South Florida, consider yourself lucky in the fresh food department. While most of the country is freezing its
ass butt off in subzero temps, we're still basking in the warm glow of never-ending summer and browsing any one of our near year-round farmers' markets well into winter.
From Jupiter to Miami, there are literally dozens of weekend affairs (even late-night markets) each dedicated to spreading the word and supporting all that is locally grown and artisanally produced.
Still, few can compare to Hollywood's 100,000-square-foot facility known as the Yellow Green Farmers' Market, located off Taft Street along I-95. This month, the market will prove just how successful it has been as it expands its hours of operation to include two extra days.
Beginning December 18, the Hollywood market will be expanding its hours with two added weekdays including Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekend hours will continue on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The added days come at a price though: those wishing to sell their goods at one of the 300 or so stalls are now paying $500 per month for the extra time -- up from the previous $300 rental fee.
Some purveyors -- like Harvest Natural Jams, which saw its last day of business on December 1 -- are considering closing up shop due to the rate hike. However, a few more have come on board in the past few weeks to peddle their goods.
Here's a look at some of our favorite selections from a recent weekend trip to the Yellow Green Farmers' Market.
Nisha's Flavors of India
Nisha's Flavors of India offers handmade breads, fresh dips, curry paste, and chutneys created by Manish Puri and Ashmin Nisha, who moved to the U.S. in 1996. Together, the childhood friends make gourmet Indian food using the same recipes they grew up with. A recent trip to their market stand scored us some delicious pumpkin paratha, which we paired with Nisha's flavorful paratha mint, garlic, and yogurt/cream cheese-based dip.
The Empanada Lady
French-born Monique Font Delacroix is the founder and owner of The Empanada Lady. A pastry chef in both France and Italy before relocating to the U.S., Delacroix operated several Miami restaurants, which offered the perfect opportunity for her to create such innovative offerings as banana, rum, and Nutella dessert empanadas. Each tiny creation is made using organic ingredients, and features a vegan dough. The chicken is free-range, and the beef is grass-fed. Choose from dozens of fillings -- everything from pear and chicken, to a ham, cheese, and hearts of palm.
Healing Herbs & Honey
A newcomer to the Yellow Green Farmers' Market, Hallandale's Marina Nagy is offering herb and spice-infused local honey with healing properties. A triple-pepper blend boosts immunity, and offers anti-inflammatory properties, for example. A flavorful three-spice honey offers antiviral and antibacterial effects, while aiding in blood circulation and digestion. And a ginger-infused honey can be used in teas, and helps with coughs and cramps while fresh lavender and honey is great in warm milk to relax you before bed.
Nicole Danna is a food blogger covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.