There’s something about markets I just LOVE. Wherever I travel, market is always on the top of my must-go places. Rochester MN downtown farmers market is my weekly one stop grocery shopping destination, all my recipes are created according to what I found at the market. It’s always different, seasonal, fresh and there’s COFFEE!
Going to a street market is like a scavenger hunt that’s full of surprises. You walk in looking for one thing and walk out with a lot more than you planned for.
In Taiwan most markets are out in the open street, crowded with veggie wholesalers, local farmers, old grandma who has a little garden and doesn’t know what pesticide is, meat vendors, fresh (by fresh I mean, alive) seafood stalls, ready-to-eat food stands, pot stores….. anything you can imagine.
In the U.S. people often shop in supermarkets, but they don’t seem to be very adventurous with their produce and I don’t like how things are cold and seems lifeless. I understand that some produce have to be imported from other parts of the country but I would much rather eat local and fresh! You also learn more about what you’re eating when you go to a real market.
It is also more than the produce. I like the way people interact with each other at a farmers market. You can feel the connection between consumers and farmers, farmers and produce, and we humans are all linked to this piece of land that we’re standing on. To me it is just an amazing feeling I get every time I go to the farmers market.
I’d been to a few farmers market in Seattle, and they were great but I really fell in love with the one in Rochester, it has to be my favorite farmers market in the states so far.
The reason I enjoyed it so much (I’ve gone every Saturday since I got here!) is that they keep it farm product only and all the vendors are so full of life and passionate about what they do. Oh! and great live music.
I was amazed by what I found at the farmers market. I’d always thought that weather in Minnesota would be unfit for growing a variety of Asian veggies, but I found them all at the market.
I loved the fresh herbs, smoky homemade jerky (on top of my to-do list!), fresh crisp apples, fruits and vegetables I’ve never seen before, homemade pies, farm fresh eggs, flowers and to top it off I’ve found my new favorite coffee- Old Abe Coffee. (Try the nitro brew with a splash of maple syrup!)
Besides great coffee, We’ve also found the most amazing milk in town! It’s so good that the second time we went back and bought one of everything on their menu. Ever heard of “Kappers Big Red Barn“? It’s a farm from Chatfield offering milk in glass bottles like old times. I was so sick of trying to recycle those plastic milk bottles, I just wanted something that will produce less trash and I found Kappers. The milk from Kappers is fresh, got all the flavor, taste less processed and comes in whole, 2%, 1%, skim, cream and chocolate. They sell cheese curds and ice cream too!! It is now our go-to milk and we’re never turning back.
Every week, the produce varies, different vegetables are “in season”, always new things to look at, how can I ever get sick of it?
We’ve decided that every Saturday is our grocery day- go to the Rochester downtown farmers market and shop for our whole week worth of greens and fruit!
Rochester Farmers Markets
May-October: EVERY SATURDAY at Olmsted County Fairgrounds
From the first Saturday in May through the last Saturday in October.
7:30 am – Noon.
Every Other Saturday, 9 AM – 12 Noon
Olmsted County Fairgrounds (Graham Park)
Buildings 31 & 35 Rochester, Minnesota
Visit the Rochester Farmers Markets website to learn more about them:
or follow them on Facebook!!
Dishes inspired by ingredients from the Rochester Farmers Markets:
Bacon Wrapped Green Beans
Eggplant Stir-fry with Thai Basil
SAN-BEI CHICKEN 三杯雞
TOMATO SCRAMBLED EGGS, TAIWANESE STYLE 台式番茄炒蛋
TAIWANESE SOY AND VINEGAR PICKLED CUCUMBER|臺式醬瓜
CUCUMBER SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING 麻醬涼拌小黃瓜
TAIWANESE PICKLE MEATLOAF | 瓜子肉
ASIAN-SPICED ROASTED RAINBOW CARROTS BY ASIAN CAUCASIAN
PUMPKIN STIR-FRY WITH SALTED EGG |鹹蛋炒南瓜
EASY AUTHENTIC SALSA VERDE | 墨西哥綠莎莎醬
SIMPLE KOHLRABI TOSSED SALAD | 涼拌大頭菜
SOFT BRAISED EGGS | 超簡單溏心蛋
TAIWANESE BRAISED TOMATO BEEF NOODLE SOUP | 番茄紅燒牛肉麵
VEGETARIAN RADISH CAKE FROM SCRATCH | 自製米漿素食蘿蔔糕