Biocentric Bros. mushrooms at the Farmers Market. Photo: Amanda Rock
Taking over Pioneer Park on Saturdays with extended hours from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m, the Downtown Farmers Market in Salt Lake has become a one-stop shop for local, organic produce and artisan food products. If you can’t find it here, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
Brooke Cordray, a local foodie who works with Slow Food Utah, shared her thoughts on the market, “Fresh veggies are the biggest reason I show up bright and early every Saturday morning, but I'm always so impressed to see what's new, like sustainable, local steelhead salmon and local-brewed Kombucha,” she said.
My husband and I arrived promptly at 8 a.m. to avoid the crowds and the park was already hopping with vendors, shoppers and cute dogs. Vanessa Chang, Creminelli Fine Meats, was serving up generous samples of cured meat. “... It was non-stop from 8 a.m. on. It was a mix of folks who know us and those who were new to Cristiano's magic. We debuted a new, pre-sliced prosciutto pack and we sold out even after getting extra stuff. An excellent debut. Great energy!” she said.
Our produce haul wasn’t huge, but we managed to pick up things only found at the Farmers Market. I was especially happy to see garlic scapes available at a few different booths. Their flavor is more subtle than garlic, since you’re essentially eating the stem rather than the bulb. I like to saute them with olive oil and lemon and toss with fresh pasta. Easy and delicious! I also found the sweetest, tiniest strawberries. They were darling and nothing at all like the mongoloids in the supermarket. The most unique thing I purchased were the Lions Mane mushrooms from Biocentric Bros. They are round, stark white and well, for lack of a better word, furry. Their taste is similar to lobster (by looking at them you think they tasted more like hedgehogs), so I have a lot of ideas (a vegan mushroom lobster roll perhaps?) I can’t wait to get cooking with the local treasures I found.
Other than the food itself, my favorite thing about farmers markets is getting to chat with the folks who grow and make our food. Nick Como, the marketing director of the Downtown Farmers Market, stated, “We're thrilled to bring another season of local food and products to downtown Salt Lake. Connecting resident to their food sources, plus keeping money in our economy are two of the most important aspects of this community gathering.”
The Downtown Farmers Market is open weekly, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Pioneer Park. Bring a few reusable bags, lots of cash and get to know the people behind the food!