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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

If a product is on your shopping list, area farmers tailgate markets are almost guaranteed to have it this week! Vendors’ tables are literally overflowing with fruits and veggies of all kinds, even the more exotic.

At Asheville City Market, Dancing Doe Farm offers eggplants “from around the world” (pictured above). For a taste of Turkey, try their Turkish Orange eggplants, which look almost identical to heirloom tomatoes. Travel to Malaysia with their Malaysian Red eggplants, which are actually a beautiful shade of violet. From Thailand, they offer the veggie in surprising green.

Smoking J’s Fiery Foods & Farm (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) brings a little bit of India to tailgates with their ghost peppers. But don’t let their small size fool you. Ghost peppers are the hottest variety available! Of course, peppers of all heat levels, or Scoville units, abound. Look for bells in many colors from many vendors, as well as options like sweet bananas.

Sticking with the unexpected, local artichokes can be found now. California may grow nearly 100% of the country’s crop, but Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market, Montford Farmers Market) is proving they can be grown right here in WNC. You might find figs now, too—another big California crop—from folks like Jake’s Farm (Asheville City Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market).

Of course, you can still pick up your shopping staples, from blackberries to carrots and corn to summer squash. You can also pick up local meats and cheeses, including the newly crowned second place soft-ripened American Cheese Society winner: Looking Glass Creamery’s Ellington! Find Looking Glass at Black Mountain Tailgate Market and Oakley Farmers Market.

Honey can also be found at markets these days, including our region’s famous Sourwood. Asheville was recently named BEE City USA, and in celebration of the designation and National Honeybee Day, Asheville City Market will host a buzzworthy celebration on Saturday, August 18, including kids activities and a proclamation around 10 am. More information can be found at beecityusa.org. Asheville City Market’s Kids Corner Market will offer even more children’s activities that day; Nutrition Services of the Buncombe County Department of Health will lead children in making local food smoothies (9 am-noon).

Also on Saturday, Henderson County Tailgate Market (King St.) will host a local food cooking demo with Peter Fassbender, executive chef of Season’s Restaurant at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock.

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