Navigating Grand Army Plaza


Just back from Prospect Park’s Saturday Farmers’ Market. I’ll be writing about my finds over the next couple weeks, so today, after taste-testing everything I could, I’ll tell you what I did not buy.

Starting west of Grand Army Plaza:

Cheese: Skip the blended goat cheese: It tastes as bad as it looks.

Apples: The Honey Crisp are still hanging in there this week too but most others – Gala, Mutsu, Idared – are starting to lose flavor (although Idareds are still good for baking).

Wine: Skip Tickle Hill Farms.
  • Their “Grapeful” blend is appropriately named – and awful. It reminded me of grape juice concentrate from childhood and, unfortunately, the memory included pre-emptive scoldings over potential stains and thin PB&Js with stale crusts.
  • The “Vincent” was drier and brought up no memories. It was simply undrinkable.
If you ignore me and try Tickle Hill anyway, your palette will likely be cursing your Doubting-Thomas self at this point in your visit. Instead of wallowing in regret, walk up to the stands for Wilklow Orchards (back the way you came) or Di Paola Turkey Farm (a couple steps past Tickle Hill’s) and immediately sample whatever they happen to be grilling. Nothing like turkey sausage or smoked ham to restore your tongue’s faith in you.

Chickens: Not sure this is the best time of year for chickens. I have had two local chickens this season and both have bordered on the chewy, gamey side. Still, I like buying local, have no hope in becoming a vegetarian and can only eat so much pork and cow. So I hope this becomes a tasty option in the future. Looking forward to spring!

Pickles: I love pickles. And Rick’s Picks pickle stand has lots of tempting varieties. A couple weeks ago, I shelled out for a jar of their Heat Seekers, which are hot and sweet in all the right places. So why not snatch another type to try? Six-to-nine dollars for pickles gives me sticker shock. But if anyone has a favorite type of Ricks Picks, which you think is worth the dough, please share.

Wine: After all your hard tasting, reward yourself by visiting whatever vineyard stand is set up at the east side of the market. It rotates weekly through local vineyards and while the wine can be a bit streaky, the stand, unlike Tickle Hill’s, is usually worth five minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:33 PM

    Saturdays in prospect park are better than Sundays in church