Mar 4, 2012

Port Moody Farmers Market

Today I visited the Port Moody Winter Farmers Market, which runs every other Sunday through April 29th, 2012 at the Port Moody Rec Centre from 10am - 2pm.   I was immediately surprised with the amount of vendor booths - both inside and outside of the Rec Centre.  Because there was so much to eat and see, I am going to break this up into three posts of my 10 favorite vendors.

I think that Farmers Markets are an extremely frugal way to shop, and just a frugal activity in general!  There are very few other activities where you can sample, socialize, snack and get fresh air, all at the same time - and without having to spend a dime!  These markets are also a great way to discover local services and products that you would be unlikely to hear about otherwise.  These markets also are great because you have the opportunity to sample virtually all of the products before you buy - ensuring that you are going to enjoy them.

The first vendor that I visited was Maples' Sugar Shack, a maple syrup and maple related treats company from Squamish, British Columbia.  I was drawn to this stand because of the amazingly creative display of maple taffy, placed on snow (not to mention a friendly vendor!).  The next time you are at a famers market and see Maples's Sugar Shack, I highly recommend trying these.  They were delicious!  Cold, sweet and delicious maple flavour - a very Canadian treat!  Their website is still in development, but they do have a contact us page that is functional, so you can contact them to find out about their farmers market locations!

I also purchased these amazing maple candies, shown below.  They are a harder candy than the taffy, but absolutely delicious.  The guy that was running the booth mentioned that they carry maple coated cashews (but they had already sold out by the time I had arrived).  He was telling me about a dish he cooks that uses the cashews - he crushes the nets and coats chicken breasts in them and then cooked them for about 30 minutes and then stuffed them from brie and wrapped them in prosciutto and baked them further.  I cannot wait to purchase some maple cashews to try out this amazing sounding chicken!

The next vendor that I visited was Delish Gluten Free to try out some of their amazing baked goods.   With a major increase in celaic disease, gluten free products are becoming increasingly popular (and important).  This small business is based out of Coquitlam, British Columbia.  Though they do not yet have a store front, I am positive with their local following that a store must be not far away.

I tried a sample of their carrot muffin with creamy icing and could not believe that there was no gluten or wheat! They were even better than ones made with wheat.  I purchased both a carrot muffin and some chocolate cake pops. I was going to share this once I got home, but literally could not stop eating it once I started.

Follow Delish Gluten Free on Twitter to find out which farmers market locations they will be attending.

Another product that I fell in love with today is Aji.  After a quick demo from the business owner, Dyana, I could not believe what a genius product this was!  

Aji is basically a condiment that originated in Latin American, that can be combined with so many different ingredients to create other tasty sauces.  For example, she showed us that if you combine the aji with avocado, you get an amazing guacamole or if you mix it with ketchup it it becomes a tangy cocktail sauce.  My favorite was when mixed with honey the aji became a sweet Thai chili sauce.  This product, to me, is the definition of frugal - one product, so many options!  

I also tried the Burn Hot Sauce, and could not get over the amazing flavour.  I am a huge hot sauce fan, but this one in particular was spicy but yet you could still taste the flavours with the spice not overpowering everything.  Once I got home I mixed the original Aji with tomato paste, and it made an incredible salsa.  This product is definitely a winner!  Dyana sells it at farmers markets but the aji also available in many stores  including Choices, Nestors and Whole Foods. 

Stay tuned for my my next Farmers Market Favorites blog post, coming in the next couple of days! 

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