Who loves cheese?
Oh I do, especially this delicious Gouda from Pedrozo Dairy and Cheese Company. On Sunday we sampled three versions of this mild white cheese and all three were delicious, but the aged Gouda was my favorite. Just a few stalls away was Heringer Estates with some of their award winning wines and information about upcoming events.
The stall next door to Heringer's was filled with the olive oils from Bariani Olive Oil. Olive oils are like wines in many ways and their flavor reflects the region where it was grown, just like grapes. Bariani has several grades to choose from and some other tasty products like balsamic vinegar.
Now you have the wine, the cheese and some olive oil for drizzle, but your appetizer platter isn't quite finished without some locally grown nuts. Pistachios of all kinds can be found at the Artois stall, with flavors like habanero, chile-lime and BBQ, just tasting them all can take a while.
So what happens when your guests are far too enthralled by your culinary delights to leave without dinner? Fret not gentle shopper, just slide on over the west end of the market to peruse some of the meatier offerings. Find some seafood at Wild Little Fish like these lovelies
or perhaps an oyster bar
Here in Sacramento, there is some kind of fresh food available year round and taking advantage of all the fresh air markets in the area will give you a pantry that your friends will envy. Give yourself plenty of time to spend at the market and definitely make a circuit through the stalls just for the looking before actually diving in to shop. While there is generally at least one stall at every market selling coffee and pastries, I find it best not to partake until after the shopping is done so my palate for all the taste-ables won't be corrupted by the bitterness of a brew.
Buying from local growers is good for the local economy, great for your culinary aspirations and creates less of a burden on our planet. Remember to bring your own shopping bags and even recycle the thin produce bags, it helps to keep costs down for everyone.
Farming is a tough gig in the best of circumstances, the folks who do it for a living will tell you that it is one of the hardest jobs that will ever break your heart on a regular basis. Support your local growers who are growing with a conscience because, without them where would we be?