping for food. All of the products are from within 50 miles of the market itself. By purchasing food from the Carrboro Farmers’ Market, I was not only supporting the local economy and people, but I was being more conscious of where the food I ate came from and how it was produced, too.
Let me be clear though: I do not shop at the farmers’ market weekly or even monthly. I try to get out there whenever I can and I still do most of my shopping at “big name” or boutique grocery stores. But there’s a huge difference in the quality of the food at the market as compared to the grocery store. The egg yolks are brighter, the kale is greener and the tomatoes are juicer.
Speaking of tomatoes, I probably should have mentioned they’re my favorite food. In fact, my favorite day of the year is Tomato Day at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. I didn’t get to go last year because I was traipsing around the Italian countryside (ugh–the worst!), but it’s what turned my interest in the place into a full-blown love affair.
Tomato Day aside, my most recent trip to the market was a few weeks ago. It’s been unseasonably warm in February this year, so it was a really nice day to be outside walking around. I didn’t go with a list of any kind and I ended up buying a half dozen eggs, a log of the Celebrity Dairy “currituck” goat’s cheese (creamy chèvre rolled in a blend of sweet and medium curries), “spicy” blend of mesclun lettuce, grape tomatoes, brussels sprouts, lemons and shiitake mushrooms.
When I saw Brit to buy the chèvre, he told me he and his wife were having their monthly open barn day the following week. Celebrity Dairy hosts Sunday dinners, open barn days and even wedding receptions every month.
I got home and made an omelette with sautéed mushrooms, bursted tomatoes and curry goat’s cheese, with a side of greens tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
I’m planning to go back to the market tomorrow morning, because writing this is making me miss the amazing veggies and cheese. And there’s the fact that my fridge right now is completely empty, unless you count the pint of Ben and Jerry’s in my freezer.