by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table®
Your tables will tweet a new dish with these fresh seasonal ingredients.
Farmer’s markets wake up your taste buds with coffee and take your nose and eyes on a culinary vacation around the world.
The Naples, Florida market enticed me with party secrets for a spring supper using Kissimmee river mushrooms and a recipe written on a paper sack. I paired the mushrooms with fresh pasta from another market vendor.
Mill City Market in Minneapolis, Minnesota supplied flowers and vegetables for a birthday table. Prairie Hollow Farms Sulphur Shelf mushrooms, dressed up like orange and yellow sea coral, absorb whatever is seated next to them in the pan, including wine. Loon Organics showed off their Romanesco Cauliflower. Delicate lime green florets that resemble a small tree and taste nutty. This heirloom variety of seeds made the voyage from Napoli/Rome to the United States in the pockets of immigrants.
Bend, Oregon definitely receives the best in show for the most creative booth. Victoria’s Premium Tomatoes uses a red paneled woody truck to tempt you with the tastiest tomatoes and flowers. The Chinese have called Kombucha Mama tea the Elixir of Life as the tea ferments; some believe it creates a variety of health-boosting acids and enzymes that can aid digestion and improve immunity.
In Rochester, Minnesota the home of the Mayo Clinic, the market showcased Peruvian rugs, eye candy created by a loom weaving artist and the best honey based products and gifts I have used. Johnston Honey uses a vintage for identification, which permits the honey aficionado to appreciate year to year differences in bouquet, taste and texture. Perhaps the honey will improve just like good wine!
Check your local markets for their winter and spring schedules.