So I'm calling this carrot and green pepper soup, but it's more like a carrot…
Fortunes at Foggy Bottom Farmer’s Market
My favorite thing about living in a city is the variety of farmer’s markets that pop up across town. Luckily, there’s one in Foggy Bottom every Wednesday from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm, right next to the metro. I’ve been traveling a lot this summer, so I haven’t made it to as many as I usually do. A few weeks ago, I had chicken at home and just needed some inspiration on what to do with it. To remedy this, I finally made it to the Foggy Bottom Farmer’s Market! It was so refreshing to be out in the sun, meandering from station to station and tasting the fresh flavors. I picked up gorgeous tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes, jalapenos, green peppers, and some plump eggplant.
While I usually keep these trips focused on getting fresh fruits and vegetables, this last time I couldn’t resist the other stations. After getting my veggies, I stopped at a delicious looking tent called Baklava Couture which had a variety of sweet and savory pastries. I went with the spanakopita (spinach, leek, spring onion, dill, and feta) and the tiropita (ricotta, feta and grated cheeses, and dill). Even though I think these were priced a bit too high at $6 each, they were worth it! I meant to serve them as an appetizer while I cooked dinner that night but forgot to, so we had them the next morning. They reheat very well in the microwave and the dough is so beautifully thick; you can tell it’s a quality, handmade product.
My favorite find of the day was Z&Z, a Middle Eastern spice and dip company. There were two young guys working the main display and handling purchases, while an older man was in the back cooking their samples. I loved talking with these guys because they were passionate about their product and their energy was infectious. Z&Z is a family company which also frequents markets in New York. I told them about my aunt’s company, Rust Belt Pepper Company, which is a Macedonian, family owned red pepper relish business. They wrote down the name and said they would check them out, which I really appreciated! They laughed after I let them know that I was at the farmer’s market to buy ingredients to improvise dinner and readily gave me tips on how to use the za’atar I purchased.
My to-do list now has Chris’ Marketplace on it, another vendor at Foggy Bottom’s farmer’s market. I’ll definitely be purchasing their gazpacho, for two reasons. First, it was insanely flavorful and second, their staff is so kind. I didn’t have any cash on me, but luckily most vendors had electronic payment methods. Unfortunately, Chris’ Marketplace did not; after tasting the seafood refresco and the gazpacho, I decided to purchase the gazpacho but the woman working let me know they only accepted cash.
Disappointed, I was about to leave with a promise to come back soon. She said, “you know what? go ahead and take one.” My jaw dropped, “are you sure??” She insisted I take it and I was so grateful for the random generosity. It’s moments like this that reinforce my belief in making deliberate efforts to support local businesses. When I go back, I plan on buying two containers of soup.
Next stop, cheeeeese! The guy working the Shepherd’s Whey Creamery was super nice and ready to help answer any questions customers had. After sampling some flavors, I decided to go with the Lilly’s Chevre, made with basil. It’s a spreadable goat cheese that’s cooked fresh weekly with a variety of herbs and spices. Their website states:
“We named this cheese after one of our foundation does, Lilly, to honor her steady service to our dairy. Varieties change weekly, but will include basil, black pepper, caraway, seasoned salt, pineapple and natural”
I love this cheese! It’s great to crumble on top of salads or pasta, or spread a creamy layer on bruschetta. I’m looking forward to trying their Classic Camembert, which tasted very similar to brie. After having brie appetizers during my travels, I’ve been dying to make my own at home. When I do, I’ll be trying it with this Camembert. By the way, if you’re not sure of the difference between brie and Camembert, here’s a quick and easy post.
Stay tuned for my post, Breaded Eggplant and Za’atar Roasted Chicken to see what I did with these treasures!