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The Emory Student’s Guide to the Tuesday Afternoon Farmer’s Market

Courtesy of: Abigail Schwamm

If you are like most Emory students, you do one of the following while walking past the Cox Bridge Farmers Market on Tuesday afternoons: A) stare confusedly at the little tents with a fleeting thought of “What is that?” as you continue walking, or B) stop and try every single sample along the way.  Last week I decided on option B, with the intention of giving every Emory student a quick run-down on what to skip, what to sample, and what to buy at the Cox Bridge Farmers Market.

Zocolo

Zocolo has a sign informing customers that each of their salsas are made from scratch each morning, but one taste of any of their delicious, fresh concoctions and you don’t need a sign to tell you that.  Made with all natural, local ingredients, Zocolo’s salsas mix spicy, tangy, and earthy flavors to create perfection.

Two stand-outs are the “Arbol Salsa” and “Traditional Mole”.  Made with only six ingredients, the arbol salsa- consisting of arbol peppers, avocado, cilantro, tomato, roasted garlic, and kosher salt- is especially delicious on seafood.  The combination of avocado and cilantro produces a perfect tanginess, and the absence of lime ensures that it’s not tart. 

Another delicious salsa is the traditional mole.  While moles come in many varieties, Zocolo’s red authentic recipe from Mexico is truly unique.  Hints of spicy peppers and chocolate are evident, but other interesting ingredients that are more difficult to identify are what makes this salsa truly special.  They include dried fruits such as bananas, apples and pears, peanuts, raisins, and cloves.

Pure Bliss

Only three-and-a-half years old, Pure Bliss- which is firmly committed to being “as pure as possible”- already sells their 100% organic products of granola, nuts, and bars to over 160 stores stretching the length of the East coast.  “People don’t know there are a lot of pesticides in oats and nuts.  That’s why organic is important,” says Pure Bliss vendor Antonio.

While their granolas are certainly interesting and creative – types include pina colada, gingerbread, and acai berry – Pure Bliss’s commitment to vegan products gives them a dry, oat-like consistency that lacks the traditional cluster of a honey-coated granola.  One granola that overcomes this shortcoming, however, is  “Naughty But Nice”: the peanut butter and chocolate mixture excels in both texture and taste.

Not to worry, though. Pure Bliss’s bars and “bites” create the ultimate snack and study food.  Moist, chewy, and bursting with flavor, the bars and bites-which come in similar flavors as the granolas- are some of those foods you just can’t put down.  They even have benefits for studying!  “The no sugar bars [acai coconut and lemon cranberry] have no added sugar, which gives them a low glycemic index,” explains Antonio.  “This is important when studying, so you don’t get that sugar spike followed by a crash.”  So how do the bars/bites retain a sugary flavor?  The answer is brown rice syrup and dates.  The acai coconut is exceptional for nut-lovers: consisting of coconut, cashews, flax, sunflower oil, and of course brown rice sugar and dates, this bar is the definition of ‘treat’ and perfectly light. 

Antico Mercante

The charismatic Italian who owns Antico Mercante, Francesco Boeri, helped me to distinguish which tiny cubed samples of cheese were worthy of my toothpick.  The featured cheese on the Tuesday afternoon I went was a local gouda (it should be noted that most of the cheeses are imported from all over the world, but Antico Mercante’s suppliers are all small, family-run companies.)  It was pungent and bitter, but the fresh taste, which is certainly credited to its localness, was noteworthy.

My favorite by far was the “Vidalia onion cheese.”  This cheddar cheese, which comes from an Amish farm, was perfectly sweetened with the subtle taste of Vidalia onion.  Franco recommended this cheese to be put on a hamburger.

Other notables included the drunken goat cheese, an obvious favorite among Emory students, which is aged for 70 hours in red wine.  The “tallegio” is a versatile creamy cows milk crusted in water and salt that is perfect for salads, steak, and baguettes.  My day of sample-tasting ended positively with the New York-imported Cacciatorini salami, which consists of pork, red wine, and garlic, and costs only five dollars per pound.

The Farmers Market comes to Emory every Tuesday afternoons from 2-6pm.  Besides offering delicious products, the Farmers Market gives Emory students the opportunity to access unique and gourmet foods that are not normally available to them as well as a chance to support their local vendors, community, and commitment to sustainability. Make sure to check it out!

-Rachel Levine ’10

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