Up early to attend the Farmers Market at Portland State University. I’d planned on being there by 8:30 but I’d forgotten the Link Labs t-shirt that David had given me to pass on to Aaron at Tails and Trotters (who supplies him with some of his meat) – so back I went to the motel to pick it up. The setting for the market is stunning, it lines a series of green, leafy blocks at the heart of the University Campus. There must have been well over a hundred stalls there in all, and the place was busy. Apparently in summer, you’re shoulder to shoulder with the other punters, but things quieten down in winter.
I had a few charcuterie stalls that I’d already scoped out from the market website, but I was also hoping to see some stalls selling fungi, and I wasn’t disappointed. I’m a bit of an amateur mycologist (very amateur), but I make an effort every year to pick a few varieties that I’m familiar with – chanterelle, chicken of the woods, horse mushrooms, giant puffballs and ink caps. I was amazed by the mushroom stalls at the market, they were stunning!
I was expecting big things of this market, and I really wasn’t disappointed. The market had a real relaxed quality to it – and the products on offer fitted with my expectations – heirloom vegetables, squashes and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, gluten free, dairy free and wholefood products galore.
It was time for food, so I followed my instincts, and picked the eatery with the longest line – it was a close call between a burrito stall and Pine State Biscuits. Having visited friends in LA on a couple of occasions I’ve been spoilt with Mexican cuisine, so I opted for the biscuits – I think it was the right choice. I ordered The Reggie – fried chicken, bacon and cheese in a biscuit (a savoury scone for us Brits) with a healthy pouring of peppery gravy. It was plain awesome.
There was a mix of meat and charcuterie stalls at the market – I made a beeline for the charcuterie producers. Olympic Provisions were holding a butchery display at the market (which I missed), but I did get the chance to get a quick chat with the guy on the stall for Chop. They have their own butchery store and a stall selling charcuterie in Portland, I’ll be stopping again in Portland later on in the trip so I’ve added a visit to both their stores onto the itinerary. I bought some of their Chicken Liver and Bourbon pate which was delicious, I also bought bread, organic houmous, some fresh milk, pears… the list goes on. Portland Farmers Market did very well out of me!