What’s In Season Now, Summer – Sponsored by Vera Chicago

June 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

Does it Taste Like Spring


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How do we know it’s summer.  We hit the solstice.   The Swedes celebrate Midsommar Fest.  Meteorologically, it’s been summer for a few weeks.  Have you turned on your air conditioner?  And you can find summer in the markets.  There are the earliest tomatoes, from hoop houses; cukes have appeared as have zukes.  Still, around here, the start of summer tastes a lot like Spring or at least what we keep on being told Spring tastes like.  This is the time to gorge on all forms of pea–sugar, English or “shelling” and flat or snow.  This is the time, not 3 months ago, to eat fava beans.  Strawberries and asparagus are still plentiful See below for what  to find now.  Use our revised farmer’s market shopping tips to make the most of what you find.  For additional markets and other things to do in the week’s ahead, do check out Jeannie’s Local Calendar.

Snap Peas Leaning Shed
Photo Jeannie Boutelle

What’s In Season Now



Cherry Clafoutis

Before the Condiment Queen became an ace pie-maker, her go to speciality for seasonal fruit was the clafouti. Classically, the clafouti is made with cherries (and classically, with pits left in!). Consider that as you shop this week.  We’ve  cited below some of the things we think you should look for now either because they are coming into season or because they have a short season.  It is by no means a encylopedia of what’s all there now.

From the Ground

  • Peas – snow peas, English or “shelling” peas, sugar snaps
  • Fava beans
  • Summer squash, especially smaller versions
  • Beets. with their greens
  • Fresh onions with their tops
  • Fresh garlic and garlic scapes
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Cherries – sweet and tart
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

Almost all markets are running now.  We’ve hightlighted some of our favorites and some to we need to check out.  In addition to markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.


One of the most complete markets on the south side is run by our friends at the Experimental Station at their 61st Market on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM -  6100 S. Blackstone

Did you know there is a second location of Green City Market?  As they did last year, Green City has put up a market in the West Loop, an area way underserved.  Avoid all the hassles of Lincoln Park by visiting this location on Saturdays from 9 AM to 2 PM – Yes, that’s different than the Lincoln Park locale. - 799 W. Fulton Market. (at Halsted)

Every other week, including this Sunday, June 28th, you will find the Condiment Queen selling Tomato Mountain organic products at Independence Park - 9 AM to 1 PM.  - Irving Park at Springfield

It may not be the biggest market in the Chicago area, but it is the only market with a free breakfast of Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe (and the only market where you can gorge on cheesecake samples).  We maintain a special place in our heart for this market, Thursdays – 7 AM – 1 PM - 6701 West Forest Preserve Drive

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake


There are often times, when we think about these things, quantify these things, we say this is the best there is in the Chicago area.  There’s the heirlooms, the regular, meats, cheeses, breads, the unique and the mundane, about all you could want in one market.  Saturdays from 730 AM to 1 PM - University Street & Oak Avenue

Morton Grove

Very close Beet ties to this one, so get there on Saturday and shop, shop, shop.  Saturdays 8 AM to Noon - 6210 Dempster


Do you think we’re not gonna include something way far away?  The Geneva Green Market has been focusing on organic and sustainable farmers for a while and is worth the visit if you are anywhere close (or not as it’s a great drive or a great train ride).  Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street


In memory of Mom.  She was a volunteer hereWednesdays from 7 AM to 1 Pm –  Cherry Lane and Meadow Road


You liked the area so much, you came back for another market.  There was a time when the Condiment Queen worked this one, so it’s got a little special place in our heart, but we love a lot else about Riverside, one of the only places where you find winding streets and bungalows, the downtown area, the river and the falls are all hard to believe within the Chicago area.  Combine your trip with a little Czech food or on the other hand, empanadas, in downtown Riverside. - Wednesdays 230 PM – 7 PM - 27 Riverside Road



What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago