Saturday was my first visit to the 14th & U St. Farmers Market in Washington, DC. First, getting there from Alexandria, VA was a breeze early on a Saturday morning, and parking on U St. was easy-and free! I arrived just before the 9 a.m. bell in order to check out the vendors, most of which are new to me.
Let’s see. There was Panorama Baking Co., which interestingly, is from Alexandria, VA. They have a large selection of breads and pastries. If you go, do check out the sticky buns, or you can lick the buns in the pictobrowser window. Really- up close and in person is better! Now, I love sticky buns; I grew up eating them as they were ubiquitous in the bakeries of Philadelphia, so I think I’ve got a pretty good idea when I find an outstanding one. And I did! Each bun is about half the size of my head, and easily shared by two. And when I say share, I mean that I ate most of the gooey, nut and raisin-laden top, and Frank got the rest. Hey, your have to go for the gusto, right? But seriously, from top to bottom, it was delicious.
Speaking of delicious, I got to chat with Stefano Frigerio of the newly formed The Copper Pot Food Company. From the pastas to the sauces to the imaginative jams, Stefano’s products are accessible and tangible evidence of his talent in the kitchen. The former Senior Sous Chef at Maestro, turned Executive Chef at Mio, is beginning a new chapter in his career, and market-goers like me are reaping the benefits. I will of course let you know how his food tastes, too! I hope to shortly enjoy my purchases, from the pastas; Braised Rabbit Ravioli with butter sage sauce (to be made my me at home), and Parma ham and Parmesan Tortellini, to the sauces; Smokey Bacon and Parmesan, and Blended Late-Harvest Tomato.
The only stand that I noted having the first of this year’s strawberries was Garner’s Produce, located in Warsaw, VA. Located within a few miles of another favorite, Three Way Farm (which sells at the Del Ray market and others), Garner’s produce was fresh and affordably priced. They also had a large selection of vegetable plants and flowers. I availed myself of a pint of large strawberries, resisted the temptation to eat them right away, then macerated them once home. Once sweetened up a bit more and nicely softened, the strawberries became a delicious topping and nice foil for homemade buttermilk ice cream (which is so darn easy to make: I’ll share it soon!)
In the pictobrowser, you’ll also see Keswick Creamery-a familiar sight at many area markets. Their yogurt is very good, and quite a bargain at about $4.50 per quart. That, along with toppings such as fruit and granola, keeps me eating a healthy breakfast all week.
Of course, there are more wonderful vendors at this friendly and cheerful market (dogs too!). You can see a full list of participants at the 14 & U St. Farmers Market website, and you can count on more At The Market reports from me. Until the next time, eat and buy local when you can.