Getting Local, NYC Style: Union Square Greenmarket

Friday, March 2, 2012

These past few weeks really have been all about the farmers’ markets for me. (Between the chili, nachos, and guacamole, that is.) I’m just so thrilled that Boston’s winter markets have allowed me to directly support local producers even during the off-season. I’m still dumbfounded that I was able to procure local lobsters, the basis for a truly sublime lobster bisque. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I am a lucky woman indeed.

On Tuesday I fondly reminisced about London’s Borough Market. Today’s is another brief post dedicated to a market on this side of the pond, NYC’s Union Square Greenmarket, where I visited last week as I always do when I’m in the city. It’s among the largest outdoor markets in Manhattan with tons of different vendors: produce, cheese, dairy, meats, fish, juices, jams, bread, wine, and Martin’s famous handmade pretzels that even come in whole wheat now. Also, emu eggs.  If you’re not familiar with this market, which opened in 1976, I recommend visiting their site to check out all they do. Beyond its broad array of epicurean delights, it also has educational outreach, cooking demonstrations, textile recycling, and composting, reaching approximately 60,000 New Yorkers each day.

Microgreens: They’re not called “micro” for nothing. (Apple shown for scale.)

It’s off-season, of course, so the market is much smaller now than in the summer. Nevertheless, plenty of tasty morsels were still to be found. As there was limited space in the hotel fridge, I thus focused on procuring just a few special treats I haven’t seen at the Boston markets. My wares included micro wasabi and micro scallions, the tiny seedling sprouts of the full plant that are delicious tossed on a sandwich or, say, garnishing seared tuna puttanesca; a bag of100% rye bread thins; and, of course, a few whole wheat pretzels. (I’m pretty sure the only time I ever eat pretzels is at this market, come to think of it.)  I also picked up some apples, pears, and shiitake mushrooms. Fortunately, I had enough veggies and greens at home to get me through this past week. I still can’t believe that I can buy greenhouse spinach and mesclun at the winter markets here. I have some good salad posts in the works.

Until then, here are a few photos from the market

Union Square Greenmarket Photos (and the Occasional One-Liner)

So great to eat local “autumn” apples throughout the winter (but avoid using a plastic bag if you can). Tent for free-roaming ostrich farm in the background.

The first sprout sighting. Huzzah!

Root veggies, etc. (Those white things in the front are parsnips, in case you were wondering. And if you weren’t, well, they’re still parsnips.)

The second sprout sighting. So colorful!

Carrots and turnips and artichokes, oh my!

Nothing says spring like the glorious scent and vibrant colors of hyacinth. Too bad this isn’t scratch and sniff.

Ostrich eggs up front, emu eggs in back.  One-egg omelet for 12, anyone?

Third sprout sighting, and check out the size of those vats! I think the technical term is “s–tload.” Also note the license plate in the back.  As for the happy pig holding the knife and fork for the pork vendor on the right, I’d say that’s poor porcine form. (Inapigpriate? Maybe not.)

Yeah, I didn’t see Sarah Jessica Parket at the market eating one of Martin’s Pretzels, but how often will I get a chance to reference Sex and the City? Had to take it while I could.

The Andy (Warhol) monument is on special exhibit at the Union Square market until May 2012. Food AND art? Awesome.

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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