It’s Busy Season – What’s in Season and Where to Find it Sponsored by Vera
Eat Local Frezzele
For a lot of locavores, it’s a busy time of year. For instance, many of you are reaping the harvests of your backyard farms. You may also be working to put away your home grown tomatoes. Putting dinner on a plate may be a hassle with all that’s going on in your kitchen. So, skip the plate, put it on a frezzelle. Frezzelle? It looks a bit like a bagel or shall I say a half of a bagel. A very hard bagel, the point of frezzelle is that they’re baked and dried to a crisp. The reason for frezzelle was to have bread after the wheat ran. With an everlasting supply of grain these days, why do we need frezzelle. Because it’s summer. See, you take your frezzelle, which by the way, can be found in any grocery or store that stocks Italian type stuff, D’Amato’s makes frezzelle for instance, wet it just a bit, you need to give it a head start, but mostly it will be refreshed by the liquid from your tomatoes, and you top it with stuff you have around. Believe me, there is something about the interplay of this just off bread with tomatoes, cheese, herbs, etc. Like I say, the only reason to eat frezzelle is that it tastes good. And it’s easy to prepare. Busy in the kitchen, there’s always frezzelle.
Now, if you have some time in the kitchen, what about tackling something else in season now, fresh beans. Do like Chef Mendez at our sponsor, Vera, and make fabada. Fresh peas like black eye peas and crowder peas are also in season now. We love combining fresh peas with other seasonal items like hot peppers and summer onions. Some of the summer fruit, apricots and some colors of plums are running their course, but there’s still peaches and more types of apples and pears. We would not be surprised if you saw some hard squashes in the market this week.
What’s In Season Now
From the Ground
- Finally some peppers that aren’t green?
- Sweet corn
- Heirloom tomatoes
- Field peas a/k/a black eye peas, crowder peas, etc.
- Shelling beans eg, pinto, shelly, etc.
- Some of the more “fall” herbs like sage
From the Trees and Bushes
- Asian pears
- 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. For some adventures look at this post. In addition to markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods. Also, as we noted this week, it’s the time of year when local food is everywhere. You can also go to Jeannie’s Local Calendar for resources, events and other happenings.
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 overflowing right now. Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM – 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