Many Local Tomatoes in Season and Where to Find Them – Sponsored by Vera Chicago
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It’s August. It’s finally been a bit hot. It’s time to clear your tables and replace all your produce with one thing: the glorious, locally grown tomato. No. Wait. Do not put one thing on your table. Find many tomatoes from tiny bumblebees and super-sweet sun golds to enormous hillbillies (yes that’s a popular variety at area markets) to put on your table. Explore the heirlooms or be satisfied with a simple slicer. The Cook Book addict, who sells all those tomatoes pictured above, for Tomato Mountain, says you are often best served by a well grown, hybrid tomato. Try some of hers or all the rest you will find now.
Chef Mendez at our sponsor,Vera, knows that you can do no worse than rubbing some of these local tomatoes across country bread, a/k/a tomato bread a/k/a pa amb tomàquet. He’s also using those tomatoes in the classic pisto a La Mancha, a stew of tomatoes and other in season vegetables. How will you use the summer’s prize?
We told you a few weeks ago that the Sugar Beet Coop opened its doors to serve its community. Well, there’ opening, and there’s grand openings. The official ribbon cutting is Friday August 14, at 9 AM, 812 West Madison, Oak Park. For much other happenings; farm dinners, good food events, etc., see Jeannie’s color coded Local Calendar. She may “post” it ever few weeks, but she keeps it updated. Make your eat local plans now. OK, there are a few other fun things besides tomato. See below, and always check out our our farmer’s market guide to make the most of the season.
What’s In Season Now
As the picture shows, what’s in season now is multi-colored. Purple plums, orange apricots and blueberries. Eat the rainbow,
From the Ground
- Zukes and cukes
- Green bell peppers
- Sweet corn
- Hot peppers
- Truly *new* potatoes (how do you know they’re new?)
- Melons, and remember they’re muskmelons not canteloup
- Herbs, especially basil
From the Trees and Bushes
- Apples – (summer apples!)
- Meats, poultry, lake fish
- Milk, cheese and other dairy
- Grains and breads
- Preserved and jarred products
Where to Find Local Food
Almost all markets are running now. We’ve highlighted some of our favorites. Fpr some adventures look at this post. In addition to markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.
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
Green City Market is only open this week until 11 AM because of the Air Show. Plan accordingly. Note, GCM matches LINK card purchases up to $15? Saturday from 7 AM to 11 AM – Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark)
It it’s Thursday and we’re in the Loop, you cannot do wrong with Daley Plaza, which is filled with vendors including produce, breads and prepared foods. 7 AM – 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 50 W. Washington
We’ve always been impressed by what they’re doing at the Glenwood Market. Sundays from 9AM to 2 PM - Southbound Glenwood Avenue between Morse & Lunt
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
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
What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago