Today was the first day for our new farmer's market in Tower Grove Park (just west of the pool pavilion). I went out of neighborhood loyalty, but I must confess that I don't usually go out of my way to visit the smaller farmer's markets that are popping up everywhere. I usually find them a little 'highbrow' for my admittedly very plebian tastes, and while I certainly prefer the fancy stuff, I can't always afford it. Soulard Market is my tried and true favorite, and I can find both the local, organic produce there...AND the four-pounds-for-a-dollar bananas that I need, as well.
Two things today, though.
One, I realize that I may be the last 'hound on earth to really get this, but wow...grass-fed beef really is better. I popped for a pound of the cube steaks to stretch a smallish package of supermarket cube steaks I was using tonight, thinking I could do a little comparison test. No comparison. The supermarket meat (Schnucks) was fine, but the grass-fed was infinitely better. Beefy. Better texture. The other stuff tasted flat and uninteresting. I paid about 6 bucks for a lb of the grass-fed, which doesn't seem too bad. There are a couple of meat vendors, the folks I bought from also had lamb and bison and some pork. Even my husband, who is not picky, vastly preferred the grass-fed.
Also...strawberries. If you have had only those big, hard, pinkish berries trucked in from California or Florida, get thee to the market and try some local berries. Unbelievable. And this looks like a good year for berries, after a couple of years when the berried didn't do so well.
It occurs to me I am raving a lot lately. Best to enjoy it before I return to my grumpy self.
Tower Grove Market is open on Saturdays, well into the afternoon (we got there at 1:00, and every stand was open, although some things were sold out), they have some local vendors with spring produce (strawberries,lettuce, herbs...) several meat vendors, a wild mushroom vendor (and her stuff looked beautiful, I was just with a mushroom-hating eight-year-old), and a few crafty-type stands (candles, soap). Small but worthwhile.