This week is National Farmers Market Week! Support the little guys by going to a farmer’s market this week!
I LOVE going to farmers markets. I think my adoration for farmers markets stems from the time I lived in Paris. While there are increasingly more and more supermarché in France, the French are blessed to have a thriving artisan food community. The French can shop for breads at the boulangerie, cheeses at afromagerie, meats from a boucherie, and of course produce from les petits marchés. Food shopping may take more time the “French way,” but then again maybe it should! When I lived in Paris I went food shopping nearly every day. I would pick up a few fresh veggies to throw into whatever dish I was making and of course my daily baguette. Let me tell you, shopping small lead to eating REALLY well.
My favorite market in the world: the Marché aux Fleurs in Nice, France
The closest I can get to replicating the French food shopping experience in the U.S. is at farmers markets. It’s not quite the same because I can’t simply swing by these places every day on my way home from work or school. Organizations like the Food Trust do their best, but the reality is that most neighborhoods in Philly only has access to the markets once a week. That’s a shame because it’s reallyhard not to eat well from food purchased at a farmer’s market. (Unless of course you just go for the homemade Amish sweets!) Talking to the person who harvested or created the products you are buying and later eating brings a sense of reality to the food you put on your plate. The reality of the matter is that if a person made it or harvested it, it can’t be too bad! When’s the last time you talked to someone who made a CheezIt? Yea… exactly.
Philly folk have access farmers markets from both Farm to City and the Food Trust. Of course, I can’t leave out all the incredible small vendors at Reading Terminal Market. You can usually spot me at the farmer’s market at the fountain on Passyunk, but going to the market at Headhouse Square on Sundays is such a treat! Outside of Philly? Find your nearest market at LocalHarvest.
This guide to which produce is in season is a god send and I couldn’t help but to share it here! Shopping seasonally saves TONS of money and you get the obvious benefit of eating produce when it’s at its prime! I love this time of year for all the fresh Jersey corn, blueberries, and tomatoes! Print it, post it on your fridge, and reap the savings!
Image 1, 3
Last night, I went to the first Night Market of the season in Old City. I’m a bit food truck-obsessive due to the sheer amount of bangin food truck’s on Drexel’s campus. As such, the Night Markets are some of my favorite events in the city. The markets are organized by the Food Trust, an incredible organization working to expand the availability of healthy food, to celebrate food and community. Last night’s event was centered around the intersection of 3rd and arch with trucks and stands stretching for a block in each direction (read: a lot of trucks and stands!) With the concentration of incredible food comes hoards of people so I highly recommend for going earlier rather than fashionably late!
PPMy only purchase for the night came from Lil Pop Shop, a personal favorite of mine. Not only does Lil Pop Shop have a physical location in West Philly [265 S. 44th St.], but they have a roving truck that seems to be just where I want it in the summer heat and humidity. I had the Mango Chili which is made of ripe pureed mangos with a kick from Honest Tom’s house-made spicy Habanero salsa! Delish and so refreshing during a super humid night! My BF also got the mango but wasn’t prepared for the kick! His brother got the Chocolate with salted caramel brownie and judging by how fast he ate it I’m assuming it was just as good! My friend Fernando got the Coconut Hibiscus which he raved all night. It was just a beautiful lavender color! I wish I snapped a pic!
One seriously impressive line up of popsicles
Speaking of coconuts, Fernando also snagged a rum filled coconut from Cuba Libre. The best part was being able to scrape out the rum-infused coconut flesh after finishing the drink! A friend of mine from elementary school was working the Cuba Libre stand and does their restaurant marketing. I love how small Philly feels and how there is a familiar face where ever I go!
The lines for the trucks were insane by the time we made our rounds and the boys were starving so we opted to grab food from National Mechanics [22 S. 3rd St.] around the corner. We were content with just grabbing snacks from the market. The best part of my meal was definitely the jalapeño margarita! Warning: not for the faint of heart or delicate taste buds!
The next Night Market will be June 9 at 72nd and Ogontz in the West Oak Lane section of the city! Following that, Lancaster Ave and 35th St on August 21st, and Chinatown on October 2nd.
Image cred: #1 | #2 & 5 via