Enjoying fresh produce is by far one of the best parts of summer — corn on the cob, tomato salad, watermelon slices, the list goes on. For those of us who don't have our own gardens, a farmer's market is the next best place to pick up these delicious fruits, veggies, and more.
But often, there are so many great options to choose from, the shopping experience can feel overwhelming. So we asked award-winning chef Daniela Moreira, who regularly sources the best produce for her restaurants Call Your Mother and Timber Pizza Co., to share her top tips for navigating a local farmer's market with FirstForWomen.com below.
Go where the people are!
Farmers markets are a place for the locals, and the locals usually know what is best. Usually, where the biggest crowd (and line unfortunately) is where the produce is — that farm has proven itself to the locals.
Ask the farmer.
They always know what's best and what's in season. Pro tip: Take a look at what the farmer is snacking on behind their stand, that is the key to knowing what is best!
Take your time.
You shouldn't rush through aisles like you would at the supermarket. Enjoy the live music, try the pastries, eat at different food stands.
Trust your senses.
You won't find pre-packaged produce like you do at a regular store at a farmer's market, so this is your chance to touch, smell and sometimes taste everything before buying. Most stands, but especially the fruit ones, will put out samples of what's available and/or what's in season.
The food vendors at the farmer's market use the locally sourced produce from the stands, so this is a great way to get cooking inspiration and see how to utilize the ingredients in your own kitchen.
Keep closing time in mind.
If you're looking to score the best deal, go right before the market is about to end. This is when the farmers are trying to get rid of everything they brought with them, so you'll most likely be able to buy large quantities for less money.