I have always loved the Boise Farmers Market, but I’m cheap. “$8 for a pint of berries? No thank you.” “Sure I’ll try your BBQ sauce. Oh, it’s $12 for a 4 ounce bottle? Thanks for the sample…” My problem isn’t that I don’t think these products are worth the money or that I don’t appreciate what the market stands for, I’m just broke. But when I do go, I try to buy at least one thing, and today I made an organic salad from radishes and spinach that set me back about the same as if I purchased the items from a grocery store.
I used to go the market with friends and we would eat or drink as many samples as we could. We went from stall to stall, politely listening to the owners while we sucked down sample after sample. I’m always go for the liquids: sauces, vinegar, wines, honeys. One woman I went with had a knack for it. She’d ask each stall owner a question, and when they answered the question she’d look around while eating their food and saying, “Yeah, wow, I might just have to come back”.
Maybe I’d like to just think I’m better than her (I do like to, as untrue as it is), but the guilt made me stop sampling. Many of the samples and products are the same, and unless there is a new one, the memory of my multiple previous tasting serves me well. I also know I’m not going to ever purchase a small $15 bottle of vinegar, but at least my motto of buying at least one thing helps out the stalls more than if I just took a sample. Plus, their is a lot of delicious food I’ve bought thanks to my numerous trips.
The market can still surprise me. The woman below was spinning clay, which I’ve never seen before.
I asked her if she knew what the final product was going to look like. “No”, she said, “better potters probably do, but I imagine the pot as I make it”. Just like with this blog of mine, I’m just figuring it out as I go.