‘Tis the season for all things fresh in New Jersey. There’s no better place to find the best local goodies than at the Red Bank Farmers Market. A trip to a farmer’s market on a sunny morning is an activity that is perfect for any age. The liveliness of the atmosphere and abundance of fresh products create an experience that is more than simply shopping: it is an experience of celebration and joy within the community and nature to which we belong.
The Red Bank Farmers Market is home to over 30 vendors who offer a variety of fresh, locally-grown produce and specialty foods. The farmers market also showcases local artisans and crafters as well as is home to The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and organic food truck which specializes in breakfast and lunch entrees, specialty pastries and desserts, and beverages including freshly squeezed lemonade and fair trade coffee.
The market features both conventional and organic farmers from in and around the Monmouth County area. You can expect that, at most stands, the offerings are picked fresh from the crops that very morning. In addition to Jersey’s freshest bounty, you’ll find a variety of potted plants, potted and fresh-cut flowers, and potted herbs.
On the morning I visited the farmers market, there was an abundance of bright red radishes, deep green asparagus, and several types of colorful lettuces. All of which were perfect for that evening’s salad. I didn’t have to look far to find the perfect pairing to my salad. An Italian specialties vendor just a few stands away had a display of offerings that was difficult to resist. With fresh pasta including fettucini, linguini, and ravioli, fresh mozzarella, freshly baked loaves of semolina bread (hot and moist), and homemade tomato sauces, it was difficult to make a decision.
If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, there are vendors who offer fresh eggs. Can you imagine a delicious omelette made with eggs and vegetables that were picked a few hours ago? Serve the omelette with freshly baked sweet breads such as banana and zucchini which are readily available at the farmers market, and you have the makings of a wonderful breakfast.
When all the browsing has you hankering for a meal filled with fresh and local ingredients, head to The Cinnamon Snail. You can find everything from vegan breakfast burritos, pancakes and waffles to tofu subs, vegan sandwiches and salads. The Cinnamon Snail almost always uses Certified Organic ingredients. A few exceptions are made when local minimally packaged products have a lesser impact than their Organic counterparts. Grab a few cider donuts, a raspberry cheese danish, and some pink lemonade and enjoy them as you peruse the market.
The Red Bank Farmers Market operates each Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm beginning Mother’s Day and continuing through mid-November. It is located in the heart of the Antique District in the parking lot of The Galleria at the corner of Bridge Avenue and West Front Street.
Sheila Hill was born and raised outside Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her love for all things chocolate began at an early age and continues to this day. While Sheila eventually left central Pennsylvania to attend college in suburban Philadelphia, her roots to PA Dutch food and chocolate run deep. After college, Sheila traveled extensively throughout Europe and the US as a software consultant. Her many travels afforded her opportunities to indulge in local cuisines and cultures. Eventually settling in the Garden State, Sheila took one bite of a Jersey tomato, and she was hooked. Now as the mother of two, Sheila enjoys sampling all of the Garden State’s delectable delights including everything from restaurants to locally grown fruits and veggies to locally produced wines. On rare occasion (after jumping through hoops of fire and bending over backwards), Sheila and her husband hit a favorite, romantic restaurant for a quiet dinner or a local hot-spot for a much-needed night out. Follow Sheila’s adventures in motherhood at her personal blogwww.piecesofamom.com and on Twitter @PiecesofaMom.