Farmers Market Shopping Tips

Tammy Hernandez met up with Chef Tse at a local Farmers Market, to get her tips on how to shop like a pro.

Chef Tse’s Farmers Market Tips
Every year I eagerly await the farmer’s market. Not only am I supporting local farmers but the products I buy are fresher and more flavorful. Here are my tips for shopping smart at the market:

Plan ahead
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices at the market, especially when the harvest is in full swing. That’s why I take a look at my upcoming week to see what I have scheduled. I then make a list of dishes I plan to make and what products I need.

Pick your shopping time
If you don’t like crowds, plan to shop as soon as the market opens. You’ll also have first pick of the freshest produce. However, if you’re looking for a deal, sometimes vendors don’t want pack up all their products at the end of the market, so some people will give you a discount just before it closes.

Come prepared
If I know I’m going to buy a lot, I like bringing a wheeled cart – especially if I walk to the market. I also bring my own green bags (they help produce stay fresher longer in the refrigerator), and I bring an ice pack in case I buy any meat or fish.

Do a walk through
Even though I have certain vendors that I visit regularly, I like to do a quick walkthrough of the market. This way I know what’s in season, who has the best looking products and what the prices are.

Get to know your vendors
I like developing relationships with vendors. Once they get to know me, they make recommendations on what’s super fresh or tasty. And of times, they’ll let me taste things before I buy them.

Try something new
I always try to try one or two new things each time I go to the market. It’s easy to buy the same thing week after week, so to expand my horizons, I try to pick something new each week. If I don’t know how to cook it, I always ask the vendor because they usually have good suggestions or even recipes.
 

For more information about Chef Tse, check out her website.

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