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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

August is the perfect month for tomatoes at area farmers tailgate markets! Heirloom tomatoes are the royal family of the bunch – prized for their intense flavors, vibrant colors, and non-spherical shapes. You can eat them sliced with a pinch of salt, cooked in your favorite dishes, or as an all-American favorite: The Tomato Sandwich.

Cherokee Purple is one beloved heirloom that you can find from such vendors as Cane Creek Valley Farm (Flat Rock Farmers Market, Asheville City Market, Asheville City Market – South). Another trending variety is the Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, which boasts taste test winnings. Aardvark Farm proudly has these for sale at Yancey County Farmers Market and Asheville City Market.

If you prefer a lower acid tomato, then yellow tomatoes are for you. Striped German is a wonderful yellow heirloom, and are offered by Gladheart Farm (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market, Asheville City Market – South). Another low acid variety are Green Zebras, which are multiple hues of green when ripe, and boast a sweet and tangy burst of flavor. You can find these at such farms as The Ten Acre Garden (Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market, Canton Thursday Farmers Market). There are many other exciting varieties, and now is the time to taste them all and find YOUR favorite!

You can’t have a sandwich without bread! There are many local bakers selling their fare at markets including Simple Bread (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market), Wake Robin Farm Bread (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market), and Farm and Sparrow Bakery (North Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market). Want gluten free bread? Try offerings from Eat More Bakery (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) – the sourdough and focaccia are especially delicious!

Many folks eat their tomato sandwiches with nothing but bread, a little bit of mayonnaise, and tomatoes. If this is your style, you may want to try something new and make your own mayonnaise with local eggs from such farms as Meadow Cove Farm (Madison County Farmers Market) or MiLo Acres (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market, Yancey County Farmers Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market).

Other folks believe cheese is the perfect companion for your heirloom tomato sandwich. Some that are up for the task include OakMoon Farm & Creamery’s garlic & olive oil goat cheese (West Asheville Tailgate Market, French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market); Three Graces Dairy brie made from a combination of goat, sheep, and cow’s milks (Weaverville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market – South, North Asheville Tailgate Market); Spinning Spider Creamery’s Italian herb chevre (River Arts District Farmers Market, Asheville City Market, Asheville City Market – South, North Asheville Tailgate Market); and Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery’s cow’s milk mozzarella (Asheville City Market).

No sandwich is complete without a pickle on the side! Try some from Green River Picklers (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market), or Panhandle Pickles (Sundays on the Island in Marshall).

For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse our online Local Food Guide or online farmers market calendar.

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