In upstate New York Wegmans may be a longstanding grocery institution, but the Rochester Public Market has in recent years become just as much of a destination. A vast bounty of locally-sourced produce, flowers, and specialty goods, it was started way back in 1905 (nowadays it’s open year-round on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday), and earned a nod from the American Farmland’s Trust in 2010 as the favorite farmer’s market. I grew up outside Rochester, but having lived in New York now for over a decade I didn’t think anything could match the cornucopia of the Union Square Market. But on a recent trip north to visit the fam, I ventured back to Rochester’s Public Market for the first time since I was a kid—back then, I used to only focus on the sweets —and I was pretty blown away by the amount of seasonal goodies that were available.
There were endless baskets of cherry and heirloom tomatoes in a rainbow of citrus hues and delicately beautiful vine-grown purple and Thai peppers, which I was forewarned by the vendor were especially dynamite-packed.
There were small cucumbers prime for pickling and sugary donut peaches I devoured in about five bites. I also loaded up on a basket full of tomato gems, and the ones that did make it home (it’s hard not to pop them directly in your mouth), were delicious with fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and some grated ricotta salata—the perfect way to highlight their natural sweetness. REENA