Top 10 Farmers' Market Finds

From soup to nuts, the local markets proved all-too delicious

San Miguel Seafood
San Miguel Seafood

1) Wholesale Texas Gulf red snapper from San Miguel Seafood ($15/pound): While most red snapper available in Austin is shipped here from as far away as Costa Rica, Roberto San Miguel brings fresh, never frozen red snapper up from our Texas coast in huge ice chests every Saturday. Super fresh, and it's a bargain, too! A real find. (Austin Farmers' Market Downtown and at the Triangle.)

2) Full Quiver Farm's sharp cheddar and extra-sharp cheddar cheese: For $5, you can buy these creamy, sharp, locally produced cheddars that rival European cheeses in excellence. (Sunset Valley Farmers Market.)

3) McDonald's Farm's shelled pecans: Commercially available pecans are often of indeterminate age, but McDonald's are this year's harvest of fresh, delicious Desirable pecans, and at only $7.50 a pound, they're cheaper than supermarket pecans, too. (Sunset Valley Farmers Market.)

4) Richardson Farms' grass-fed beef rib­ eyes: If you haven't tasted locally raised and slaughtered grass-fed beef, you don't know what you're missing; it has easily twice the flavor of conventionally raised beef and better texture as well. Bone-in rib eyes are $10 a pound; boneless rib eyes are $12 a pound. The ground beef at $5 a pound is a major deal as well. (Sunset Valley Farmers Market.)

5) Edis' Chocolates: Now that the temperature has cooled off, Edis Ferreira is back at the market with her delicate chocolate truffles. She has several new flavors this year: black and Earl Grey tea, pistachio and carda­mom, Cypress Black Sea Salt, and Red Hawaii­an Sea Salt. I'm particularly enamored of the two new salt-crystal flavors; the blend of salt and chocolate is divine. $20 a dozen, $10 a half-dozen. (Sunset Valley Farmers Market.)

6) Peach Creek Farms' handmade pork sausages: German-style, Italian (both sweet and hot), and breakfast sausages, all made from pastured Berkshire pork ($5.25-$5.50 a pound). There's just none better! Your dog will love you if you pick up some of their $1 packages of dog treats! (Austin Farmers' Market Downtown and at the Triangle.)

7) Remember When Dairy's chocolate milk: With a fat content of 5%, this never-homogenized, low-temperature pasteurized chocolate milk is richer, fresher-tasting, and creamier than any milk you can get, unless you own a cow yourself. Flavored with gourmet quality chocolate, it's ecstasy at $3.99 a quart. (Sunset Valley Farmers Market and Austin Farmers' Market Downtown.)

8) Sgt. Pepper's hot sauces: Now selling in handsome wooden gift crates of any three bottles for $12 (two crates for $20). Choices include Ancho Mama's Not Hot, Chipotle del Sol Smokin' Hot, award-winning Tejas Tears and Tropical Tears habanero sauces, as well as El Chipotle Balsamic Blackberry, Picante Pumpkin, Smoked Tomato, and Roasted Tomatillo. (Sunset Valley Farmers Market.)

9) Thai Fresh: The Thai Fresh booth is back at the market, selling authentic, sustainably produced Thai cuisine at affordable prices. Pad thai is $6.50, coconut soup is $6.50, spring rolls are two for $3, and Thai curries (served with rice) are $7.50. (Austin Farmers' Market Downtown.)

10) Oaxacan Tamaleo's tamales ( Some of the best tamales in town, and at $3 for a huge one, wrapped in a steamed banana leaf and topped with homemade green or red salsa, they are the perfect portable feast. Pork, chicken, beef, and bean are available, always piping hot, and can be ordered ahead by the dozen, as well. (Austin Farmers' Market Downtown and Sunset Valley Farmers Market.)

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Top 10s, Austin Farmers' Market Downtown, Sunset Valley Farmers Market, Edis' Chocolates, Peach Creek Farms

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