If you're a chef, you're always looking for the latest and greatest ingredients for your meals. The farmers market is the perfect place to shop because there is so much variety. To ensure you walk away from these transactions completely satisfied, keep these tips in mind.
Although you can certainly have a list with you when shopping for ingredients at a farmers market, this approach limits your search. You'll then feel compelled to stick to this list at all costs, which can hinder your meals to a certain point.
It's much better to come in with an open mind. Only then can you discover ingredients and food groups you may not have known about. Sure, some of the new food items you pick out may not end up on your menu. You still need to experiment and not be afraid of change. That's how you can create a diverse menu that people actually enjoy.
Farmers markets are not just great because of the variety of food items they provide. They also let you interact with real people who have a passion for food just like yourself. After shopping at these markets for some time, you'll be able to develop meaningful connections.
These connections can help in many ways. For example, some vendors may actually give you discounts for being loyal. The money you save can then be put back into your chef career in important ways. These connections can also help you understand more about different food groups and food pairings. Then, you may come across a great-tasting combination you never thought was possible.
Use Your Eyes
It sounds so simple, but your eyes are so important to use when shopping at a farmers market. They help you discern the quality of food items and ingredients being sold. Whether you're buying fruit, vegetables, or spices, you need to carefully examine before purchasing.
Look at all sides of the item and make sure it's fresh. It sometimes helps to even hold the food item in your hands and then turn it at different angles. If the food item passes the eye test at the farmers market, you can be confident that it will taste just as good as it looks.
Farmers markets are incredible resources for chefs looking to put together a diverse menu. If you shop at one, make sure you know what buying protocol to follow. Then, you can walk away with the perfect items without any issues. Visit sites like eatloco.org to learn more about farmers markets near you.