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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Discovering a new, unfamiliar, or unique product at market can make us feel like explorers seeing new lands for the first time on what would otherwise be a regular weekday afternoon or Saturday morning. Area farmers tailgate markets are full of fantastic and often uncharted culinary adventures.

Jicama. Find this nutty, crunchy, sweet and savory root vegetable from Lee’s One Fortune Farm at the East Asheville Tailgate Market on Fridays and Black Mountain Tailgate Market on Saturdays. Jicama can be likened to a “savory apple” in flavor and texture. It’s great to eat raw in salads, julienned and seasoned to make a slaw, or cooked into stir-fries and soups.

Edamame. These gems are young soybeans that are harvested early for their snackability. Steam or boil them whole in their pods, and lightly salt. Extract the beans from their pods, and enjoy! Find these from Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm at the Weaverville Tailgate Market on Wednesdays and the West Asheville Tailgate Market on Tuesdays, as well as Kuster Farms at the East Asheville Tailgate Market.

Ground cherries. In the same family as tomatillos, ground cherries are fruits that have a texture like a cherry tomato, and a sweet flavor like a grape or strawberry, but with a little extra acidity. Eat and prepare them as you would a tomato, raw, cooked, or any way you please! Wendy Town Farms at the East Asheville Tailgate Market have ground cherries this week.

Fruits to feel frenzied about: Figs from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market)! Figs have a short growing season, so get ‘em as soon as you can. Asian pears and Muscadine grapes are also both available now from McConnell Farms and Lee’s One Fortune Farm.

With crisp, fall weather on its way, more fall flavors are arriving. Though common fall fare may seem less exciting than all of the items listed above, they are a discovery warranting tremendous excitement for all that they forecast for future farmers markets. Right now, many produce farmers are beginning to bring winter squashes to market, including a beautiful variety called Sunshine from Paper Crane Farm (Asheville City Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market). Additionally, lettuce and other leafy greens are picking up again after a lull!

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. Find out where farmers tailgate markets are on which days. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting our online Local Food Guide.

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