Saturday, June 2, 2018

Enhancing Aura of the Market

The ambience at the Farmers Market is hard to beat with farm fresh produce, meats, cheese and eggs-locally grown, sold and distributed by the farm families.  The farmers are are happy to talk to customers, answer questions and share experiences.  Customers from the community value that experience.

RDNs at farmers markets can enhance that experience through farm fresh sampling and recipe sharing.  Our sponsor, the Working H Farm Meat and Poultry, is happy to support the other farmers by adding produce and cheese to our product sampling.  Today's sampling featured the grass fed pork in Sweet Italian Sausage, which was grilled with local cheese and produce from the other market vendors.  The aroma of the hors d'oeuvre sample permeated the market and the taste left one wanting more.  The Working H family sold out of the 30# of sweet Italian sausage (twice the amount normally sold) brought to the market, yet they had many other delicious grass fed and cage free products to sell.

We served 240 customers samples in 3 hours at the market.  To each customer, I suggested using a similar combination of ingredients on pizza toppings, with vegetables of choice in a lasagna or on a calzone.

I used 4 pound of the Italian Sausage Links for the sampling.  I baked the links the day before at 325 F. for 35 minutes, immediately removed the skin and chilled.  We then cut each 4 ounce link in 16 slices and refrigerated in 1/2 pound zipper bags.  (That allows us to chill the bags at the market and keeping those not being grilled at safe temperatures.  We pulled 1 bag every 30 minutes.)  We used 4 pounds of cheese, sliced and chilled in 1 pound zipper bags.  I roasted the asparagus for 10 minutes at 450F the day before and sliced in 3/4 inch slices.  2 bunches of asparagus were donated.  We snipped fresh chives on the grilled sample on the market.  Every stage of the preparation smelled terrific! 

All customers enjoyed the sample.  We heard many "that is so good!" comments and received several referrals.

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