Friday, August 30, 2013


If you're a foodie, you will know all about Farmers' Markets.  The joy in visiting a market filled with fresh veggies is indescribable; and that is particularly true for Minnesotans since we have such a short growing season.

The St. Paul Farmers' Market, mandated in 1853 (five years before Minnesota became a state), is one of the oldest farmers' markets in the country.   What sets our market apart is its strict requirement that all food sold must be locally produced.   I think we always knew we had a great Farmers' Market but now Zagat, the renowned national survey company owned by Google, has named the St. Paul Farmers' Market as one of eight "must visit" markets in the U.S..  Included in that list are Pike's Place Market in Seattle, Haymarket in Boston, and Union Square Greenmarket in New York City.

In her book, Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets, Deborah Madison features our market on pages 82 and 83.  She mentions Hmong vendors who make up about one-third of the market and who have brought to this state a wide selection of interesting and flavorful new produce.  She also noted our selection of regional foods, among them, crab apples, wild rice, ground-cherries, maple syrup and sweet corn.

So, tomorrow, get up early and head to your farmers' market.  If you live near downtown St. Paul, visit the market at 290 E. 5th St..  Hours are 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m..   Here is some of what you will find:

 What a wonderful selection of heirloom tomatoes!

 Peppers with a salsa recipe.

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