What’s Local, Chicago French Market

December 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

The Permanent Market we get opened to a packed house yesterday.  Our PR pal Lauren Edwards did an excellent job, but the followers of the Local Beet have a one question.  What’s local.  We are glad to report that in opening week, the offerings for locavores were many.  Let us know what else you find here for the eat local diet.

Produce Express – Mixed in a respectable variety of produce, they proudly displayed signs tauting the Illinois origin of certain items.  The Illinois produce included potatoes, turnips, squash and indoor grown tomatoes.

Chicago Organics – I know the people behind this venue, and we’ve agreed to disagree over whether produce should be organics first or local first.  So, the only local produce they carried was Wisconsin Organic Valley squash  (could not find potatoes anywhere?).  They did carry Local Family and Rick Bayless favorite dairy, from Iowa’s Farmer’s All Natural Creamery. 

Pastoral – Were they reaching out to you, dear Beetnicks, when Pastoral cut samples of Carr Valley Marissa and Pleasant Ridge Reserve?  Otherwise, I cannot yet vouch for their local-ness as they place as so damn crowded.

Wisconsin Cheese Mart – OK, who feared that this stand would be filled entirely with wax wrapped cheddar footballs and port salut flavored cheese spread?  Of course, it’s all local here, but they have some cool things right now.  Who would not zero in on an uncut, gnarly-gray round of cheese.  It turned out to be an aged stinky cheese from Capri Creamery, called St. something, sorry.  We know and love Capri from walking the Dane County Market, where they sell every Saturday.  Wisconsin Cheese Mark is also selling a real stinker in the best of ways, from Capri called Washed Bear.  Believe me these cheeses are worth the trip alone to the Market.  The Marike Gouda from  Holland Family farm being carried is, sorry for the hyperbole, just as market schlep worthy.

City Fresh Market – I hope the market develops for the whole local whitefish on display.  The Miller Amish chicken from Indiana for sale here get our stamp of approval.

Delightful Pastries – Dobra proudly confirmed that the filling in her lamb pies come from Illinois’s Mint Creek.

Chicago French Market at MetraMarket – 131 North Clinton · Chicago | Open Monday thru Saturday | 312-575-0306 | http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/index.php