I ventured over to the Winter Farmer’s Market at the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford today. I had no idea what to expect as I drove down the road towards the market but I was excited to find that it was much larger than I had thought with a huge variety of vendors inside the greenhouses.
First I sampled some maple syrup and learned the difference between the grades. The medium amber is the lighter syrup most Americans know and has a lightly sweet maple flavor. It’s delicious on pancakes or waffles (you will never use the faux “maple syrup” after you try the real stuff.) The grade B dark syrup is packed with maple flavor and is more expensive but it’s well worth the buy. Here are the ladies who let me sample their syrup “shots.”
Another example of the maple syrup vendors at the market:
I wandered through the market just enjoying the quality and care that was so apparent in all of the products. I found a young man who made his own kim chi in small batches. He let me taste it and it was really flavorful with a kick of heat that I could tell would keep building as you ate it, but it wasn’t overpowering and the lovely pickled taste of the vegetables shone through.
Next I found a gorgeous jewel colored display of jams and preserves. I sampled the apple pie jam and it tasted exactly like apple pie filling! I wanted to bake a pie immediately or put it over ice cream or Greek yogurt…..She had a lot of interesting and creative flavors.
There were so many farmers selling veggies and greens that I just had to decide on a couple for this trip. One farm was selling pink turnips! I can’t wait to create a dish out of them, they are absolutely gorgeous and fresh. I bought some greens from them as well, they had some interesting mixes such as a spicy mix and a rainbow chard mix.
I bought some baby kale and micro arugula and chervil from the Herb Farmacy as well as some beautiful looking garlic sea salt.
I bought some truffles from Winnipesaukee Chocolates that I thought were outrageously delicious. One of the things I love about these markets is that you can sample pretty much anything. I tried a few tastes of their flavors and the two that stood out the most to me were the dark chocolate honey mead and the chevre dark chocolate. You might think goat cheese is a strange thing to put into chocolate – but it was so subtle and the texture was silky and soft.
I bought a potato, bacon and onion tart from FigTree Kitchen. Their baked goods were gorgeous and artisitc but unfortunately the pictures I took didn’t turn out well because there were so many people milling around, which isn’t a bad thing!
Finally I finished up buying some honey crisp apples and calling it good. I could have spent more time and money at the market but I think I gathered a really good sampling of quality foods that were so obviously prepared with love and a true commitment to quality. If you live in the coastal NH area check out Seacoast Eat Local on FB or Twitter for future markets and information about local farms and food.
Here was my happy haul: