Usually about mid January, during the bleak winter months, I start getting antsy for the Farmers’ Market to return in May. But, January to May is a long stretch, normally void of quality produce that has not been trucked/flown in from hundreds/thousands of miles away. Luckily, St. Louis has started doing a monthly farmers market on Saturday mornings during some of the winter months (just another wonderful thing about St. Louis!), and now I can get my veggie fix even in the middle of a dark, cold winter.
The market is housed inside Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood and I’m guessing there are around 20 vendors. It can get a bit crowded and congested, but the plus of having it there is knowing after fighting the crowds you can sit down at the bar at Schlafy and order a morning snack of a Bloody Mary. Ahh…alcohol and produce in the morning…what a great start to a Saturday!
A few highlights –
Blue Heron Orchards: We picked up a jar of roasted red and green jalapenos. Sweet and spicy, but not overly so. I see marinated flank steak tacos with guacamole and these jalapenos in my future very soon. Plus, the owner was nice enough to offer me a sip of his beer when I showed signs of concern over the spiciness of the peppers when I took my sample.
Grandma’s Nuts: They sell these little snack packs of mixed nuts with dried fruit and dark chocolate that are perfect for my “snack time” – about 2:30 everyday at work.
Ozark Forest Mushrooms: LOVE this one! Dried and fresh mushrooms – Chanterelle, Oyster, Shiitake, even Morels at times. (Mushroom risotto, anyone?) And, they sell some some of the most delicious butter ever – Truffle Butter. If you have the chance to buy some, do so immediately!
Black Bear Bakery: I believe they have an actual bakery in St. Louis that you can visit, but they sell their products at several of the farmers’ markets in town. Today’s purchase was granola, but in the past we have had several of their breads and pastries – all of which have been awesome. They also sell these little pizza-like things (perfect for a late breakfast), with some seasonal toppings. I think past ones we have tried have been tomato, basil, and mozzarella and I’m thinking we had a roasted red pepper and artichoke one once.
Marcoot Jersey Creamery: This place is becoming my new favorite. Several styles of cheeses – cheddar, tomes, Goudas, soft cheeses, flavored cheeses, curds, and butter, too. Turns out, I’m also seeing grilled cheese in my future…