Springtime in Texas can bring many things, especially allergies, but the thing I look forward to the most is the feeling that everything is new and fresh again. Gone are the cozy days of soups and stews and in are the evenings of al fresco dining with fresh new vegetables and fruits. Cooking is lighter, fresher and more colorful. It is this time of year that I begin to get envious of the parts of the country that have small markets and produce stands on the side of the road. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is full of people rushing on crowded highways from work to home and back again. Most of us find it an inconvenience just to get out of the car for an errand. If grocery stores had drive through lanes, I am sure they would be 20 cars deep during afternoon rush hour while the parking lot remained empty.
So when Saturday comes in the spring, a trip to the Farmer’s Market isn’t just in store but is also a relaxing and welcoming stress reliever. The Dallas Farmer’s Market is hidden in the heart of downtown Dallas. Just a few blocks off the highway is a hidden treasure of products hauled in by local farmers. It was here that I tried one of the best apples I have ever tasted, the size of a small cantaloupe and juicier than citrus! The farmer was luring in the crowd by cutting off slice after slice of mouthwatering fruit. I bought more than I could ever eat but I didn’t care. They were to die for. I felt what Snow White must have been feeling when she couldn’t resist.
There were several open barns full of bays of farmers and their particular specialties. The colors were so vibrant that they almost look like I altered them in Photoshop. None of them are, I guarantee it.
One barn houses vendors selling homemade specialties such as tamales, chocolate, olive oil, ice cream, cheese and more. You can spend an afternoon wandering the grounds and sampling great food. I loved talking to the people who grow the food everyday, listening to their stories and suggested recipes. Most prefer to not alter the food much at all explaining that a little bit of salt and olive oil can enhance but not drown. Bryan and I ended up filling a huge cart with my treasures!
For those of us in Tarrant County, it seems like quite a trek over to Dallas just for a Farmer’s Market but you won’t be disappointed. Sure it isn’t for running quickly to just “pick up a few things”. It is more of a destination. Wear something comfortable, bring your reusable canvas bags and make a day of it.