Summer in North Carolina means lots and lots of tomatoes. And the Carrboro Farmer's Market has no shortage. Because there are so many stands that have tomatoes, each with a different assortment of sizes and types, your best bet is to roam around and sample as many as you possibly can. If you end up taking some home, I recommend a tomato sandwich (tomatoes, mayo, bread, pepper) on the Farmhouse Sourdough from Chicken Bridge Bakery.
Farmhouse Sourdough - Chicken Bridge Bakery
The Farmhouse Sourdough is packed with flavor. Chicken Bridge uses wood-fired ovens to bake all of their breads and the resulting bread is crisp and crusty outside, tender on the inside. They also use a slow fermentation process that really accents the tangy sourdough and whole wheat flavors. You can grab a sample as you walk by, but a small loaf is only $5.
Chicken Bridge Bakery: chickenbridgebakery.weebly.com
Chapel Hill Creamery
The Chapel Hill Creamery is always sampling a few of their spectacular cheeses. All of them are good, but there are a few that you really can't miss. If you're into really creamy brie, look for the Carolina Moon [$10]. Or if you like a hard, asiago inspired creation, check out the Calvander [$7]. But, for me, the show stopper is a true southern delicacy, pimento cheese [$6]. Made with the Calvander, it's rich and tangy and makes a fantastic sandwich with the tomatoes and Farmhouse Sourdough from Chicken Bridge.
Chapel Hill Creamery: chapelhillcreamery.com
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie - Imagine That Gluten Free
I tend to be wary of gluten free baked goods. But after this Oatmeal Raisin Cookie [$3] I will be much less reluctant to give them a whirl. It's a mix of raisins and dried cranberries in a chewy and wonderfully sweet cookie. The cookie, I was told when I purchased it, does not, in fact, have oats in it - apparently oats are very difficult to get gluten free. Never the less, it has the proper oatmeal-cookie-cheweyness and is spot on, despite being gluten free.
Imagine That Gluten Free: itglutenfree.com
Pound Cake - Louise's Old Fashioned Baked Goods
Louise's stand is full of cakes that she makes by hand, and sold whole, half, or by the slice. She makes several different flavors, but I'm a sucker for a slice of plain pound cake [$2]. The slice is tender and has a great crumb and the crust is slightly crunchy. It's not overly sweet and the butteriness and vanilla stand out. Simplicity is really the strength of this cake. It is what a slice of pound cake should be.
Chocolate Babka - Sari Sari Sweets
The Sari Sari Sweets cart is packed with fresh baked goods. Fitting, since Sari Sari means "variety" in Tagalog. A friend told me I couldn't miss the chocolate babka [$3]. Unlike a traditional babka, which is more of a loaf, this is an individual cake, something akin to a cinnamon roll, but stuffed with chocolate. The bread is flaky and full of melty dark chocolate.
Fresh Hot Dog - The Pig
I did not expect to be eating a hot dog at 10am at a farmers market. But the Pig sells fresh made hotdogs from local, pasture raised, anti-biotic and hormone free pigs [$4]. And since it sort of embodies the whole ethic of the Carrboro Farmer's Market, I made the sacrifice. It was the best thing I ate all day. The dog itself was full of pork flavor and was spiced only enough to accent the meat. You have a choice of the standard hot dog toppings - I went with mustard and slaw. You can also add chili or pimento cheese for another buck. I opted to upgrade and got mine served on a fresh roll from the Chicken Bridge Bakery, which is also an extra buck.
The Pig: thepigrestaurant.com/
Napa Kimchi - Farmer's Daughter
As far as I could tell, there is very little the Farmer's Daughter doesn't preserve. They sell everything from jams to pickles to heirloom tomato bloody mary mix. And if the Napa Kimchi [$7] we sampled is any indication, it's all probably pretty wonderful. The kimchi was tangy and spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. There is a little sugar in the recipe that tames the spiciness. The level of fish sauce was good and didn't overpower the other flavors. After a day of munching sweets, this was a nice contrast.
The Farmer's Daughter Brand: farmersdaughterbrand.com