Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Day at the Farmers market

Have i told you how much I love farmers markets? Well i dont just love, I LOVE farmers markets. Beautiful fresh organic produce just completely excites me. I love wandering around discovering new things. My only problem with farmers markets is finding the self control to not buy everything in sight. Walking around it always parks new ideas for fun healthy dishes to make so I have to learn to pace myself. I must say though, on this particular trip I definitely found some major food scores. The first one was a thai eggplant. Now maybe Im completely out of the loop on this but I haven't ever cooked one up! I was so excited. As soon as I saw these amazingly beautiful eggplants ripening away in the sun I knew I just had to buy some. The guy selling them recommended roasted them up and then tossing in some candy onions he was selling as well. I was intrigued so I picked up a bit of both. I also walked away with some gorgeous grape tomatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, red peppers, cauliflower, zuchini, mint, fresh basil and some sugar snap peas. I cant wait to get home and start cooking.

Although my absolute favorite find today was a more decadent one. Way at the other end of the market was a stand featuring fresh ground chocolate. Oh yes. As soon as I smelled that heavenly chocolate smell I immediately made a beeline over.

Fresh cocoa beans that are stone ground and combined with various other ingredients to make a a chocolate unlike any other I have tried. It has a bit of a crunch from the cocoa beans which I absolutely loved. Smooth and delicious. Its freshly made chocolate that can be used for a wide variety of uses. Baking, drinking and just plain eatin!

The three flavors that I bought were Mayan Tradition, Vanilla Bean and Shangri-La. The Vanilla Bean was the first one that I sampled. Simple and delicious, this one featured a nice strong cocoa flavor followed by a nice balance of vanilla. Perfect. The second one I tried was the Mayan Tradition. If you like some spice you will love this. It had a slight kick from the peppers at the very end. Not over powering but delicate. It was perfectly balanced against the bitterness of the cocoa and the sweetness of the cane sugar. It also featured light notes of cinnamon which added an amazing depth to the bar. The last flavor was the Shangri-La. This flavor features toasted black sesame seeds and Gogi berries. It surprised me how sweet it was. For some reason I was expecting a more tart flavor from this flavor. And for only $5 dollars for a good size bar it was a steal. I will definently be buying more of this. It is AMAZING!

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