Farmers' Markets, CSAs, etc week of 6/22/09
This is the place for reports on where you are buying local food.
Today I'm going to the Harvard Market. (12:30–6:00pm- Oxford and Kirkland Streets in Cambridge)
The University is sponsoring Markets in Cambridge and Allston as a part of their Food Literacy Project. I'll report back on this one.
Stopped in at the Brookline market today....any idea why they can't open until 1:30? Shame.
Anyway, managed to get some local asparagus, was keen on that as the season is short. Also, lovely scallions at a bunch of places, garlic scapes, green garlic, beets, lettuces.
The strawberries all seem to be at peak now, I could smell them a block away and they are really sweet and delicious. I think I saw a request for someone to compare different strawberries from farms, and I'd be curious to know if anyone has done this?
Relating to another post I saw on beef shortribs, River Rock Farm had a bunch they sold to someone who had ordered ahead of time.I don't think they were cut for kalbi as the other post was requesting, but if you have a good knife....
After watching Food.Inc, I am tempted to only buy local beef or any other meat now, so that seems an appealing option, though definitely pricier than regular retail.
I bought scallops and sushi-grade tuna from the fish stand. This place has obviously struck a chord as the line formed before the market opened, and I am sure they sold out of everything. The scallops are fantastic. The tuna awaits for a seared sashimi dinner i think.
By 2:15 the fish lady had sold out of half her items, that's why I always order from her in advance by e-mail.
I'm curious - when you say you got sushi-grade tuna, you're speaking metaphorically, yes? She usually has bluefin tuna, and everything she sells is beautifully fresh, but I don't know that it's been previously deep frozen so as to qualify for use in actual sushi.
Yes, well I asked her if it was sushi grade and she said so, she had this answer down. it was very hectic and I didn't feel I could spend more time "grilling" her (ahem) so I let it be for now and will sear the fish and serve rare as i said. I'm not at all sure it has been frozen either, so super fresh but maybe not sushi fish. That said too, I wonder (and my bad now) why they are selling bluefin when it's really on the endangered list and should be left alone......it looked so good I didn't think twice at the time. Will be sure to email her and ask both things next time.
"Sushi grade" is a marketing term..not a legal grade like USDA Prime or Choice. It signifies that the seller thinks it is fresh enough (or has been frozen) and safe to eat raw. Tuna actually improves with a few days of "aging." Texture really improves from a little tough to much more tender..with no loss in flavor. White fish is best fresh but can also be fine for a few days or longer if iced down properly.
Tuna is the 1 fish that the FDA doesn't require to be frozen. There is little to no enforcement of the "freezing rule" and while the mid/lower priced will use a lot of previously frozen, high end places like Uni or OYa will buy fish direct from Tokyo that has never been frozen.
I really liked the Harvard market. It is friendly, had great vendors and a few surprises. They were scooping Christina's Ice cream at the Q's Nut stand. And Mariposa bakery had both sweet and savory scones. I brought home a cheese and chives and a strawberry scone.
I also bought fantastic strawberries from Ward's Berry Farm, peas from Plato's Harvest Organic farm (isn't that the perfect name for a farm selling at Harvard) and eggs from Silverbrook.
They also have a local honey stand called "Follow the Honey" where they seemed to be honey educators as well as vendors.
On June 27, the Maynard Community Farmers’ Market season begins and will run Saturdays, 9 a.m. -1 p.m., rain or shine, through October 3 in the Main Street parking lot at Clock Tower Place (near intersection of Sudbury Street) in Maynard.
This year's vendor offerings include:
• Produce and cut flowers: Applefield Farm, Stow; Brigham Farm, Concord; and Millbrook Farm, Concord (also bringing baked goods from Concord Teacakes)
• Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, cheese, and eggs: Balance Rock Farm, Berlin
• Coffee as well as beans for home: Karma Coffee Roasters, Sudbury
• Cookies: Hill Street Baked Goods, Concord
• Breads and other baked goods: Big Sky Bakery, Newton
• Honey: Wampanoag Wildflower Honey, Acton
• Freshly dug perennials: Rob’s Perennials, Littleton
For opening weekend events, Assabet River Rail Trail members will be at the Community Table answering questions about the rail trail, artist Cynthia Durost will be painting with the children under the trees, Anne Marie Babish will be playing guitar and serenading shoppers, and the Market's Wellness Series features Armand Chery of CBC Fitness in Acton.
Bought some tatsoi and mizuna from Dick's yesterday at the Central Sq. farmer's market. Both were good. Strawberries from Dick's not as good. I also picked up some sweet cherries from Kimball's. Seems a little early for them but I'm eating them right now and they are pretty good. If anyone sees montmorency cherries or sour cherries please report!