Take a quick peek at the news and you may find the news that local produce markets are up and running again for the season. If you love to cook with fresh flavors this announcement will be welcome news. No longer must you purchase produce from stores that ship their goods from thousands of miles away, local foods are almost always abundant, affordable, and offer to bring a whole new level of flavor to all of your recipes.
As a cook you probably already know that everything you create in the kitchen tastes better when you can get your hands on fresh local ingredients. Whether it is the strawberries for your jam or rhubarb pie, or it is tomatoes for fresh salsa or spaghetti sauce, there is no comparing the flavor of fresh local produce to that which has been picked green and shipped thousands of miles.
Finding a Local Market
If you do not know where your local markets are there are a few different ways to track them down. You can try looking in your local newspaper, most farmers markets will advertise their hours as well as the in season produce they have available. You can also try calling the chamber of commerce to find out if there are any public markets in your area. There are also a number of websites online that keep a listing of the local markets in your area. Information such as seasonal open and close dates, hours, and what type of produce they offer are usually included.
Advantages to Shopping Local Markets
There are a number of advantages to taking the time to search out and shop the public markets. The food is fresher meaning that it has higher levels of vitamins and of course it all tastes better. The less time that passes from harvest to your kitchen the more nutrition and flavor your produce will have. Local produce also usually has less chemicals sprayed on it. Because it is local, fungicides are not needed to help keep the produce from spoiling. Small farmers are also not required to get certified for organic, so it is possible to get organic produce at a significant reduction in price.
Finally it is always good to support your local farmers and businesses. It allows you to get much closer to the source of your food, and know with confidence that those wonderful meals you are creating are the healthiest and most flavorful meals you can offer your family.