By Lori Grossman
If you love fresh fruit and vegetables, this is your time of year. Farmers markets – the big ones in urban areas, and the small stands on country roads (my favorite) – are brimming with fresh-off-the-farm produce. Once you bite into a succulent Texas peach or tomato, you'll never settle for store-bought again.
The big city farmers markets have a larger selection. Some have dealers who sell produce from other parts of the country. The Dallas Farmers Market is one of the largest public markets of its type in the country, and offers prepared foods, spices, coffees and teas, plus grass-fed chicken, meat, pork, lamb, eggs, cheese, and honey. You can take cooking classes from renowned local chefs there, too.
There are at least two Internet sources for farmers markets in Texas. Those certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture can be located at http://www.picktexas.com/farm_market/farmers_market2.htm. Those certified by the Texas Farmers Markets Association at http://www.texascertifiedfarmersmarkets.com/ where you can find locations as well as produce availability. Many farmers markets in Texas have their own websites, such as the Austin Farmers Market at http://www.austinfarmersmarket.org. A Google search on "farmers markets texas" will result in a list of markets in a number of Texas cities and towns.
Once you locate farm-fresh produce, keep these tips in mind:
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So don't waste any more time. This is the season; summer crops of all kinds are ripening. Get yourself to a farmers market and discover the difference that truly fresh produce makes in your cooking.
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