Wednesday, July 21st: Chef Dustin Ronspies, Sweet Corn, Sugar Beets, Artichokes & Pluots!

Chef Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table graces us with his culinary wisdom again when he performs a cooking demonstration today at 4 p.m. at your Wallingford Farmers Market. Dustin creates different menus every week at his restaurant to reflect what is in season from local food producers, and he is a fixture at our farmers markets, doing much of his shopping for his restaurant. What this means to you, besides the fact that you will always eat well, and local, at Art of the Table, is that Dustin is the perfect guy to teach you the art of winging it in your kitchen with fresh, local ingredients!

Yes, this is a new photo. I finally got a new camera, and that means less file photos. It also means it is sweet corn season!!! Hallelujah! Now, we are fully into grilling season, eh? Corn, tomatoes, squash, onions, fish or meat, peppers... all of it can go on the grill. No hot kitchens. No dirty pots and pans. Heaven. Heck, you can even grill peaches and nectarines for dessert. So stop by Lyall Farms today for some of this wonderful sweet corn, and Alvarez should have some today, too.

You are familiar with Detroit beets -- the basic purple beet -- and as a farmers market shopping, you likely know chiogga, golden and cylinder beets, as well. But are you acquainted with the sweetest of beets, the mighty sugar beet? Sugar beets are so sweet, sugar is made from them. Yes, sugar. The same stuff that comes from sugar cane -- sucrose -- comes from sugar beets, too. The difference is that sugar beets grow around here, so the sugar from them has less distance to travel. What is exciting for us at the Wallingford Farmers Market is that Alvarez Organic Farms also grows them as a food crop, meaning you can experience these sweetest of beets roasted, grilled, juiced, however you like. But their season is short, so get 'em while you can!

It is artichoke season, too. Oh, happy day! Think of the possibilities. Steam them. Cream them. Soup them. Grill them. In fact, I think in Rome, where artichokes are king, they eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. So get your choke on now at Billy's!

Flavor Supreme pluots are one of the prettiest of fruits. I think when horticulturalists began hybriding plums and apricots to create pluots, they selected for bright colors as well as great flavor, because many pluot varieties hold court in the house of gorgeous fruits. But I digress. Flavor Supreme pluots are happening right now at Tiny's Organic Produce. Check out these juicy, sweet and delicious joys of summer right now, while they last!

Of course, this is just a highlighting of what you will find today for your weekend festivities, and for the rest of the week. There is still plenty of other stuff just waiting for you at your Wallingford Farmers Market this week. For a full accounting of what you will find, click on “What’s Fresh Now!” in the upper right-hand corner.