Exploring St. Albert’s Farmers’ Market

Thanks to a recommendation by Valerie, A Canadian Foodie, I went on an exploration of the St. Albert Farmers’ Market this past Saturday. Like most people, I look forward to Saturdays but I doubt most people love Saturdays for the same reason – FOOD SHOPPING DAY. I love perusing different places and vendors and looking for what’s fresh and seasonal.

Kuhlmann's Dill

My usual Saturday itinerary includes a rotation of places such as: City Farmers’ Market, Queen of Tarts, Italian Centre, Costco, Planet Organic, and T&T. But we ALWAYS stop at Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market to see my regular vendors: chicken & eggs from Sunworks Farm, tomatoes from Gull Valley Farm, basil from Morinville Greenhouses, and berkshire pork from Irvings Farm. Because of that, I’m always scared to try another market on Saturday and forego the visit to Strathcona Farmers’ Market for fear of not finding comparable product.

             Rain = quiet market day

But the mention of St. Albert’s Farmer’s Market being Western Canada’s largest outdoor market got to me and off I went… in the rain. The rain turned out to be a blessing – I was one of few people not afraid to venture out in the rain (a benefit of being a Vancouver transplant to Alberta). The market wasn’t busy and even at 1pm I was able to have my pick of the goods (so blessing for me, not so much the vendors).

 

 

 

SHOPPING HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE DAY:

 

           Fancy Schmancy – Mini Brownies
  • The bite-sized brownies from Fancy Schmancy were so gorgeous I had to stop! At 60-90 calories each, they were perfect for my calorie-counting diet and were $3 for 4 brownies (or 8 for $5), I bought the classic, chocolate peanut-butter, chocolate skor, and snickerdoodle.
                                                          Fancy Schmancy
 
 

              Kuhlmann’s Sugar Snap Peas
  • Pasta by Caterina – fresh pasta made with durum semolina flour, eggs, and chickpea puree. I think the chickpea may help lower the glycemic index of the pasta but will have to test that theory out on my diabetic bf.

     
 

Kuhlmann’s sugar snap peas for the picking
  • Kuhlmann’s stand had such nice-looking, fresh produce – I bought some dill & scooped up some of the sugar snap peas from the pea-mountain. The dill went great with our seafood pasta but found the snap-peas to be tough & chewy when left unshelled – even with the removal of the fibres from both sides. 
     

    Belle’s Biscuits – Pupcakes
 
  • Even my dog got a treat – Pupcakes from Belle’s Bisuits. Super cute and I believe approx $5 for 8.
  • The people at Sgambaro’s were very friendly and seemed to be really passionate about their salmon. They urged me to try every sample they had. I ended up getting their Three Mustard Dill sauce and can’t wait to try this on smoked salmon with crackers.
                                           Molly’s  – Empanada & Bulgogi Tortilla

Molly's Flaky Empanadas

Buying all that food made me really hungry. I like how all the food trucks/stands are in one area of the market. It made comparing menus much easier. With its variety, the menu at Molly’s International Food Truck was calling to me  I ended up ordering a Bulgogi Tortilla ($3.75) and a Beef Empanada ($3). 

Molly's Bulgogi Tortilla

The empanada was exactly what I needed on such a grey day – warm, flaky, flavourful, spicy. The crust was so flaky, I wish I had ordered 2 more. Perhaps I have been watching too much Eat St. on Food Network but I had high hopes for the bulgogi tortilla and found it a bit bland – I was hoping for something with a combination of differing flavours.

  

 THE VERDICT:

I was happy to see my regular vendors (Sunworks, Gull Valley, & Irvings) at the market. Although the selection at Sunworks and Irvings is much better at their Strathcona locations. Chatting with the lady at Irvings, it isn’t a surprise because the indoor space means they have better facilities and coolers to store the variety of meats. 

Seeing that St Albert’s Farmers’ Market is quite a bit further from our place and so many of the vendors are also at City Market, Strathcona, or other markets, I’ll probably stick to my Saturday routine but am glad I ventured out and will probably make a point to visiting St. Albert’s Farmers’ Market once every couple months.

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Categories: FOOD-SHOPPING

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Aug 1: Food-Truck Lunch | foodkarma - August 2, 2011

    […] I couldn’t resist getting empanadas from Molly’s Eats so we had a couple of those. I had been dreaming about the flaky crust since the first time I tried them at the St. Albert’s Farmers Market. […]

  2. Food Trucking: A Labour of Lunch | foodkarma - September 6, 2011

    […] course I had to have some of Molly’s empanadas (posted about my love for the flaky crust here and here). Panicked a bit when I didn’t see them on the board but thankful that the ladies […]

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