By Martina Spending a beautiful morning at a farmer’s market is just about my favorite thing to do, so Sunday I set out for the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market from my home in Reston. I was not alone in that thought. It was bustling!
I love this market in particular because it’s great for people watching. It attracts such an interesting crowd of DC urbanites, from young couples with lattes and college students showing their parents around town to long-time neighborhood residents. There are also quite a few foreign visitors. Are they savvy travelers who have figured out that stopping at a farmer’s market is a great way to get to know us locals while picking up the best picnic lunch around? Or maybe they’re World Bank or embassy employees who come from places where a weekly market is a natural part of life.
The market has grown! It now spills north of Q Street to accommodate even more great farmers and producers. Early spring asparagus and greens were everywhere, and I was happy to see the first radishes. Inspired by the cover story of the current issue of Flavor, I asked the mushroom lady about morels. Apparently we’re having a lean year, but keep an eye out: she still hopes to find more to bring to market. Having bought apples from Black Rock Orchard at the Falls Church farmer’s market all winter long, I almost walked right by them on Sunday, distracted by all the spring-time goodies. I’m so glad I stopped, because their gold rush apples and bosc pears are still really firm and wonderful. I’d read good things about Red Apron Butchery, but hadn’t seen them at markets out my way, so I was excited to buy some of their prosciutto-like coppa…and yes, it’s as delicious as I’d imagined!
A must-see for me at the Dupont Circle market is Firefly Farms and their award-winning cheeses, every bit as good as the imports in a gourmet shop. I discovered them three or four years ago at the Baltimore farmer’s market, when I first sampled their award-winning Buche Noir…soft, aged goat cheese covered in ash. I was hooked! Alas, Buch Noire was sold out by the time I got to the market this Sunday (others have discovered it, as well!), but I was directed to their Mountain Top Bleu. It was incredible! It has the creaminess of ripe brie combined with the tang of bleu. And the trapezoidal packaging is gorgeous. (I’m a sucker for nice packaging!) I only bought half a trapezoid, so my photo above doesn’t do it justice. Here’s one from their website…
As I was leaving the market, I passed Atwater’s table as they were giving out free samples of strawberry gazpacho. It was savory and fresh tasting, very good. I’ll be looking for their soups at the market again…on the next beautiful Sunday morning.