Food Finds: Shore and Farmers' Markets Part 2

Tomato Pie with Fresh Ricotta
Part 2 of my Shore Food Finds - at the Ocean City Farmers' Market.

I could seriously write a whole blog just about the wonderful farmers' markets all over the country.  Hmmm, maybe that will be a side-line project for my future books - Market Travels: In Search of People, Pie and America's Forgotten Farmers.  But I digress.  The Ocean City (and Sea Isle, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Margate and Ventnor) Farmers' Market is/are a great big wonderful party every week during the summer.  What stood out for me this particular summer, in addition to finding Cat Gleason, The Pie Girl's pies, were the other local purveyors and vendors that had ready to eat products.  The farmers' produce was fresh and tender but the products we purchased from vendors with whom spoke  truly stood out this year.  

Jill and Michael of Tony Baloney's Farm to Table Truck

Rocket Foccacia
Homemade Pretzels
The Farm to Table Truck
Tony Baloney's of Ventnor, New Jersey brought their huge truck, called the Farm to Table Truck.  Each week they bring racks and racks filled with sheet trays loaded with foccacia flat bread pizzas, all topped with the freshest local ingredients.  Simple tomato pie topped with fresh ricotta, roasted brussels sprouts,  arugula/rocket, and portobella mushroom.  In addition there were loaves of breads, strombollis and hand-made pretzels.

 The brussel sprout flat bread barely made it out of the bag to the car, I devoured it so quickly.  The roasted brussel spouts were so sweet they tasted as though they were caramelized in sugar and maple syrup!

Miss Daisy Smith and her son, Lamont
Apple Garlic Hot Wing Sauce
Good enough to drink from the spoon!
Momma's Homemade  Applesauce and Apple Garlic Hot Wing Sauces were another fabulous find.  Miss Daisy and her son, Lamont hail from nearer to my end of New Jersey - operating out of Chesilhurst, New Jersey.  I've seen, read and heard about Momma's Homemade before.  Their applesauce, which tastes just like apple pie, is sold at Whole Foods Markets and at The Reading Terminal Market.  Miss Daisy and Lamont are the nicest, warmest people, offering samples and witticisms to everyone who stops by their stand.  We had to buy a jar of apple-pie-in-a-jar sauce, it was too good to turn down. The apple and garlic hot wing sauce is just the right combination of heat and sweet - good enough to slurp right off of a spoon!  I asked The Smith's if they could be enticed to bring their products up to Collingswood and Miss Daisy told me she had just submitted an application this season.  They are about 2 miles away at the Westmont Farmers' Market on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 pm.   Hopefully their burgeoning business will be one I can frequent more often and a bit more locally.   You can find their applesauces and marinades at the Whole Foods Market on South Street and at the Callowhill Store in Philadelphia; on Saturdays at the Reading Terminal Market;  or at the many farmers' markets down the shore, from Seaside to The Cape May Villas.

Smoothie Time!
The last find of the week was at a smoothie stand.  Talk N Coffee sells coffee, tea, iced beverages and really good smoothies.  They were flavorful, cold and made from 100% puree fruit and ice, no other faux ingredients.  The smoothies are high in sugar but since it's all fruit, it's not so terrible.  This is a sometimes treat, way better than a Jamba Juice that's loaded with fat and sugars.
Talk n Coffee Truck - Ice, Bring Us ICE!
To say they were doing a brisk business during our two visits is an understatement.  It was a sweltering hot day on our 2nd visit so the line for iced drinks was longer at this stand than at any other vendor.  I think their entire truck was packed with ice and the three or four people working were going non-stop, barely able to look up their customers lest they melt in the unrelenting heat of the late morning summer sun.

Farmers' Markets in any area are a welcome relief to the unknown produce provenance one finds in a chain supermarket.  The vegetables and fruit were most likely picked within a day of your purchase and may well be from within 50 miles of where you made the purchase.  Keep your dollars as local as you can! Support, shop and eat great each week at any of the many farmers' markets sprouting up along a sidewalk or park in your town!

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