Monday, September 23, 2013

Vegan Delights at the Midtown Farmers Market

UPDATE: Several Cultured Kitchen products have been recalled due to Salmonella risks. Please follow this link to find out whether any items you may have been purchased are subject to the recall.

The Midtown Farmers Market is a treasure trove for vegans. Not just because of the fabulous bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables for sale by local farmers, but because of the other vegan goodies provided by a variety of vendors.

My first trip to the Midtown Farmers Market was three weeks ago with my friend Melissa, who had been talking up the fresh pasta at the Pasta Queen. It's easy to find fresh pasta, but finding fresh vegan pasta is another story entirely. So when I stopped at the Pasta Queen's booth and found that she had vegan ravioli, I knew I had to try it. The first week, I bought the Roasted Artichoke & Spinach in Sweet Red Pepper Ravioli. It was outstanding. The next week, I tried the Sweet Corn & Summer Squash in Spinach Ravioli. Loved it too. This past weekend, I had the Roasted Vegetables in Chili Pepper Ravioli, and it was another big success. I can't wait until October, when the Pasta Queen begins selling Roasted Butternut & Chestnut in Pumpkin Ravioli!

The Kombucha Kulture truck caught my eye this past weekend. I'd never had kombucha, a fermented tea, but since I was looking for products to include in this blog post, I decided to give it a try. I asked which flavor was recommended for new customers, and I was told the grapefruit sage kombucha is very popular. After experiencing my first kombucha drink, I could only wonder why I had waited so long to try it. I think I'll have the blood orange flavor next time.

I tried spreads from the Cultured Kitchen at an event a couple of months ago and thought they were wonderful, so I was happy to see the Cultured Kitchen booth at the Midtown Farmers Market. They make cashew cheeses, energy bars, chocolate and caramel sauces, and various other vegan treats. The picture I took of their booth didn't turn out very well, but here's a picture of the delicious Herb Cashew Cheese I bought.

At the Crazy Gringo Taco Wagon Salsa Co. booth, you can buy excellent vegan black bean and corn tamales. The first time I got them, I ordered only two, which didn't stay in my refrigerator for very long at all. When they were gone, I couldn't wait for the next Saturday to roll around so I could go back to the Crazy Gringo booth and double my order.

Zena Foods carries a product that is probably a staple for most vegans: hummus! In addition to their basic roasted garlic hummus, they carry a variety of other flavors, including artichoke, avocado cilantro, and roasted red pepper, to name just a few. The hummus is a great dip for all the fresh vegetables you buy from the other Midtown Farmers Market vendors!

Even though the Midtown Farmers Market debuted in April, my first visit wasn't until this month. Fortunately for me, it's a year-round farmers market, and I expect to shop there regularly. It's located at 2020 J Street, and it's open every Saturday, rain or shine, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. More information is available on their website or their Facebook page.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Pam, these are great finds!

Pam said...

You're welcome! I just finished eating a whole grain bagel with the Cultured Kitchen herb cashew cheese, and last night, I had the Roasted Vegetables in Chili Pepper Raviolis for dinner. These products have certainly made my home meals more interesting!

Kendy P said...

I love the Cultured Kitchen cheese spread! Soooo good!!!!

Pam said...

Me too, Kendy. I'm completely hooked!