This past Saturday, Dave and I decided to take advantage of the gorgeous spring weather and explore Providence. Early in the morning, I was assembling a list of places to check out. I was really hoping there would be a farmers’ market open. Lo and behold, the Pawtucket winter and spring farmers’ market is every Saturday through the end of May.
Pawtucket is just before Providence when going south on 95. The market takes place at Hope Artiste Village, a long, indoor marketplace with brick interiors and shops along either side. For the farmers’ market, dozens of vendors line either side of the main hallway, selling everything from fruits and vegetables, to honey, jam, pickles, bread, baked goods, cupcakes!, macarons, cheese, and popcorn. I took advantage of the opportunity to buy wonderful spring produce. The stalls were overflowing with spinach, asparagus, ramps, every type of radish and more.
I got a jar of this Aquidneck Honey from Portsmouth, RI as an early birthday present for Dave. Jeff Mello, owner and beekeeper, waxed (hehe) poetic about the quality of his honey, which is pesticide-free. He has over 300 hives in various locations in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The honey is a deep auburn and each jar is packed with huge chunks of honeycomb.
Baked goods and sandwiches from Olga’s Cup + Saucer in Providence.
There is also a fair amount of prepared foods at the market. We picked up an order of beautifully caramelized fried plantains from Tina’s Jamaican in Providence.
The award for best salesmen goes to the two fellows from Beltane Farm, located in Lebanon, CT. Beltane Farm sells a full range of goat cheeses and goat milk soaps. The guys from Beltane made sure that every passerby tasted one of their goat cheeses, and if you stuck around, they sampled out pretty much every one of their products: ricotta, goat milk yogurt drizzled with honey, Vespers (a French ripened cheese), Harvest Moon (a Spanish style aged cheese), fresh goat’s milk, and more.
My favorite was probably the fresh chevre with chive. It was definitely some of the best goat cheese I have ever tasted. If you happen to be in or passing through Connecticut in the next few months, Beltane will be hosting cheese tastings every Saturday at the farm through the spring and summer. I am really hoping to make it to one of them.
And of course, I couldn’t leave without something sweet. There was no shortage of cookies and cakes, things that I usually gravitate toward. But on Saturday, I was most drawn to the attractive macarons from Moondust Macarons. Owner Stephen Finch had tastes of flavors like pistachio, vanilla and raspberry. They were all delicious, with light and chewy shells, and smooth buttercream or ganache fillings. I chose a lemon macaron, which was wonderfully sweet and tangy.
The Pawtucket Market is absolute foodie heaven. It is less than an hour drive from Boston, and if you have the chance, I highly recommend going. The market is on Saturdays at Hope Artiste Village from 10am to 1pm and will continue through the end of May.
Pawtucket Wintertime + Springtime Farmers’ Market
Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main Street