Blessed are we in Newburgh—at the epicenter of at a 30 mile (and often much less) circumference of farmers markets, with seasonal and organic produce not found elsewhere. The bonuses are many: being outdoors, meeting the farmers, finding out exactly how the food was grown and a chance to get a literal taste of a neighboring community. Starting with Beacon, we’ll file weekly market reports throughout the summer. Let the excursions begin!
BEACON FARMERS MARKET
Every Sunday now, 11-3,on Red Flynn Rd. down by the train station, and right on the River. Immediate impression: definitely an upgrade from previous years, more vendors and more interesting products. Dog-friendly and of course, kid and baby friendly. (But, if you’re attached to either of the latter, be prepared for much admiration and age, name and other questions). Lots of parking available. Extra points: the great kid’s playground and shaded River park, and community River Pool is right down the road, at the other end of the train station. For updates: www.thebeaconfarmersmarket.com
More vendors will be appearing throughout the summer, and at the June 1st Sunday market there were more under-canopy vendors there than are listed here—including a bottled soda stand, a local beer purveyor, a Middle Eastern pastry and skewered meat vendor, a French pastry person, a honey and maple syrup stand—but the following stands, local to their core, called out to me with strongest siren song.
FLOUR CITY PASTA
Mangia! Organic hand-made dried pasta, beautiful beige ribbons, most subtly flavored with vegetables, herbs and spices. On Sunday, Lisa Lionette represented the stand of superb pastas, made in small batches in Pittsford, NY. For pre-market shopping and recipes, see their website: flourcitypasta.com
EDGWICK FARM CHEESES
On nine acres in Cornwall, NY, Edgwick Farm produces an ever-growing number of goat cheeses –possibly due in some part of their frisky, happy, personable goats (check their website for farm tours) who seem to know that their milk will be turned by very skilled cheese makers into superb ricotta, feta, flavored, herb-marinated..and more. Rich, rounded cheeses, beautifully aged. Sought after by local restaurants for all the reasons you can taste at the Market. www.edgwickfarm.com
ALL YOU KNEAD BREAD
If you’re a bread person (i.e., would go to the ends of the world for the real thing), you may have already discovered All You Knead breads, sold at Adams in Newburgh and at their own bakery and shop in Beacon. Extraordinary, slow-risen, additive-free breads, with crust, chew and texture, in a myriad of different flours, shapes, forms and some with fillings –gorgonzola walnut, jalapeno cheddar, cranberry/walnut/raisin/currant, olive, nut, jalapeno cheddar. At the June 1st Sunday market they had a full selection including Pullman loaves, baguettes, ciabatta—from wheat grown in Millbrook, NY– as well as pastries, turnovers, cinnamon buns, bagels, bialys, croissants, rolls. You can’t eat fast enough to keep up with these people. All You Knead is a Hudson Valley treasure. – 308 Main St., Beacon, 845-440-8530.
Representing the Obercreek Farm CSA, a small farm in partnership with Common Ground Farm, was Rebecca Hener and her pouch buddy, the irresistible six-month old Raleigh Hener. Equally seductive were the baby Asian greens, an incredibly tender mélange of baby greens that, right out of the bag, were the perfect energizing snack on a way-too-hot day. Once home, the rest of the bag was drizzled with the oil from Edgwick Farm’s marinated goat cheese. Rebecca says her favorite way of eating these tiny, sweet greens is for breakfast, on top of a piece of toast (see All You Knead). Later there will be tomatoes from this farm—highly anticipated if the Asian greens are any indication of Obercreek’s standards. www.Obercreek.com
A coffee roaster in Beacon, Tas Kafe is quickly becoming the coffee of choice in The Valley’s high-quality restaurants and shops. Having weaned myself off an 8-10 cup a day habit eight years ago, I avoided this stand until, drugged with heat, I succumbed to a black, no sugar, no milk iced coffee—a revelation. Dark, smooth, rich, no over roasted/burned/Starbucks taste. At the Tas Kafé stand and at the shop (the name means “cup of coffee” in Haitian Creole), the fair trade, organic coffee menu includes beans from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Ethiopia all roasted on the premises. Meet Tas Kafé here on Sunday or at the shop, 504 Main St., 845-522-1510 www.taskafe.com
A thousand acre farm in Tivoli, NY, and one of the first stands at the Union Square Greenmarket in NYC, Migliorelli is the go to greens and everything else farm. I got two pounds of slender, tender rhubarb—a score, it turns out, as rhubarb season is almost over, as is asparagus, those first two harbingers of spring. And a big bag of mixed lettuces—a huge amount of truly toothsome leaf lettuce. This space is not large enough to enumerate the selection on Sunday—just some of the 130 varieties of fruits and vegetables grown on the Farm—including broccoli raab, which the Migliorelli family is credited with popularizing in this country. According to David at the stand: Whole Foods recently tried to strike a deal with Migliorelli, a contractual agreement for all of their produce. But then where would that leave all of us little people, and restaurants and farmers markets? Migliorelli, bless them, rejected Whole Foods in favor of, well….us. www.migliorelli.com
Everything pickled—really. Cucumbers (half sour, Kosher sour, new, sweet..), vegetables, mushrooms, olives. Tapenade, hummus and artichokes too, and, of course, the very popular pickle pops. Tasting encouraged! It’s great to pucker up without having to drive to the Teaneck, NJ store. www.picklelicious.com
NEW CONFECTIONER FROZEN DESSERTS
Burdened with bags, and with no extra hands or mouths in tow, I was unable to sample any of the treats and sweets at this vegan frozen treat stand—created, I suspect, for the increasing number of Hudson Valley vegans–some number of which are my immediate friends and vibrant specimens of human beings they are. But, definitely: a return visit next Sunday! The ice creams and sorbets are made from coconut milk and organic soy milk and sweetened with agave in a myriad of organic ingredients and flavors-both standard and offbeat; The sorbets are made from fresh fruit and berries. www.newconfectioner.com
COMMON GROUND FARM
Even in the wilting heat, Common Ground had an array of luscious greens which made choosing among the lettuces almost too difficult. . My final choice, something I did not know: Panisse lettuce, heads of light green ruffled leaves that could be an organic bridal bouquet. Sweet and delicate, the leaves were munching material all the way home, when they met up with some tomatoes, organic coconut vinegar and unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. All the lettuces and more will keep on coming through the summer, along with potted herbs, and a variety of greens. Located in Cold Spring, NY, Common Ground is a NOFA pledged farm (no sprays or pesticides are used), with some very innovative growing techniques. www.commongroundfarm.org
BLACK FOREST FLAMMKUCKEN CO TRUCK
Say Flamm or Tarte Flambé—or pizza which a flammkuchen somewhat resembles but not really. A traditional specialty of Alsace and Germany’s Black Forest region, Flammkuchen is an oval of flour/ water/ salt/yeast/ olive oil dough which is topped with sour cream, smoked bacon, pork, Gruyere, mozzarella, mushrooms, pickled ramps—not all at the same time!—and then slid into an extremely hot wood-fired oven to emerge as a cracker crisp crust, smokey ingredient topped Flammkuchen. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the flamms are too delectably elegant to be put into any known category. These flamms, created by Andrew Chase and Conny Chase of Pleasant Valley, NY are the result of several years of research travel, sourcing ingredients and testing doughs and topping combinations and are now sold out of their notably handsome truck which houses the essential wood-burning oven. Intoxicating woodsy smells created a line at The Market (see the full menu at blackforestflammkuchen.com ) and word passed quickly to Newburgh: Beginning this past Wed, the Flamm truck will now be parked outside the Newburgh Brewery every Wed. (Trivia Night) from 4-10. And, beginning soon, every Thursday from 6 to 8 The Flamm Truck will be parked outside the Huguenot Farms CSA pick-up at Safe Harbors, 117 Broadway. Flamm Fans: a cult in the making.