Yesterday was market day at the Austin Downtown Farmers’ Market, part of Austin’s Sustainable Food Center network. I’m told it is one of the largest in Texas, and although not packed with vendors, there was still plenty of variety to choose from. Good things are happening in the realm of charcuterie, too; we found more than one source for such delicacies as duck, quail, and goose.
I am such a sucker for arugula, I jumped on a huge bag of tender greens offered by Springfield Farm out of Moulton, Texas, about 90 miles to the southeast.
And that’s nothing in Texas. Many vendor’s farms are considerable distances away and think nothing of making three or more weekly trips to work the circuit of popular markets. Even with outlandish transport costs this is just part of doing business in these parts.
I was impressed with the wildflower honey at Austin Honey Company. Their creamed honey is just that: light and incredibly smooth, showing a mixture of floral notes―which change, based on the bees’ grazing tendencies at any given time of year.
Another discovery came from the Shrub Drinks booth, where co-owner Cynthia Guido jokingly cracked that “they aren’t selling bushes”. No, they are marketing a wide variety of artisanal drinking vinegars apparently enjoyed way back in early Egyptian days (i.e., a long time ago). In 17th century England and during colonial times shrub was used as a way to preserve fruit. The resulting bitters-like syrup was used in beverages with water or soda or as a mixer in alcoholic cocktails.
Much later back at home, we put our feet up and treated ourselves to tall icy glasses of Pelligrino water infused with Apple, Lemon, & Ginger Shrub. Ah yes, very refreshing indeed―after another grueling day at the market. What a life.