You can’t help but feel happy when you’re at the Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market. Musicians play upbeat tunes in the background, families and friends browse leisurely together, and vendors proudly chat about their wares. On a recent gorgeous sunny morning, I visited this Richmond market and, with great difficulty (there are so many amazing products!), picked my ultimate list of top 10 foodie finds.
1. Beets, kohlrabi, cucumbers, and more!
You can’t leave the market without stocking up on fresh, locally grown veggies and fruit from vendors such as Valley Fresh Farms, Maan Farms, and Nature Village Farm. Another vendor, The Sharing Farm (at Terra Nova Rural Park) sells a variety of vegetables (beets for $3, kohlrabi and cucumbers for $2), with the profit going towards its many charitable projects, including growing produce for Richmond families in need.
2. The Kansas City BBQ Rub
With barbecue season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to stock up on barbecue rubs at The Salt Dispensary. The Kansas City ($8) is a spicy and aromatic blend that includes smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, brown sugar and thyme. They also carry many other different spice mixtures (West Indies rub, Habanero mango chicken rub), and specialty salts (eg. Canadian maple and lavender).
3. Homemade Salsa and Tortilla Chips
Entertaining is made easier with locally made Mexican products, like mole and chipotle mayo, from Muy Rico. Especially popular is their zippy fresh salsa ($5) made of diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime. Warning: The homemade tortilla chips that come with it are incredibly addictive.
4. Blackberry Honey
Add some sweetness to your life (and tea) with honey from Goldstrike Honeybee Company. Its blackberry version ($10) is produced in Delta and has a lovely, distinctive fruity flavour.
5. Fruit Empadas
Treat yourself to a fruit tart from Brazilian Pastries ($3 for one, $10 for 5). Flaky pastry is filled with fragrant fillings, like mango and black pepper, blueberry and coconut, pineapple, and apple cinnamon. Larger pies are also available ($15).
6. Cabernet Merlot Balsamic Reduction
You’ll love the intense flavours of Nonna Pia’s balsamic reductions, which feature six-year aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, that has been slow-cooked for 12 hours until syrupy. This reduction, infused with fruity Okanagan cabernet merlot ($10), would be perfect drizzled on a steak or on your favourite cheese.
7. Salted Caramel Chocolate
Meena Patel trained in chocolate making at the Callebault Academy and the Ecole Chocolat before launching Vacocoa. The decadent ganache fillings (clockwise from top left: cardamom, lavender, Earl Grey, salted caramel) are enrobed in dark chocolate ($8.50 for four). The result is work of art.
8. Italian Espresso
Take home locally roasted coffee from Steveston Coffee Co., which prides itself on its organic and fair trade sourcing. Selections include Brazilian medium roast, decaf Sumatra, and Italian Espresso ($15).
9. Lime Curd
Jars of jam, marmalade, and curd ($13) made by Janet Patricia of Preserved would make wonderful gifts (but keep at least one for yourself!). Jams like Blenheim apricot and Bing cherry beautifully showcase seasonal, local fruit. The lime curd is creamy, with just the right amount of tartness.
10. Grilled Bratwurst
In-between shopping, stop by D Original Sausage Haus, and chow down on delicious grilled sausage made by fifth-generation German sausage maker, Drews Driessen. Juicy grilled bratwurst is served on a Kaiser roll and topped with sauerkraut ($6.50). Its nearby Steveston store (130-12000 1st Ave.) is a great destination for fresh sausages and charcuterie, when you are reluctantly ready to say goodbye to the market.
The Steveston Farmers & Artisans Market (at Moncton Street and Third Avenue) runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 2, 16, and 30; Sept. 6 and 20; and Oct. 11 and 25. Visit sfam.ca for more details.