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Farm-fresh eggs, organic microgreens, artisan cheeses + more – it's time to fill up your grocery bags with the freshest local foods
You won’t get to meet the happy hens, carefree cows and busy bees who have contributed to our list of top market foods, but you can certainly tuck into a juicy homemade sausage, take home some luscious honey, and share some chocolate truffles with your vegan and gluten-free friends.
So head to the market this week and bring a bit of the farm to your fork with 10 of our fave foods.
Check out the market schedule here
Do you like your meat to be a mystery-laden mash-up combined with chemicals, cooked on a greasy grill and crammed into a bright-white bun? Didn’t think so. Street meat has made a trip over from the dark side now that Serious Sausage has brought its handmade local pork in a bun to farmers markets and festivals around town. Self-described as Vancouver’s only sausage stand, this premium product is the real deal. Not only is it made from all-natural ingredients and served on a fresh-baked bun, both pork and bun are made fresh daily, folks. Check out Serious Sausage’s schedule to find out where it’s hanging this summer.
The Zaklan family know farms. After all, they’ve been coaxing crops from the land here since the 1920s, with the second generation now using organic compost and sustainable soil management practices to produce dozens of fruits and veggies. But it’s the to-die-for eggs that bring that extra sunny shine to our plates (especially at breakfast), knowing that their happy egg-laying hens haven’t been pecking on ingredients such as soy, corn or GMO products. Visit the farm’s website to find out when their products will be at a market near you.
If you haven’t already sucked on a Nice Pop, you’re missing out on pure bliss, frozen to a stick. These market mainstays are lovingly packed with in-season fruit, herbs (try the organic lavender and Earl Grey tea pop), cream, and maybe a hit of organic fair trade sugar. Nice Pop doesn’t have the typical stand: look for the super-cool bicycle cart with the freezer on the front. Ice cream man, you’ve been put to shame with this smart and sustainable way to brings sweets to the street.
Want to keep 550 worker honey bees in business? Then buy a pound of honey from Jane’s Honey Bees. The hard-working bees have been pollinating cranberry bogs and wild blackberries in Richmond to make their signature Cranberry/Blackberry Honey, flitting to flowers in South Surrey for their Blueberry Honey, and zipping to Langley to get some wildflower pollen that goes into the inimitable blend that changes each season. Once you’ve stocked up, eat it with everything: slather it on warm toast, swirl it into your yogurt, use it as a sweetener for cocktails and lemonade, and eat it straight from the jar. Check out the market calendar to find out where the bees are a-buzzing.
We love the noble name of this cured meat purveyor, and it’s one that’s well-earned. Jerky Baron’s beef isn’t just highbrow in name, it’s high-quality, too, produced from free-range, grass-fed cows and flavoured with fabulous ingredients. Our fave picks are the Coba, which gets its sweet spiciness from fresh ingredients like pineapple, jalapeño, blue agave, and more. If you really want to indulge, go for the decadent Tartufo, made with truffles and beef that has been marinated in Storm Brewing’s Imperial Flemish red ale. Stash some in your pack the next time you head out for a hike and keep some on hand at home for snacking or perhaps garnishing a Caesar.
All right. Even we are a bit overloaded on kale, but we love amping up our salads with all kinds of shoots and leaves. Thankfully, the Vancouver Food Pedalers Cooperative is growing all kinds of microgreens, such as spicy radish, buckwheat shoots that are both bitter and lemony, and our favourite, sweet and crunchy pea shoots. The words “boring salad” need never cross your lips.
Milk the cows. Make cheese. That’s the daily routine at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, which produces 16 artisan cheeses, from creamy Brie and crumbly Bleu Claire to sticky-rind raclette and Rathtrevor – inspired by Swiss Gruyere. The cheese is made on the sprawling 68-acre Morningstar Farm on the island, which raises its own dairy cows – Holstein, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, and Canadienne – using 100 per cent of their milk in its cheese. Cheese addicts: we apologize in advance for feeding your obsession.
Before you get too excited about the moniker “moonshine,” let’s be clear: this tonic may promise to get you drunk on goodness, but not the boozy kind. Instead, Moonshine Mama’s Tonics and Elixirs are packed with powerful organic ingredients: turmeric (that’s the stuff that gives curries their golden hue), ginger, lemon and unpasteurized honey. Moonshine Mama’s creator, Melinda Divers, calls it “a can of whoop-ass for health and well-being.”
Bear’s Tooth? Lobster? Hedgehog? We can’t resist the magnetism of these animal-focused names. Of course, they’re all mushrooms foraged by the fine folks at West Coast Wild Foods. What’s in season? Fresh B.C. morels which are hand-harvested and dried au natural in the sun and infused with alder wood smoke to give them that extra-rustic flavour of the forest. Summer’s almost here, so why not BBQ a steak and make a garlicky and buttery wild mushroom cream sauce to smother on top.
We don’t know who Alanna is, but we love that she’s created hand-dipped chocolate truffles that virtually everyone can eat. Hooray – Truffles by Alanna tick all the boxes. Yes, they’re gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free. Plus they’re certified vegan and come in three to-die-for flavours: dark and intense, coconut flake and coffee bean. Indulge – guilt-free. Hooray, indeed!