Farmers Market Inspirations
Yesterday was the last day of the 2009 Camas Farmer's Market. It has been a great year, tasting delicious food, listening to good music, visiting with friends and talking to vendors on Wednesday afternoons. I have been inspired this season by tips and techniques I picked up at the cooking demonstrations and by the enthusiasm of vendors and shoppers over some great discoveries.
One discovery was this beautiful flatbread creation from Truly Scrumptious, a boutique bakery based in Camas. As you can see, this flatbread is topped with an appealing combination of caramelized red onion, gorgonzola cheese, sliced figs, rosemary and crushed red pepper. I have tasted similar combinations before without being all that impressed but this flatbread was extraordinary.
Maybe it is the change of seasons that make these earthy flavors so appealing to me this week. Or maybe it is the balance of quantities and seasoning as the savory flecks of rosemary and red pepper, along with the caramelized onion, ground the tension between the sweet figs and the tangy cheese. Whatever it is, I found this lovely combination of flavor and texture inspiring. If you can find fresh figs this is definitely worth trying at home.
Another great find at the market were these wild huckleberries gathered on Mt. St. Helen's. I had never even eaten a huckleberry before. Tasting one yesterday was a thrill and a revelation. When I got home and looked them up I discovered that the huckleberry is a relative of the blueberry. It grows only in the wild and at high elevation. I learned that it is a favorite fall treat of hikers and grizzly bears and is another unique culinary asset of the Pacific Northwest. Now that I have a small stash of my own I look forward to finding a great way to use them in the coming week.
It's been a fantastic season at the Camas Farmer's Market. I'm already looking forward to what it will bring next year!