The state's largest food event is about to invade Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park. The Downtown Farmers Market starts Saturday, and continues weekly through the growing season. It is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. one hour longer than usual.
With more than 250 vendors, shoppers will find many of their favorite farmers, artisans and bakers from previous years. But here are some of the fresh faces you'll see:
The Bagel Project
From the day Robb Abrams woke up in Utah after moving from New Jersey he has been searching for real New York-style bagels, ones that are boiled and baked on special boards. When he couldn't find them, he decided to make them, even without the Empire State's water, which is thought to be key to the process. Abrams lets the dough ferment for eight hours and that long process creates the sweetness (there are no sugars or preservatives). Then he hand shapes, boils and bakes them. The bagels are "slightly moist, slightly dense and chewy," he said, with air pockets inside, similar to an English muffin. Customers can get plain, poppyseed, sesame seed, salt and everything bagels for $2 each. Abrams also will sell caramelized onion filled bialys essentially a bagel with a pocket for the same price.
This roaster's business is making environmentally conscious cups of coffee owners say they use single-origin beans sourced from sustainable farms and roasted in small batches. Founder Levi Rogers said he'll serve hot and cold pour-over style coffee, as well as cold-brewed, or toddy, coffee that will be made ahead, for $3 to $4. The beverages will be served in mason jars for a small deposit. Bags of whole beans also will be available for $12 to $16.
Dottie's Biscuit Barn
What the farmers market needs is a barn, says Andrew Walter. He's created one on wheels, from which he'll be serving just-baked biscuits with whipped butter and jam or gravy (meat or vegetarian) for $7. There also will be fresh pie slices and local eggs. The "barn" sits on top of a trailer bed. It is made from reclaimed wood with an old metal roof from a Kamas dairy barn. Walter is not from the south, but his mother for whom the truck is named is. "I've had a creative spark to build a food truck or cart that matches the aesthetic of the food that you're serving," he said. "This barn will look like it came off of a farmer's property."
Chefs Benedict Jones and Michael Rosa hope to lure shoppers to their booth with their fresh-made mozzarella, marinated vegetables and balls of frozen pizza dough foods that can be easily paired with market produce for an easy home-cooked meal. Then there's the slightly more intimidating food that the chefs will be selling: pre-packaged meals of wild game, including duck demi-glace, along with boar, quail, pheasant and bison. These fancy MREs will be sealed in airtight plastic bags and cooked in a water bath a process called sous-vide. "It's almost a gourmet, TV-dinner without the foil," said Jones.
Freshies Lobster Co.
Ben Smaha may live in Park City, but he didn't leave his Maine roots far behind. The recreational fisherman has been selling lobster rolls at the Park Silly Market for seven years and is now bringing the sandwich a quarter pound of fresh lobster stuffed in a New England-style hot dog bun drizzled in butter and seasonings to Salt Lake City. Along with the rolls, which will cost about $18, he and his wife, Lorin, will be selling a Maineiac roll the lobster roll with cheese curds from Gold Creek Farms. "It's something totally different," he said. "I haven't found this style of lobster roll anywhere in the West Coast."
The name for the locally brewed fermented tea means "mothers bicycle" in Japanese. It makes sense once you know that the woman behind the nonalcoholic brew is a bike mechanic. Christy Jensen started her business in January after her home experiments grew devoted fans. Now the five varieties lemon ginger, mixed berry, lavender oolong, rooibos and pineapple coconut which are made in a commercial kitchen are available at a handful of local stores and restaurants. Jensen will be selling bottles and glasses of the high-in-antioxidant "booch" for $3, as well as growler pours from a keg tap for $15.
Diann and Lynn Reese have always loved to make jam and give it away. But they made so much especially after moving to land in South Jordan where raspberries, strawberries, apricots and rhubarb grow abundantly their children suggested they start selling it. The couple turned their basement into a commercial kitchen and started specializing in a sweet and spicy line of jams, which they've sold at local grocery stores as well as other farmers markets in Salt Lake County. They also sell syrups including raspberry rhubarb and banana strawberry. ($6.50 for a 12-ounce bottle). Their best-selling jam is the Amigo, a hotter spread made with jalapeños and raspberries ($3.75 for a 4 oz. jar). New this year is Mango M'tango, which is made with ghost peppers, one of the hottest chili peppers. "That seems to be what the customer wants a very, very hot, spicy product," said Diann Reese. Her jams are made with orange-peel pectin and sugar, along with mostly local fruit, and no artificial ingredients.
The Rickenbach family, who live by the tiny town of Koosharem, in Piute County, recently raised rainbow trout and planted them in other people's ponds. They're now in the gourmet fish business, and they credit their natural flowing, artisan springs for their success. "Our fish, they live in Evian water their entire life," said Lloyd Rickenbach, company spokesman. "It doesn't touch dirt or any contaminant." For the past couple of years, the company has been selling Steelhead trout mainly to Park City restaurants. The eggs are shipped from the Pacific Northwest to the hatchery. After the fish have grown to three pounds, which takes about two years, they are harvested. Price for the gutted whole fish and boneless fillets have not yet been determined.
Kjelland Elise Pederson moved to Salt Lake City from South Carolina two years ago and fell in love with the Downtown Farmers Market. The duo, who have both worked in the restaurant industry, decided they didn't want to just visit the market, they wanted to be part of it. They will be selling fresh pasta in creative flavors like rosemary and cracked pepper, roasted pine nut and basil, cilantro-lime and roasted garlic and lemon. The Pedersons say their pasta is something to savor it's flavorful enough as a side dish topped with just olive oil and cheese. No need to dump marinara sauce on it. The noodles spaghetti, fettuccine, pappardelle and lasagna sheets, including gluten-free options will be made using some local ingredients, including the flours and eggs. Price for the 10-ounce packages has not yet been determined.
Sugar House Libations
Working at High West Distillery, Bobby Taylor owned a decent collection of spirits and he didn't want to muck them up with cheap mixers. Thus was born a line of non-alcoholic syrups pear ginger, plum lavender and raspberry mint that can be paired with alcohol, or not. They can be used to make vinaigrettes or mixed with lemonade. "It's very simple, but it's fresh and good and it's not fake ingredients, where you can leave the bottle sitting out for four months and nothing spoils," said Taylor, who has three friends helping in the venture. A 750 ml bottle will sell for $18.
Sydney and Cole's
Jim Larson likes to joke that he's not raising vegetables on his three-acre plot he's raising kids. His two children, Sydney, 14, and Cole, 12, have been in charge of the farm for about four years and have previously sold their produce at the Kaysville market. They plant, irrigate, weed, harvest and prepare the vegetables which include greens, squashes, melons, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers and tomatoes using organic principles. Larson said he's there to help, but "they understand if they don't do it, it dies." Cole enjoys harvesting "It's fun to pick stuff" but not the weeding. But he doesn't abandon the farm for his friends, as he'd like. "It pays off in the end. It teaches us how to work, and responsibility." The worst part for Sydney is waking up at 5:30 a.m. on market day. But it's helping pad her college fund the two of them split $1,200 last year. "I like to go to the markets and sell the produce," she said. "The people are nice and there's good food."
Wilson's Wicked Mustard
Christmas time meant mustard for Shawn Wilson's friends. That's when Wilson would pull out his family recipe for the sweet and spicy sauce. His friends eventually pushed the New York native to sell it. Last year it was available at markets in the Park City area. The label lets tasters know it has a kick and that it's "wicked good," Wilson said. In addition to the original, he makes a balsamic and herb sauce, roasted chili mustard made with honey, red pepper, habañero and jalapeño, and a spicy brown made with whole-grain mustard. "We put a couple of jars out at all of our barbecues with some nice cheese and crackers to dip it in," he said. The 9-ounce jars sell for $6.
Other market info
A helping hand • The market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payments, which can be used to buy produce, meat, and packaged foods but not prepared hot foods. The wooden tokens will be available at a booth near the corner of 300 South and 400 West.
Bring your own • The market is urging shoppers to bring their own plastic bags, along with their own plates, mugs, cloth napkins and reusable utensils. The market has barred the use of Styrofoam by vendors.
At your service • The veggie valet will allow shoppers to store their purchases at the north end of the park and pick them up from a loading zone on 300 South.