The ground was a little soggy this Saturday from an earlier rainstorm, but beyond some muddy shoes the weather was warm and welcoming for my first excursion into Chicago's Green City Market. Advertised as the city's only sustainable market, not to mentioned home to regular cooking lessons from notable Chicago chefs, I absolutely couldn't wait to experience it for the first time.
Sure enough, as soon as I walked in I was given a cute little cup of cherry porridge with sweet Israeli cous cous, a creation from Jason Hammel and Amalea Tshilds of Lula Cafe. Luckily. I've visited that excellent restaurant before, and this was a great reminder of their remarkable menu. What a perfect way to start shopping.
Not that I needed any help. The only thing that could have held me back was my own lack of imagination. Whether it was a mountain of berries, elk meat, or fava beans, I felt overwhelmed in the best possible way.
I was particularly struck by Green Acres, which has farms in nearby Northern Indiana. It was all about the carrots this weekend. They had golden, red, thumbelina, purple haze, and cosmic purple carrots. I settled on some of the purple haze since I'd never heard of such things and they sounded like the most fun.
I also loved these pickling cucumbers, which I hope to put to good use next week.
They also had a wide array of little waxy potatoes including some purple Peruvian and teeny tiny fingerlings.
Nearby, Smits Farms had a table full of herbs, some of which I'd never seen fresh before at a market. I eyed a few dozen kinds before settling on some particularly aromatic thyme.
Another favorite was Nichol's Farm and Orchard from Marengo, Illinois. They had a big batch of fava beans, which I couldn't help but buy. I also picked up some cherries, though I thought about the blueberries for quite some time.
Though they advertised the first homegrown tomatoes of the season, the Nichol's Farm assured me the best ones were yet to come, and suggested I come back very soon. The season of the tomato is almost here.
Cherries Raspberries Blueberries Gooseberries Currants Carrots (of all sorts) Fava beans Onions Garlic Small waxy potatoes
Tomatoes Eggplants Bell peppers First apples
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