This week's post is featured on Oyster Culture, where I share a bit about the New Amsterdam Farmer's Market. Below is an abridged post. When you have a chance, please visit LouAnn, and say hi.
These things often start in abandoned parking lots. Hard working people congregate early in the morning with packs of wooden crates, unhinging them with crow bars. Fold-out tables are set up to offer the real prize, fresh farm grown produce, and pretty soon it becomes an exchange. And what was formerly an empty parking lot over time becomes a lively center of commerce.
In New York City alone there at least 28 farmer's markets, scattered across our small dense urban island. Some range from minute gatherings of as little as four stalls to the biggest one, the Union Square Farmer's Market, which is held four times a week all year round. One particular market that has garnered impressive support and enthusiasm is the New Amsterdam Market. The market holds its weekly gathering under the FDR freeway on the parking lot of the original Fulton Fish Market in the South Sea Port and in one of the oldest neighborhoods of the nation.
If you've ever visited Borough Market in London, New Amsterdam holds a strong resemblance in style. Local vendors sell their bounty of artisan products out of crates and barrels in a bare surrounding, bringing together a good balance of prepared foods, fresh meats and produce, which is in contrast to the Union Square Farmer's Market where fresh produce is the primary focus.
Local artisan products are the highlight of the market. Every week there are unique high-quality items made by passionate food creators such as kimchi by Mother's-In-Law Kimchi, naturally fermented pickled vegetables by Rick's Pick, a variety of chocolate bars from Mast Brother's Chocolates and fruit-packed popsicles made from locally grown produce from People's Pop.
There are also plenty of novel items such as chocolate covered bacon and beet chips from up and coming foodie entrepreneurs. And if you are still not enticed by the aforementioned, there are plenty of locally made cheeses from New York and New Jersey farms and fresh baked breads from Nordic Breads and Sullivan Street Barkery.
Now for Some History about Apples on the East Coast
As we head further into autumn the markets are priming for apple season, a time when many East coasters get excited about the prospects of apple-picking at local farms, a tradition which is a deeply embedded here. Although a visit to the farmer's market more than makes up with abundant variety for those who can't leave the city.
With all of those apples, everyone gets very busy churning out sauces and the oh-so-cherished apple pies. Apple pie is a well-integrated part of New England history and culture. In fact, during the turn of 19th and 20th century, apple pie became the symbol of American prosperity, leading to the birth of several expressions, "American as apple pie," and "Upper crust." If you're confused by how the latter expression "Upper crust" came about, in early America, lard and flour were expensive and often reserved to make only a bottom crust. The more affluent families could afford to add a top layer over the pie, so those families became known as "the upper crust."
Please see read more at Oyster Culture...