Brookline Has a New Winter Farmers Market

Last week, Wicked Local Brookline brought word that the city was considering approval for a once-weekly Farmers Market in the Coolidge Corner Arcade, at 318 Harvard Ave,  which would run every Sunday from November 2012 to June 2013. The city had a successful trial run of the idea last year, when a one-day-only market ran on Saturday, January 28th, 2012; this year, the same woman responsible for the initial idea, Linda Plazonja, was hoping that the city was on board with a more permanent offering.

It would appear that those hopes will be realized: today, Brookline selectman Jesse Mermell tweeted that the market will officially be open for business starting on Saturday, November 11th. At least one popular local vendor, Clear Flour Bread (purveyors of probably the finest bread you can get in the area), has posted on their website that they will be there. The aforementioned Wicked Local article quoted area farmers market veteran Kate Stillman, so it stands to reason that local heavyweight Stillman’s Farm will also be in attendance.

It’s a big win for Boston area residents, who already have an excellent Saturday winter farmers market in Somerville, at the Armory on 191 Highland Ave. If you’ve never been, these markets are hardly lean: while fruit may be in short supply (it is New England, after all), basically everything else is available, from vegetables, breads, and meats; to “specialty” items like cheeses, pastas, jams, kombucha, chocolate, and beer. New England’s local food scene is beginning to come full-circle: long after the passing of the age of the root cellar, eating seasonally is, once again, basically well within reach of any city resident. It’s much easier now, though: just grab a few bags, hop on the T, and shop.

Dread not the cold: a winter’s worth of sweet potatoes, leafy kale, Taza chocolate, and local beer awaits you. Is it December yet?


Patrick Pledges $10m for Development of Year-Round Boston Public Marketplace

Artist's Rendering -- Boston Public Marketplace

An artist's rendering -- or perhaps an artist's six year old daughter's rendering -- of the future Boston Public Marketplace. //

Important food news this morning: from the pages of the Boston Globe comes word that Governor Deval Patrick has pledged $10m in financing toward establishing the city’s first year-round Public Food Market since the last one closed in the 1950s. The funding, awarded to the Boston Public Market Association, helps clear a major financial hurdle toward getting the market — which will provide a year-round indoor facility for local vendors and producers to showcase their goods — off the ground. According to the Globe, the market could be up and running by the end of 2011, though additional sources of funding will still be needed. It’s a potentially enormous development for the people of the city.

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Eat Chocolate, Help Taza

Taza Chocolates

Some of Taza's many totally unique Mexican-style chocolate products. Supporting a local business in need is delicious. // flickr/QuintanaRoo

Located in Somerville (just a short walk from Inman Square), Taza Chocolate is a local company which has been gaining some serious buzz for itself in recent years over what they’re doing: not only do they make 100% organic chocolate bars, they’re also the only 100% stone-ground “bean-to-bar” company in the United States. They receive shipments of dried cacao beans, cane sugar, and vanilla beans. Everything else is done in Somerville. The good news is that they just recently finished totally renovating their factory and brand new storefront. The bad news? Almost immediately after repairs were finished, the factory was badly damaged by the flash flooding which ripped through Somerville and much of the Boston area on Saturday, July 10th, causing millions of dollars in damage (the local police department saw almost its entire fleet of vehicles and its headquarters destroyed). They could use a hand right now. In the form of you buying some chocolate. Read more of this post

A. Russo & Son’s: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugli

Fruit at Russo's Market in Watertown

A small selection of the myriad fruits and vegetables available for unnervingly low prices at Russo's.


Located on an unassuming stretch of road in nearby (but sometimes inconvenient) Watertown, A. Russo & Sons Marketplace is the Boston area’s de facto hidden foodie market that no one knows about that everyone knows about. It’s hip, but also cramped enough to discourage the patronage of shoppers who aren’t interested in bumping elbows with a woman loading a few matnakash into her cart, or a husband-and-wife duo fumbling with armfuls of carrots and banana flowers. Russo’s is an enormous produce market sidled up against a diverse takeout restaurant bordered by a moat of potted flowers, and it’s all very, very cheap. It’s a great place for a family to go to stretch each dollar they spend on food. Not coincidentally, it’s also a great place to go to contemplate your creeping feeling of unease over the system which produces that food: why, exactly, are we able to purchase a pound of fruit from Jamaica for less than it costs us to ride the bus to get here? 

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Downtown Boston’s Trojan Horse: Clover Food Lab

Clover Food Lab

Clover's First Day in Dewey Square

Boston’s Financial District got a new — and usual — breakfast and lunchtime option this week when Clover Food Lab, a locally-owned mobile food truck, opened up shop Tuesday morning in Dewey Square, right next to South Station. This is a significant development for the area’s food scene, but not because Clover is hip (which it is, of course). It’s significant because of Clover’s smarter, more local attitude on food, an attitude which has been totally absent from the downtown food scene for a long, long time. Can a Cambridge-born ethos mark the beginning of a transformation for the city’s zombified lunchtime droves?

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The Bananas of Boston’s Flour Bakery


How many bananas do two small bakeries consume?

Earlier today, Joanne Chang — proprieter of Boston mainstay Flour Bakery and one-half of the immensely popular Myers+Chang in the South End — tweeted that she goes through “around 70 banana breads” each week at each of her 2 Flour Bakery locations. Aaron Cohen, the man behind the Boston’s top food-related Twitter account, @eatBoston, asked her how many bananas that comes out to. Her answer was, essentially, “a lot.” While that’s certainly true, it doesn’t help us to get much farther the fleeting wonderment Chang’s banana bread comment was meant to inspire. The question remains an interesting one: how many bananas can we assume that Flour Bakery goes through in a year? And what, if anything, does this mean to us?

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All The Rage: Silliness and Kickass Cupcakes

Kickass Cupcakes

Kickass Cupcakes -- Image via Flickr courtesy (cup)cake_eater

A recent Yelp! review called Kickass Cupcakes — a specialty cupcake bakery in the Davis Square area of Somerville — “the most divisive place in the Boston area.” True or not, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more frequently-debated bakery in the area, maybe even in New England. Their most frequent rating on Yelp! is 2/5 stars. One-star raters weave bitter tales of stale, overpriced “cuppies.” Why would you go here?! You can go to this other cupcake place, whose cupcakes are clearly superior! Or such-and-such bakery, whose cupcakes are obviously the very best!

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