My husband and I just got back from an extended weekend trip down there and one of the highlights for me was the Austin Farmer’s Market. I’m quickly learning the best way to get a feel or pulse of a city is to check out it’s farmer’s market.
Seeing and tasting what’s locally grown and made in the area gives you a unique glimpse into what the flavors and foods make up that region. I don’t think you can really get that anywhere else. Heck, farmer’s markets are where most of the cool chefs shop too!
During our visit we tried locally made popsicles from Mom & Pops. Pineapple basil had a really unique taste and was refreshing. It may have been morning but it was already close to 80°…it is Texas afterall.
The next stop was to try some saké from the Texas Saké Company. Embarassingly, I’d never tried saké before and found it to be a unique taste, but knowing it was made from locally grown, Texas rice was pretty interesting.
The highlight of the market for me, by far, was Dai Due butcher shop. It’s times like these I really wished I lived in Austin. There were so many butcher and charcuterie offerings that the flight home and lack of ability to bring back their meats seemed grossly unfair.
I learned about Dai Due after adding Afield by Jesse Griffiths to my cookbook list. I’ll post more about the book on Monday, but the important thing to note is the approach of Dai Due. Local and sustainable proteins and prepared foods are clearly the cornerstone of their business. They even offer classes on butchering. Again, I SO wished we lived in Austin!
After buying their book, I had to make the hard decision of what to try. The girl behind the counter highly recommended their potato hash. Twist my arm.
Would you ever expect rabbit confit, spring onion sausage, potato, kimchi, salt pork, mayonnaise, and a fried egg to taste so wonderful? You should.
The last thing I nabbed from the market was a big ‘ole bag of Texas pecans. I forgot to take a picture so just use your imagination. The nuts were huge and I knew just what to do with them. I turned to my husband and said, “Honey, should I buy some and then I can make you a Texas pecan pie when we get home?” He just looked at me and said, “Um, is that really a question?” I took that as a yes. The good news for him is there is a pecan pie in the future. The good news for you is there is a pecan pie recipe coming in your future.
This weekend, go check out a farmer’s market. Even if you’re on vacation. Trust me.
What’s been your favorite find at a farmer’s market?