Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beyond the 'Wa: Farmers' Market

Three determined farmers set out stands in the rain at the first Farmers' Market of 2009. There were two cheese stalls, a booth from Whole Earth Center, and a stand from Dining services. I was told that six more vendors were expected to come yesterday, but backed out because of the rain.

Due to said rain, the steaming samples offered by Dining Services caught my attention first. Dining Services always contributes a freshly prepared dish made of local organic materials to the Farmers' Markets and today’s specialty was BLT soup. The pureed tomato soup was thick and textured—not the watery stuff found in a Campbell’s soup can—but didn’t taste like much besides tomatoes. The soup was topped with frisée (the curly leafy green in salads), which was awkward to manage with a spoon and didn’t lend itself well to being covered with thick tomato puree. The hearty crackers, which seemed to be thin toasted slices of a whole grain baguette, gave the soup some much-needed salty flavor, but the single cracker didn’t go far. Overall, I decided I prefer my BLT’s whole.

Another stop was the stand set up by Whole Earth Center. I sampled a spicy peanut spread and a more mellow eggplant spread. But what really has had me marveling all day are the ‘Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Orbs.’ Bought in a pack of 4 balls, these yummy sweets are made of (all organic) dates, dark chocolate chips, almond butter, soy milk, coconut, and sesame seeds. The dates give these treats a natural sweetness. The dark chocolate chips are a pleasant surprise packed in the date and sesame-seed shell. They are topped off with coconut, which is a nice addition in texture, but overwhelming in flavor. These date ‘orbs’ are one of the best natural sweet treats I have come across.

- Sarah Gerth '12