Friday, 10 January 2014 11:54
2014: Tips For A Year Of Great, Local Food Adventures
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Many people make New Year’s resolutions related to food. How about you? Whether you want to lose weight, eat healthy, or simply try eating and cooking new things, the farms and vendors at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market can enrich your 2014 food journey. To help get you started, here are a few tips for enjoying the market, which is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the magnificent Lincoln Baths building in Saratoga Spa State Park, right through April: Come hungry! The market has expanded the number of vendors carrying ready-to-eat items, so you can get breakfast, lunch and take-home entrees very easily. In addition to many beverage, bakery and dairy selections, the market’s weekly menu of hot prepared foods now includes made-to-order burritos, egg and sausage sandwiches, several kinds of soup/chowder/chili, custom omelets and many hearty entrees of Mediterranean origin (such as moussaka, spanakopita, cabbage rolls and eggplant parmesan). Try at least one new item each week. While there are many familiar items at the market (such as carrots or cheddar cheese) there are always opportunities to try a something completely new. Pick up some crunchy kohlrabi or spicy chorizo or sweet cajeta (a caramel sauce made of goat’s milk). Did you know that underneath the ivory and light green (seemingly boring) exterior of the “beauty heart” radish is a brilliant magenta color that will transform your winter salads and crudité platters? Bring your own bags, if you can. While the market’s vendors always stand ready to offer you a plastic bag when needed, you can help to curb unnecessary use of disposable bags by using a reusable tote when at the market. Bring the kids and the non-cooks, too. There’s something to appeal to every age and interest. The market always has live music and sometimes sports other entertainment as well, like Balloon Gal Jenny or face-painters. (Watch the newsletter, website, and Facebook page for these announcements.) Tables and chairs on the second floor create a spot to enjoy your food and the music. Know your farmer, know your food. Take a minute to meet the vendors and farmers and ask about their farm or production facility. With only a few exceptions, the vendors at the market grow or make their products in Saratoga, Washington, Schenectady or Rensselaer counties. Ask for help when you need it. Most vendors know what’s available throughout the market, and can help with preparation ideas, so don’t be shy about asking for recipes or tips! The friendly team at the front information table, in the lobby when you first walk in, can also answer many of your questions. This is the spot to obtain market tokens with your EBT/debit/credit card, if you are low on cash, or pick up an insulated shopping tote for your purchases. Saratoga Farmers’ Market wishes you and your family a healthy 2014, with many enjoyable, local food adventures. Thanks for your support! More information is at saratogafarmersmarket.org. On the home page, you can sign up for a weekly e-newsletter that contains news of the market and a recipe using seasonal market ingredients. You can also follow the market on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.