You talk about farmer’s markets, but they seem so lame in the winter. Why would I bother going?
– Winter Blahs in Washington
Even in California, a place where we can get market-fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, the winter months at the market can get pretty dismal. Sure, you can still get leafy greens, root veggies and citrus, but it’s absolutely not the same as the summer bounty.
That’s what makes this the perfect time of year to try the wide variety of cool products from vendors who can’t get booth space in the summer.
Last weekend at the market, we spotted:
- Italian foods. This vendor sells the best ravioli, sauces and to-die-for olives that you will ever taste. Fig and balsamic-marinated olives! You can’t beat that. And because the market was quiet, the guy fed us an entire meal’s worth of olives in samples, from jalapeño to blue cheese stuffed varieties.
- Nuts. One stand had every kind of tree nut that you can imagine, including flavored varieties. Toffee almonds, anyone?
- Honey. Organic and locally harvested.
- Kettle corn. There’s really nothing better than a fresh, warm batch of kettle corn, sweet and salty.
- Soaps and lotions. Handmade with natural ingredients.
- Coffee. No, we don’t have a coffee vendor at our market, but I know that Muddy Dog Coffee is a regular fixture at the local market in North Carolina.
- Olive oil. Dozens of varieties to choose from. The Tiny Kitchen Assistant prefers lemon flavored oil as a bread dip.
So if you’ve been avoiding your market because you think there’s nothing to offer, think again. You never know what gems you’ll find when the market is quiet!