This Little Piggy Went to Market

Is it just me or do you love a farmers market?  Forget the fact that it is a great, delicious way to get to know the city you are now in.  Think nothing of the fact that you get to meet vendors and ask questions to people who actually grow and prepare your food.  And let’s not even discuss the fact that many of the items at farmers’ markets are unavailable in grocery stores, and if you don’t get them here, you don’t get them.
Guys-farmers markets are samples GALORE! It is a cheap foodie’s DREAM to waltz around an open air market, sampling delicious meats, cheeses, sauces, and sweets for free.  And then if you like it-you can BUY it!  Usually quite inexpensively!  I mean…I seriously LOVE farmers markets.  And the best one I have been to in NYC was the New Amsterdam Market.  It is a market devoted to helping small and local businesses grow and sustain an ethical and delicious way of life!  Sometimes there are themes, and when Lauren, Kara, and I went to the Hudson Valley theme, we had a blast!  Here are the top highlights-though they were ALL great!
Schoolhouse Kitchen Mustards and Jams.  This stuff was so delightful! All the ingredients are natural and pronounceable and unique! Not the usual grape jelly, I’ll tell you that! My favorite jam-not that it was even a jam-was the squadrilla chutney.  Orange and chili made this the world’s most fabulous marmalade.  Tart, pleasantly bitter, slightly hot, with just enough sweetness to make this perfect for a breakfast companion for toast schmeared with ricotta.  Of course, it wouldn’t be too shabby with a chicken tikka wrap either!  And the standout here was the dill horseradish mustard.  Thick and sturdy, this mustard was the stuff dreams are made of.  It had quite a bit of horseradish kick, so if you don’t like the nasal clearing stuff, don’t get this…and if you don’t like the stuff…gosh I don’t know how you enjoy life!  It was balanced out by a little butter and flour in the mustard, and the naturally sweet, floral scent of the dill.  This was great on the cracker I tried it with, but it would REALLY shine with a turkey and Havarti sandwich…i mean REALLY…i bought some.  It was that good.  Get it.  For reals.
Cheese at the Vermont Creamery.  This was some kick ass lactose action.  I tried and LOOOOVED the Bonne Bouche.  So did the American Cheese Society, which awarded it the Best Goat Cheese of 2010 award. That’s serious street cred in the dairy world, yo.  Okay, I will stop trying to be cool like the young kids.  This cheese was an excellent example of an aged goat’s cheese-sweet, grassy, smooth, and creamy.  What set this goat cheese apart was the ash ripened rind-it was soft and slightly piquant-that is to say, mouth puckeringly tart, a welcome contrast to the delicate, soft interior.  This cheese rocked my world…which is why i took the rest of the samples right after I took this picture.  Sorry other cheese lovers…you snooze, you lose!
Tamale time!  Katchke Farms was serving up beet chips, fall vegetable tamales, and salsa verde for the measly price of $4. YES PLEASE!!!  I have long been a fan of the sweet, fresh, chewy-crispy, barely salty beet chips, but this was my first time trying a tamale there!
I just love tamales of any sort, so it was basically a given that i was going to like these. What i did not know is that I would be OBSESSED with them!  These were soft but not mushy, perfectly steamed in their corn husks, and mixed with sweet butternut squash and stringy, melting white cheese.  The tamale on its own was sweet, savory, and a myriad of textures, but the salsa verde really pumped this baby up.  Tart, spicy, salty, with fruity undertones, this was as good as any salsa I have ever had.  Ever.  I often buy jars of this at the Port Authority Farmers’ market, so I did not need any more for my stockpile. But Kara bought some. She is pretty smart-she knew I wasn’t going to share.  DEF the best jarred salsa verde EVER.
Table Tales was serving Sunday gravy and butternut squash soup.  Though Lauren did not attempt to put a dirty fork straight into the serving pot like the woman next to me (don’t worry, she was caught and kindly but sternly admonished-what a new york experience, right?!), she did ask for a sample of the butternut squash soup.  She swooned.  Literally, swooned.  That was enough to convince me to buy some of their jarred marinara sauce.  YUM!  I have been eating it like soup all week!  Intensely tomatoey, with a strong hit of garlic and laced with sweet basil, this sauce is not overly salted and has a gentle mouth feel from the addition of excellent olive oil.  All it needs is a microwave, some Pecorino Romano, and my mouth.  I will def be trying this restaurant soon!
Our final taste of the day was the namesake sandwich from Porchetta.  
I have once again failed you by not showing you a picture of the sandwich, but…well…you know why that was.  Sweet, luscious pork fell in salty, fatty ribbons in my mouth.  Piled on a soft roll that tore when I bit it, the  umami-licious juices moistening the bread…there were hints of rosemary and sage and HEAVEN!  My biggest bone to pick  was that there were far too few crispy bits of skin in this delightful pig bomb…it was great but could have been DIVINE with a few more shards of those yummy little cracklings.
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  1. The mustard looks awesome; horseradish and dill are two of my favorite flavors. I will keep an eye out for this in L.A. (It doesn't look like you can just buy one jar from the website.)

  2. Fritos and Foie Gras says:

    @JustinM-I think they are sold at whole foods…but don't quote me on that…