Market Scene: The Absolute Best of Union Square Greenmarket

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Inspired by a recent Talk thread, in this week’s Market Scene we present you with our official Absolute Best of Union Square Greenmarket list. (Please note that we have by no means tried every single item at the farmer’s market, and we’re a bit biased towards smaller stands and anything involving cheese; but an awful lot of eating was done in the name of picking our favorites.)

Without further ado, the winners.

Best Drink

Iced Tea from Tweefontein Herb Farm. Flavors like basil mint and lemongrass chamomile seem more Union Square Café than Union Square market. Vendor Sarah makes the iced tea with herbs from her teeny farm in New Paltz, NY.

Best Goodies

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We were too embarrassed to even approach the Hawthorne Valley stand this week, as we’ve already interviewed them about these cookies for no less than three other posts. Crispy, oaty perfection.

Best Milk

Milk Thistle Dairy. Somehow, even the nonfat here is thick, rich, and creamy. The best milk we’ve ever tried.

Best Preserves

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Rhubarb jam from Beth’s Farm Kitchen. The perfect tart-to-sweet ratio, and good with cheese, peanut butter, or plain. Beth has been with Greenmarket since the beginning and sources all of her fruit locally.

Best Vegetables

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Gorzynski Ornery Farm. John Gorzynski’s vegetables far exceed national standards for organic—the only ingredients, he says, are sun, seed, soil and water. This time of year, he recommends early riser beans for their “gorgeous, meaty texture.”

Best Bread

Wild Hives Farm. One of the only Greenmarket bakeries that actually mills its own flour. Their breads are of the dense, healthy variety.

Best Cheese

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Lynn Haven Farm

Cow’s milk: Daryane from Cato Corners
Sheep Milk: Ricotta from Valley Shepherd Creamery
Goat’s milk: Fresh goat cheese with herbs from Lynn Haven

The Daryane is nutty and complex without being sharp or stinky. Valley Shepherd’s ricotta is ridiculously sweet and creamy. And Lynn Haven’s cheese, wrapped in a thick layer of fragrant rosemary, tarragon, and thyme, puts other herb cheeses to shame.

Best Fruit

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Raspberries at Terhune Farms. This category definitely varies from item to item and season to season. But Terhune’s scarlet berries were blindingly beautiful this week.

Best Meat

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Fresh belly from Flying Pigs Farm. Melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, made from happy, heritage breed pigs.

What did we miss out on, and what did we get wrong? Do your local Greenmarkets have any spectacular vendors who don’t attend Union Square? And has anyone done a comprehensive Greenmarket pie sampling?

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