Picture this: it’s Saturday morning and you’re enjoying your first cup of coffee in your pajamas, maybe watching some cartoons (aren’t they bringing Lizzie McGuire back??). Maybe you’re making a grocery list or struggling through a New York Times crossword, but definitely not checking work emails. You’re well-rested and hankering for a pastry but feeling undecided on your day’s plans. All you have decided is that you don’t want to waste another pretty, if bitterly cold, winter morning.
If this feels vaguely familiar, I have some suggestions for you, especially if you live in any of these cities!
I’m going to dedicate this post to my love for Concord’s winter farmers’ markets, although there are many others listed above. Contoocook’s even boasts the wonderful Work Song Farm.
As I mentioned, Concord has winter farmers’ markets – yes plural – both of which offer tons of great products and a unique shopping experience. The first one I visited this year is located at 7 Eagle Square, a beautiful pedestrian square accessible from North Main Street with easy free parking (all weekend) at the School Street parking garage. These photos don’t do the market justice, as there are multiple levels of vendors with everything from homemade guacamole from Patty’s which is the absolute best guac around, plus winter produce, meats, homemade breads and pastries, soaps, maple syrup, dog treats, coffee, and great live music (pictured below on the top right).
A few of my favorite purchases from this trip included a gigantic lemon bar from Rollin’ In the Dough (the one pictured below was my half…) and homemade pastas from the amazing Valicenti Pasta Farm in Hollis. The caramelized butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter sauce is just heavenly.
These pastas are great to keep in the freezer for a really quick dinner and are so much more flavorful than anything in the grocery store! They also sell their homemade sauces separately, and you can find those and lots of recipes on their website.
If you’re looking for a farmers’ market in an actual greenhouse, the Winter Farmers’ Market at Cole Gardens is for you. The atmosphere is an escape from the frigidity of winter and the friendly farmers and bakers are just as welcome.
I stopped by this market the weekend before the NH Primary for a little respite from the craziness of downtown. I was greeted by live music, the most beautiful flowers, and a more intimate market experience. Terra Basics was offering hot tea samples, which were very much appreciated as I brought my hands back to functioning from being outside for 15 seconds. They also had a wide variety of dried herbs and spices, tea, and jellies with surprising flavors.
While I didn’t “need” anything, I ended up buying an incredible homemade whoopie pie, the most unique jelly I’ve ever had, and the cutest little cactus. I loved that the shopping experience was intertwined with beautiful, aromatic plants which act as built-in decor.
I think it’s safe to say that even in the “dead” of winter, Concord’s love for the local food community is very much alive.
To learn more and visit the Downtown Concord Winter Farmers’ Market, open Saturday mornings from 10:00a to 1:00p, check out their Facebook page. Learn more about the Cole Gardens market, held on Saturday mornings from 9:30a to 12:30p.
Happy shopping and eating!
Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at email@example.com to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in “The Taste!”