The Sights and Smells of the Boulder Farmers’ Market
Whether you’re a Colorado native or simply a tourist gearing up to climb your first 14er, one must-see before heading for the high country is the Boulder County Farmers’ Market.
For location, this market simply can’t be beat. It’s held every Wednesday and Saturday near the heart of downtown Boulder. While you peruse a rotating crew of around 150 vendors, you have a glorious view of the Flatirons, easy access to walks along Boulder Creek, and you’re minutes away from the delicious purveyors on the Pearl Street Mall. As if that wasn’t enough, this block-long stretch of 13th Street also houses the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the city’s famous Dushanbe Teahouse.
Here a few highlights from my most recent trip to one of Colorado’s largest farmers’ market:
Dr. Seuss never made green eggs look as good as the folks at Fort Collins-based Jodar Farms. The farm’s owner Aaron Rice is a recent Colorado State University grad who’s putting his study of industrial food to work. “We do chicken, eggs, and pork,” said Rice, who was selling chicken eggs for $5 per dozen as well as duck eggs for $9 per dozen that day. The colorful variety assembled for sale at his stand included white eggs from Leghorn Chickens and green eggs from the farms’ Americana breeds.
Rice’s favorite: duck eggs. “I like to scramble them,” he added with a laugh. “They’re bigger and more flavorful.”
Aaron Rice of Jodar Farms with partner Ria Burgos
Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy
John Scaggs of the long time Boulder-based Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy had grown-up men bahhing over the pungent Mountain Red Cloud he was sampling at his stand.
The Red Cloud is actually a raw milk variety, which according to Scaggs, not many companies can pull off. “You have to intimately know your milk source in order to do that,” he said. Haystack Mountain currently sources its milk from the Skyline Correctional Center Goat Dairy—the dairy is run by inmates—as well as a few other Front Range farms. Its creamery is conveniently located in Longmont.
Other cheeses of note included the Applewood Smoked Chevre, and the Camembert. For the Camembert, Scaggs says the recipe comes from a convent in France.
A favorite for Scaggs: the feta. “We do it in a brine, so the brine keeps the feta at the perfect level of saltiness and creaminess,” he said. “Feta in the brine is where it’s at.”
John Scaggs serves up a sample of Mountain Red Cloud
Rolling Smoke Street Food
Not much for cooking? Well, The Boulder Farmers’ Market has you covered. Not only can you buy produce at this market, but right in the middle of it, you’ll find a plethora of street-style food carts. I immediately gravitated to Rolling Smoke—the delicious catering component to Boulder’s West End Tavern. And they were serving up a personal summertime favorite of mine, barbeque.
Fior di Latte
When Colorado native Bryce Licht moved back to his home state with Venice-born wife Giulia a little over a year ago, they decided Boulder could use some authentic gelato. Enter Fior di Latte.
Ahh, a taste of Venice in the heart of Boulder.
And it didn’t take long for the couple to convince me. I tried the Pineapple and Fennel flavor served half-and-half with the Forest Berries flavor. Unworldly.
The couple sources both locally and abroad for their mix of traditional and unusual combinations, with the pistachios imported straight from Sicily.
Zuké Pickled Vegetables
Made by Boulder-based Esoteric Food Company and derived from the Japanese word for “pickled things,” these fermented finds are not only delicious, but quite healthy because of their probiotic nature.
I tried the company’s most popular recipe: beets, dulse, and kale. I’m not generally a fan of seaweed outside of sushi, but the dulse tasted fantastic in this tangy blend.
The vendor recommended adding Zuké to eggs, toast, sandwiches, and salads.
Boulder Bike Blenders
Just as I was leaving in a food-bliss stupor, I stumbled across the Boulder Bike Blenders. And they’re named that for good reason, as you actually blend the smoothie of your choosing with the power of a bicycle. Talk about saving on utility bills!
Longtime Boulderites Susan and Bob Walsh came up with the concept while living in Seattle. “In the Northwest, we were introduced to all the great produce they have up there,” said Bob Walsh.
Today, you can sit atop one of four vintage cruiser bikes with fun names like “Blueberry Bomber” while blending the smoothie of your choice. The berries are so fresh and sourced from a Northwest farmer that has been vetted by these avid cyclists-turned-smoothiemakers.
It took a bit of arm pulling, but the couple convinced me to try the Peloton Pile-up smoothie, a combination of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries named after the bicycle-racing formation.
“We launched at the U.S. pro challenge bike race in Boulder last year so that’s where the biking theme came from,” said Bob Walsh.
The author pedaling away on the “Strawberry Streaker”