Old favorites, newcomers make Taste of Farmers Market an adventure

| August 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

SEVERAL NEW merchants were highlighted at this year’s event, including an olive oil company and a produce company.                 Photos by Jim Kehl

People were lining up to get their passports on July 23 for the 11th annual Taste of Farmers Market despite the heat and humidity. More than 50 vendors stood ready to serve up a variety of cuisines and flavors that ranged from empanadas and chicken pesto penne to deli sandwiches, gumbo and chili. Beverages from iced teas to wine and beer were also available.

SALAD BAR had a selection of refreshing drinks to choose from.

Tips to getting started

The line to pick up pre-purchased passports was already long at 5 p.m., the start of the event. Each passport was clipped to a lanyard that passholders could wear around their necks. My friends and I promptly flipped the passports “upside down” so we could read them more easily and track our journey more clearly. There was a world’s worth of cuisine to explore.

As in the past, each passport holder was given a plate and set of flatware, TaterWare, made out of plant-based materials, to use throughout the event. Although several vendors used their own small plates or containers for food, it was these eco-friendly plates that each passholder was expected to use all evening.

TREJO’S TACOS served its tortilla soup.

Note to those attending next year: bring personal wipes to wipe off your plates occasionally, because the disposal stations with paper towels were difficult to find, and tasting barbecue sauce with maple syrup is not recommended. It was also difficult to find garbage bins to discard the food and containers once we were finished. However, the recycle, compost and landfill disposal stations were a good idea.

The way through

The best approach is always less is more. If you don’t like it immediately, don’t finish it. There’s no need. There are at least 50 vendors to visit on this tour of Farmers Market.

In addition, playing tag team is a really good strategy. I spoke with a woman who had been coming to the Taste for several years, and she and her sister take turns. One of them saves the table, while the other takes the passports and plates and picks up food and beverages. 

My friends and I did not have such a neat system down, but we did take it on as a relay race, with one person going ahead to scout what a stall was offering and reporting back to see if there was interest.

Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

LOCAL ICE scooped raspberry sorbet and chocolate ice cream for participants.

TO OPEN IN OCTOBER, Kaylin and Hobb’s Pickles provided samples of the fare-to-come.

Old favorites and newcomers

Regulars at the 85-year-old Original Farmers Market often have favorite stalls they like to visit. The Taste gives visitors a chance to change it up, try something new. This year, there seemed to also be a number of new vendors to choose from during the event.

TASTINGS OF VINEGARS and olive oils were available from newcomer Temecula Olive Oil.

Located near the empanadas from Nonna’s and candy from Littlejohn’s English Toffee was coffee from newly opened Green Maya Coffee Roasters and an assortment of rich olive oils and vinegars from Temecula Olive Oil (my personal favorite as I walked away with a lovely lemon olive oil and fresh apple vinegar).

Regular participants Marconda’s Meats and the Gumbo Pot were there. Relative newcomer Trejo’s Tacos offered tortilla soup.  Deano’s Gourmet Pizza served pesto slices; E.B.’s poured out chardonnay, and Charlie’s Coffee Shop served up French toast.   

Huntington Meat’s mini prime rib sandwich and a compact charcuterie plate from Monsieur Marcel’s Gourmet Market were still favorites, as they had been in years past.

Light My Fire had an interesting array of hot sauces that passholders could try with banana chips.

Magic Nut and Candy passed out a fruit-flavored caramel corn that was fun to look at and to eat. Bar 326 poured out a sample of a pilsner that was almost as refreshing as the root beer float we sampled later in the evening at The Refresher.

A TASTY ROOT BEER float was the sample from The Refresher.

MAGIC NUT and Candy Co. gave out samples of fruit flavored caramel corn.

Other stalls we visited included The French Crepe Co., Phil’s Deli, relative newcomer Local Ice, Zia Valentina and Dragunara Spice Bazaar.

But wait, there’s more

Are you lost yet? Because that doesn’t even cover half of the food vendors, and several non-food vendors also participated.

AN AVOCADO BREAD honey yogurt parfait created by chef Vanessa Parish was offered at Kiehl’s.

For example, Kiehl’s, besides passing out skin lotion samples, offered a parfait created by personal chef Vanessa Parish. The Dog Bakery gave out goodie bags of snacks and other items for your four-footed best friend. Sur La Table, WildFlora and Sticker Planet also had giveaways.

There were other stops, and it was a full night. We may have made it through half of our passports on our stroll through the Original Farmers Market by the time we were both full and exhausted.

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Category: Entertainment

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