Archive for August, 2012

OR Show – the culinary odyssey

Written by leehart on August 9th, 2012. Posted in Travel

One of the best things about driving to and from Outdoor Retailer’s Summer Market is the food.

The following mouth-watering itinerary could even inspire you to take the trip just to get the goods.

salt lake city downtown farmer's market

So many temptations at Salt Lake City's Downtown Farmer's Markets

Salt Lake City. Every Saturday in the summer SLC’s Pioneer Park hosts one of the best Farmer’s Markets I’ve ever been to. I was hoping to score some cherries but this year’s weird winter and spring meant cherries came and went early. I scored some fresh figs instead reminding me of last summer’s Mediterreanean sojourn and making me miss the idyllic week I spent off the coast of Croatia on a magical island. Besides fresh produce, the market has delicious prepared foods and ethnic specialties (like a delicious tamales for just $2), breads and other yummy edibles, lots of fresh organic honey, and heaps of arts and crafts. I’ve been known to come to extend my stay in SLC just so I can shop this amazing farmer’s market.

vetere melons

Vetere's sets the gold standard for melons

Green River, UT. Home to the John Wesley Powell River History Museum, it’s a tough call to decide if Green River is better known for the soldier/geologist/explorer of the American West or for its melons. I’m a regular at Vetere’s as are legions of other loyal fans, some of whom have been customers for decades since the Vetere family opened its first roadside stand in 1958 . Sure they have delicious candy-sweet watermelon and cantaloup but do yourself a favor and expand your culinary horizons to some of the other varieties like Crenshaw, Winter Queen and Striped Clondike. Some folks call Green River the melon capital of the World. They may not win on quantity but in terms of flavor, they’ve got to be a the undisputed heavyweight champeen.

palisade peaches

Fuzzy orbs of deliciousness

Grand Junction/Palisade, CO. Peaches. Sweet juicy peaches. So outstanding are these beauties from Colorad’s Western Slope that Palisade hosts a Peach Festival each August, a veritable peach-a-palooza, with kids events, runs, a pedal-paddle-pedal race and of course peaches galore from pies to ice creams, preserves to salsas, booze and just plain peaches. This year’s event is Aug. 16 – 19. If you go, be sure to ask around for the local vinegar and olive oil maker; the fig balsamic vinegar is sinfully good. I have bought and steamed fresh greens just so I could have an excuse to pour this nectar of the gods on them. This part of Colorado is the produce and wine capital of the state and fall harvest time can turn unsuspecting tourists into farm-to-table foodies.

olathe sweet corn

Mmm, mmm good Olathe sweet corn

Olathe, CO. Growing up in the midwest, when my family first moved to Colorado we were stunned by the bland produce. The red round things looked and felt like tomatoes but tasted like . . . water?  And we were certain even pigs on the farm would’ve turned their snouts up at what stores passed off as corn on the cob. But Olathe is different. Olathe sweet corn is the closest thing to truly sweet corn that can hold a candle to the cobs of my youth.  It’s by far the best corn in Colorado. Even though I’m a household of one, I buy a dozen so I can share my bounty with friends back in Salida.