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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Mother Ocean Fish at Asheville City Market

Seafood isn’t something particularly local to the mountains of Western North Carolina, but farmers markets can still be a chance to find good fish choices to enjoy alongside more locally grown fare. Asheville City Market-Winter offers a few possibilities.

East Fork Farm has the only truly local offering, with rainbow trout hatched in the headwaters of the French Broad River, near Brevard. These trout are grown without antibiotics, using sustainable farm practices. Trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids and pack a significant protein punch. Broiled with a lemon-caper-brown butter sauce over winter greens like kale or spinach (check Jake’s Farm to see what’s available), it makes an easy and delicious meal.

Mother Ocean Fish, which is set up outside to the right of the Asheville Masonic Temple steps, has seafood from further afield, but denotes its North and South Carolina catches. Right now, this often includes shrimp, oysters, lump crabmeat, mussels, littleneck clams, red fish, swordfish, and snapper, with occasional sightings of wreckfish, trigger fish, or wahoo. Try the shrimp simmered in a Thai red curry sauce spooned over sweet sticky rice and a variety of bok choi from Lee’s One Fortune Farm.

Salmon to You, which delivers Alaskan wild-caught sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay to Asheville, doesn’t qualify as local at all, but the fish does come directly from the fishermen and is sustainably harvested. Use a slow-cooking method by baking salmon fillets in a 275-degree oven for about 20 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Miso butter–glazed Japanese turnips and greens from Olivette Farm are a great local accompaniment.

Other local products available right now include carrots, radishes, cabbage, salad greens, snow peas, sweet potatoes, winter squash, microgreens, eggs, meat, cheese, and bread.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even through the winter. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

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