Stroll The Farmer’s Market and Try These Products
One of the great joys of a Minnesota summer is the Farmer’s Market culture. Sure, they have markets in every state. But here, we only have a few intense months of summery abandon, and shopping at a market is one of the summer rituals we just can’t miss. Buying locally grown produce supports local farmers and keeps our local foodshed thriving. Shopping at the small businesses that sell unique products at the markets supports our homegrown entrepreneurs. Everything is grown and made with so much heart, you really can’t go wrong.
Market season has begun in earnest, so get your shopping bags ready! I was honored to get a preview of some of the new market products available now at the many Farmers Markets of Minneapolis, and I brought my friend Michael to help me taste. He’s a serious baker and loves pastry, and is also more omnivorous than I am, so he gave me his take on the meatier items.
A Few of Our Favorites
The Dessert Diaries Has a Fresh Take on Cookies
The Dessert Diaries was a standout for both of us. Owner Trisha Kashyap Nagadeepa combines Indian spices like cumin and cardamom with buttery shortbread for a unique burst of flavor in every bite. The secret spice blend in her Spiced Shortbread will keep you guessing. She also makes classic cookies, bagels and other goodies.
Atacama Empanadas Get the Thumbs Up
Atacama Catering, the business of Ivette Jelves, is bringing a new line of empanadas to the market. Jelves is from Chile, so her Empanadas are from her tradition, and have Chilean combinations, unlike the empanadas you’ve had from other Latin countries. Michael was blown away by the Beef empanada, full of spices and studded with chopped boiled eggs and olives. Jelves assures me there will be vegetarian and vegan empanadas at her stall, as well.
X2 Pastries, Too Cute To Eat (Almost)
Xiong Xiong is creating adorable macarons, cookies, and cake, and kids are going to go crazy for them. These little unicorns are just one of the cute macarons, and the Whisky Cake was pretty great, too. Hit the Northeast Market for these.
Menoush Bakery, Art with Phyllo
Menoush is a labor of love, where owner/baker Mena Youssef makes pastries from crispy, buttered phyllo. The name of the bakery is a nickname given to Mena by her Grandmother, who taught her to bake. Pictured is a custard pastry topped with hand shredded phyllo strands. Crunchy, creamy, and luscious, it has it all. Divine.
Crisp and Chewy Macarons
The little pop-up that could, Crisp and Chewy makes some lovely macarons, with delectable flavors. We tried a pistachio macaron, and it was very good.
Nessa’s Sweets Shop For Candied Nuts
Nessa’s Sweets keeps it simple, with impeccably prepared candied almonds and peanuts that you will not be able to stop eating. Available at the markets, or online, these are a treat.
1617 B’Beri Desserts, French Pastry with Flair
We started our rounds with a bag of B’Beri’s Vanilla Buttered Cookies Du Marche, which hit all the buttery notes of a great butter cookie. The Almond and Chocolate Tarts du Marche were breathtaking, with perfect pastry crusts, and just the right size to share with a partner, or not.
Krishna’s Delight, Plant Based and Delicious
While not brand new, Krishna’s Delight is always a welcome sight. Their Samosas, Pakora, and Spiced Vegetable Stews are always flavorful and fresh.
Bernie’s Bloody Mary Mix, and Pickles
I’m not much of a mixed drink person, but I thoroughly enjoyed the spicy, tangy bloody mary mixes at this booth. I had a sample of the Dill one, Michael tried the Horseradish, and we were both pleasantly tingly. Fresh, crisp pickles had plenty of kick, and make a fab garnish for a big bloody as well.
Fruitee n’ the Cake, super fruity cakes!
This carved watermelon is not what Fruitee sells, but it was so carefully carved and beautiful that I had to take a picture. What Fruitee does really well are fluffy cakes with whipped cream and buttercream frostings, covered in colorful sliced fresh fruit. They are perfect for summer, when you crave something light and sweet. Beautiful and sure to wow your guests or family when you want to impress.
Sarahgirl Soaps, plus Bath Bombs and More
This one is not food, but it’s pretty tasty. Lush handmade soaps and shampoo bars, bath salts, laundry soap, lotion bars and beard balm all made by hand make you feel like self-care is within easy reach. Carefully swirled and shaped, scented and packaged items have enough panache for a great gift, or a treat for you and your family.
There were more excellent products, but for the sake of space, I’ll let you discover them at your markets. Wherever you live in the Minneapolis area, one of the 20 markets is close enough to serve you. Many thanks to the Famers Markets of Minneapolis for helping promote all these hardworking creatives, to bring their dream products to the public.