Sunday, August 7, 2011

Downtown Farmers Market - Tomatoes, Honey, and Pig Statues

Address: Pioneer Park, 300 S 300 W, Salt Lake City, UT.

Experience: The Saturday morning farmers market in Pioneer Park is one of the great summertime activities in Salt Lake City. There's something wonderful about strolling through the stalls, dodging other patrons, all in the cool early morning hours.

There are a myriad of choices at the farmers market, from organic honey vendors (more on that later) to sheep's milk cheese purveyors to hippies selling metalwork to Mormon housewives selling reversible headbands. This morning, we were on the hunt for pizza fixins, specifically tomatoes.

Ever since I ate an insalata caprese at Pizzeria 712 in Orem last year, I have been taken with Jacob's Cove tomatoes.

They produce great heirloom tomatoes with bright full flavors that are perfect for pizza. Here's what we ended up buying.

What a gorgeous variety of colors.

After the tomatoes, we headed toward the artwork portion of the market and found this dude, drumming away.

And then we came upon Slide Ridge Honey, a family-owned organic honey vendor from northern Utah.

These guys were nice enough to spend time answering my questions about their honey. Apparently, they have a number of mountain hives they keep in the very labor-intensive way beekeepers do. The honey is not filtered or pasteurized, which gives it a full, complex flavor, not just the highly sugary taste of supermarket honeys. While the honey was good, I was particularly interested in the honey wine vinegar Slide Ridge produces.

Having never experienced this product before, I'm not entirely sure how it's made. However it's made, it's pretty darn good, with a nice balance of acidity and sugar. It reminded me of aged balsamics I've tasted in Italy given the fact the taste (and color) of the environment comes through in the vinegar. This is a quality, and very interesting, product.

Well, after circling the market, and tasting a terribly unfortunate pistachio gelato that tasted like jello pistachio pudding, we made our way back to the car. On the way, my son wanted to strike a pose atop made a couple swine statues.

Great end to a great morning.

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