Heading out to the downtown Portland Farmer's Market this past Saturday was like one big, collective sigh – it seemed everyone knew to get in one great visit before the winter sets in and produce gets scarce. The leaves fell softly to the ground and I took in the scene. I am so thankful to partake in one of the best farmer's markets in the world! Find out about what makes this spot so unbelievable, after the jump.
My shopping list includes a seasonal rotation of produce, as well as a few food items I cannot live without.
Shopping List of Market specialties:
• Pearl Bakery's chocolate panini– it's a roll, mixed with bittersweet cocoa powder and chocolate chips, and it is as amazing as it sounds.
• Freddy Guys' roasted hazelnuts– recently featured in Martha Stewart with good reason, these crisp hazelnuts are the most flavorful I've ever had
• Zuppa Soups' South Indian dhal– Simon, the owner, makes this simple, nourishing soup (perfect on a gray day) and loads it up with mango chutney, cilantro and a little plain yogurt
• LoveJoy Foods' Caprese sandwich– Jo, the chef and owner, makes this amazing sandwich on salted Foccacia bread and covers the tomatoes in a generous glug of extra virgin olive oil
• Monteillet Fromagerie's Provencal goat cheese– this French and American artisan cheese-making couple have created rich and tangy goat cheese that elevates a meal from the ordinary to the sublime. I always buy it for special family dinners. Joan and Pierre Louis sip red wine and laugh whole-heartedly while doling out delicious samples.
I carve out a special spot in my weekly budget for one or two of these other-worldly treats. This purposeful purchase or two brings me great joy. I always leave this place feeling relaxed and renewed, with a sense that the farmers, chefs and artisans of Portland are among the best in the world. I'm such a lucky lady!
• Visit the Market: Portland Farmer's Market
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)