Amidst a pile of snow and sunchairs blocking the rare parking spot, I found a place to put my car. I quickly realized that it was well worth the battle of the ice and slush. In a twin-domed building built in 1903 as an Armory, lies the Center for Arts in Somerville, just down the street from Davis Square. And inside that is another of winter's newest glories: The Somerville Winter Farmer's Market.
I walked in and could feel the excitement and energy as people milled around the fresh produce, organic meats, lush chocolates and music. It reminded me of all the winter markets I love: Wayland, Natick and the best of all, Providence.
My favorite finds? I first met Kate of Stillman's Farm at the Brookline Farmer's Market. I was thrilled that she had pork bones, perfect for making rich stock from the Momofuku Cookbook. She also had coolers filled with grass-fed and chemical free pork, veal, chicken, turkey and beef grown right on her farm in Hardwick! I headed around the corner to load up on sweet carrots (the winter-storing makes them as sweet as candy) from Winter Moon Farm who also had gorgeous watermelon radish and daikons. I chose Fuji and Mutsu apples to bake at home. Upstairs, Jordan Brother's had their scallops that are so fresh you can eat them raw or saute them for minutes. I also got flounder that I sauteed using a recipe from Dorie Greenspan's new cookbook.
Of course I made sure to get fresh bread from Hi-Rise to toast and top with homemade fresh mozzarella and gooey fig-filled burrata from Fiore di Nonna Cheese. And finally, I treated myself to a bar of the newly created and addictive salt and pepper chocolate bar from Taza.
Go alone or bring the children (it is a great activity for kids). But, a bonus-you don't have to worry about bringing cash as the market takes credit cards! Treat yourself to food that is direct from the source and support the farmer's who work so hard to bring it to you. And the best part-it will taste so very, very good.
There is a rotation of vendors at the market, but this week included: Enterprise Farm in South Deerfield, Winter Moon Farm in Hadley, Stillman's Farm in Hardwick, Apex Orchards in Shelbourne, Globe Fish Company in Boston, Hi-Rise Bread Company in Cambridge, Seta's Mediterranean Foods in West Newton, Elaine Hsieh Chocolatier in Somerville, Taza Chocolate in Somerville, Jordan Brother's Seafood out of Brockton, Fiore Di Nonna Cheese's in Somerville.
Somerville Winter Farmer's Market is at Center for the Arts at Armory, 191 Highland Street, Somerville, from January 8 to March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.