I grew up spending endless days at the St. Jacobs Market in Ontario. With its large Mennonite community, it has always been the place for the best eats and local goods. So when a fire destroyed the main building of the market on September 2nd, 2013, it was devastating. Luckily, this incredible community pulled together to rebuild, and I was fortunate enough to attend the opening of the temporary Harvest Barn, built on the foundation of the original structure. It was packed full of delicious food, amazing people and did I mention…delicious food? Here are my five favorite picks:
1. Cured goodness: Whether you’re a fan of pork, beef or pork and beef, St. Jacobs is home to a handful of vendors with the best summer sausages you’ll ever eat. Cured to perfection and ever so smoky, they were the number one request from the kitchen team to bring back home.
2. Even more sausages: Not to get carried away, but St. Jacobs is home to the most incredible Oktoberfest sausages ever (Seriously. They’re better than ones I’ve eaten in Berlin!) Served on a soft bun with loads of fried onions and mustard, it makes for a perfect lunch or afternoon snack, plus you can take extra home to cook yourself.
3. Locally grown: From oxtail to pork belly, you can buy super rich and delicious cuts at the most affordable prices. Meat not your thing? The market is full of local fruit and veg — no matter the time of year. In the heart of winter, you can stock up on black radishes, sun chokes and hearty greens. Don’t forget your cooler so you can fill your fridge and freezer at home.
4. Natural sweetness: If you’re into the sweet stuff, then look no further. This place is loaded with local honey and maple syrup producers. They’ll even let you sample all the varieties they have. Make sure to grab the last of summer’s wildflower honey and try the dark maple syrup!
5. Freshly baked heaven: The second you step into the market, you’ll notice the smell of warm apple fritters filling the air. Fried fresh all day long, these come piping hot and are absolutely phenomenal. If that alone doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, check out the cookies, pies, fudge and more.
Don’t forget to take a walk around and discover the rest of the market. From the coolest antiques to hand made goods, there are endless things to see and do.
Where are your favourite farmers’ markets? Share with us in the comments below!