Well, you know that farmers market fans like me need a market fix-preferably on a weekly basis. So it’s no wonder that I sought out the Headhouse Square Farmers Market while I’m in Philadelphia. I was so excited, and filled with anticipation as I saw the bustling market and felt the energy within. Much like the Dupont market in Washington, D.C., the Headhouse Square market brings the best farm fresh food from the surrounding areas (of PA and Southern NJ )to the heart of the city. On Sundays during market season, historic Headhouse Square is filled with baked goods, meats, eggs, cheese, seasonal produce, jams, jellies and honey. Oh, and dog biscuits too!
The Headhouse Square market is run by The Food Trust, which runs 30 markets in total. The Food Trust is a community-driven entity, educating patrons on nutrition and food that is in season, and wholesome. They advocate to make the market accessible to all by participating in programs such as WIC and accepting EBT cards and Senior Citizen’ cards. Their mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food-and it shows. Just check out these Farmers Rock items they sell!
Here’s just a sample of the amazing bounty at the market….
Hillacres Pride raises free range chickens that are fed organic chicken feed, in addition to the insects and grubs which they scratch for. I bought a dozen brown eggs for $4.
Weaver’s Way Farm, and urban farm, had an array of just-picked produce and herbs. I bought fresh rosemary, a handful of sunchokes and a couple of leeks, all for about $4. The rosemary and leeks flavored a baked chicken that I was compelled to make after eating processed foods for a week. Yuck.
This guy from Versailles Bakery (Collingswood, NJ) just had to get into the photo of these marvelous sticky buns. Take another look…
Versailles’ sticky buns were a terrific bargain at $1.50 each. They were surprisingly light, and very fresh. The best part perhaps was the crunchy caramel that lined the wax paper underneath. We also enjoyed savory flatbreads; spinach and cheese, and broccoli and cheese. The dough was flaky and rich and I picked up every little piece that broke away! Here is a sample of their foccacia:
and pain au chocolates:
If this hasn’t made your mouth water yet, check out this tray of pastries from Wild Flour Bakery:
Wild Flour Bakery was started by Nishon Yaghoobian, former Executive Pastry Chef at Philadelphia’s venerable Striped Bass restaurant. Since participating at the Headhouse Farmers Market in the Spring of 2007, his business has met with an overwhelming response by customers who buy the baked goods that are made from the best quality ingredients.
I’ve become a fan of these little challah slider rolls. They have a beautiful shiny crust, and are light as a feather inside. A bit of Pate de Campagne from Tallulah’s Table made a nice snack.
Tallulah’s Table in Kennett Square PA offers among other things, housemade charcuterie, duck rillets and Pate de Campagne. From thier website:
We use superior ingredients. As a rule we use organic poultry, local dairy products, Belgian chocolate, King Arthur organic flours, daily fresh fish, carefully selected Hausbrandt Italian coffee, beautiful produce, and of perfect Kennett mushrooms. We make and smoke our own sausage and fish and
We consciously provide many vegetarian items. We bake all of our own breads and pastries. We select and age cheese that is well worth the indulgence.
Located outside of Philadelphia in Chester County, PA, Birchrun Hills Farm is owned and operated by Ken and Sue Miller. Their Holstein cows are raised without hormones, and provide the raw milk for the cheese that is made at the farm. Birchrun features Birchrun Blue and Highland Alpine cheeses.
Spring Hills Farm in Dalton, PA, is nestled in the rolling hills of Northeastern, PA and is a working family and organic farm. Their crop of award winning maple syrup is harvested each Spring. The trees are tapped in the spring because nightly temperatures are below zero, while daytime temperatures rise enough to get the sap flowing. A lovely woman at the farm stand explained the difference between Grade A and grade B maple syrup. The former is produced in the beginning of the season and has a paler color and milder flavor. The latter is produced late in the season, and has a deeper color and more pronounced maple flavor. It is often called for in cooking and baking.
There’s a lot more to this wonderful market. I’ll share more vendors and food later and suffice to say, this market is well worth seeking out if you are in the Philadelphia region. And as always, until the next At The Market, eat and buy local when you can. Wherever you are.