The joys of shopping local farmer’s markets
Whenever I travel outside the States I seek out the local farmer markets in the towns and cities I tour. These open-air food markets hold all of the local charm and personality of a region. This past weekend I stopped by a fishing village outside of Dublin for their Sunday market. Springtime’s warm sunny days have just started to show through and locals and tourists alike wandered out for a beautiful day of food sampling and buying next to the seaside. Strolling from stall to stall I sampled a number of dishes, fresh breads, just cut pineapple, and the most delicious Italian salami and cheese. By far my favorite sample was from a young Italian woman who spread fresh pesto on dried pasta for a taste. She was very friendly and we spoke a while about which types of pasta work well with the pesto, and the best way of cooking the pasta in a truly authentic Italian way.
The advantages of visiting local farmer markets go beyond the enticing smells and rich colors of fresh produce and locally prepared food. It is the sellers and farmers, the butchers and bakers who make the experience a must. A friendly smile usually attracts a seller’s eye and can begin a nice chat about which vegetable harvests are particularly good this season, which block of cheese will blend nicely with the meal you are planning, the perfect cut of meat that will be the most gratifying. A lot of times its nice to just visit with an open mind and open basket planning the week’s meals around the farmer’s recommendations. In the end when you take it all home and fill your cupboard and counters with the vegetables and fruits, cheeses and breads, you know the face of the person who invested themselves in preparing these foods for you. Your meals from these markets will be rich with the smells and tastes of the region, with the laughter and chatter of the market sellers and that is truly the best kind of meal.
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