I LOVE farmer’s markets. I even started and ran the Sugar House Farmers Market for several years. That’s how much I love farmer’s markets. I love meeting the makers, growers, purveyors, and creatives you’ll find as you wander in and out of the market. I love meeting up spontaneously with old friends. And I am a sucker for all the hot sauce I can find. All good reasons to go.
When they think of farmer’s market season, most people picture strolling through a park in the heat of the summer, munching on fresh berries, and maybe visiting a food truck or two. But the Downtown Winter Market in Salt Lake City is well worth reimagining just what a farmer’s market can be during the off-season.
Located at the north end of The Gateway right off the fountain plaza, the indoor Winter Market is an excellent mix of late fall and winter vegetables. Expect to find packaged and prepared food, locally raised meat, and some handicrafts tossed in for good measure. The real benefit in my mind is that it is indoors. This is a win for someone who is a dedicated wimp when it comes to cold weather.
The Salt Lake winter farmer’s market has consistently been one of my favorite spots for stocking up on holiday treats or goodies for my annual charcuterie board spread. It’s also one of my go-to spots to buy client gifts, hostess gifts, and presents for family. Supporting small local businesses is always my goal during the holidays. Think of it as local one-stop shopping.
I had just done a produce run the day before and regretted that decision. I should have stocked up here. I saw kale, winter squash, fall apples, lots of mushrooms, onions, carrots, potatoes, and even heirloom garlic.
My Farmer’s Market Haul During Opening Week
Cache Canning and Ferments
Located out of Escalante, Utah, Cache Canning has my favorite jars of pickles. Paige’s selection varies from week to week. I’m a sucker for anything tart and sour. This week I picked up her Garlic Pickled Carrots. They made their way onto a pickle plate on my table. I’m willing to bet they’ll also find their way into a Bloody Mary sometime in the next week or so. Her picked garlic is next-level delicious, and a splash of that brine often ends up in a Bloody Maria. I’m also a big fan of her pickled green beans and will eat them out of the jar, standing in front of the fridge. So be sure to check those out as well.
I’m a big fan of John and Casey, the owners of Amour Spreads. As the name might imply, they do everything with a dose of love. Their jams, spreads, and confitures are made in small batches with seasonal fruit grown on family farms. This means that most of their products are only available in limited batches and in season. I always stock up on my favorites, and there’s always something new to try. They are very generous with samples, so you can do a little taste test to find your favorites. These are another great gift or stocking stuffer.
I picked up the Persian Lime Curd. Persian limes have a slight floral note that makes them stand out from lemon curd. I love that this curd celebrates tart over sweet. I like to use citrus curd to make a two-ingredient semifreddo. Just whip up your heavy cream, fold in some lime curd, and freeze until just semi-frozen, aka semifreddo. You’ll have a dessert that will wow everyone! While simultaneously only taking about 5 minutes to make.
Another one of the favorites that I always try to have on hand is their Savory Heirloom Tomato Jam. If you haven’t had tomato jam before… drop everything and get some. It can swing sweet or rich and marry everything in between. I love it on sandwiches with some salty cheese. I also love serving it with ice cream, where the matching sweetness is surprising.
John and Casey stopped by a New Year’s Day brunch party I had one year and introduced me to a lovely two-ingredient jam cocktail. Pick your favorite jam, put a dollop in the bottom of a champagne flute, and top it with your favorite bubbly. I used prosecco because it’s not too sweet. It was delicious with the little jar of raspberry rose jam that they had brought with them. Take note for your holiday festivities.
Salsa del Diablo
Remember when I said that I’m a sucker for hot sauce? This addiction also applies to salsa. Really anything spicy. The Mexican blood is strong with this girl. And the flavors put out by Salsa del Diablo are also strong. If I’m being honest, I bought three tubs, at least.
I always get their Pumpkin and Poblano Pesto which is as good on top of nachos as it is delicious tossed with hot pasta. The “pumpkin” part comes from pumpkin seeds, a more traditional Mexican ingredient, in place of pine nuts.
I also snagged some of their new Queso Verde, which may have disappeared in one day. Please don’t judge me.
The great thing about Salsa del Diablo is that they have a variety of flavors that span from incredibly mild all the way up to melt-your-face-off hot. They’ll let you try anything to find the thing to take home. Be sure to pick up a bag of their locally made chips for full salsa enjoyment.
Van Kwartel Flavor Science
Moving on to the hot sauce department. The team behind Van Kwartel Flavor Science has the science of heat down pat. You’ll take a trip to the islands with the Caribbean-inspired hot sauces. Beyond hot pepper sauces, you’ll find tonics, marinades, and spice blends.
I picked up their Chimichurri, which is spicier and more tart than the Argentinian version. It got dolloped in soups this week for a hint of freshness. It’s delicious on steak or chicken. And I’m dying to mix it into some butter for a chimichurri compound butter. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I also grabbed a Special Edition 2022 Trois Jardins Pepper Sauce bottle. Chile forward with hints of honey and lime, this hot sauce has already appeared on fish, eggs, and stir fries. I love their seasonal flavors, but be sure to peruse their regular lineup. All of them are winners.
Park City Creamery
Now to balance out all that tartness and heat with some cheese. Made with Utah goat’s milk, the Park City Creamery Mayflower feta-style goat cheese is delicious. It’s appropriately funky, creamy, and tangy. You’ll find it delivered up in a tub with brine. You can bet I’ll be serving this with some of the Amour tomato jam. I might need to experiment with using it for the viral baked feta pasta recipe everybody was wild for earlier this summer. I have a good feeling about it.
Park City Creamery also makes delicious brie-style cheese and drum roll… truffled brie. You can even buy both varietals in a cute little gift box. What hostess wouldn’t love you if you showed up with truffled brie? I’m a big fan of their award-winning Silver Queen Goat Cheese, a funky soft-ripened cheese with vegetable ash. It reminds me of the Cyprus Grove Humboldt Fog cheese—another perpetual fave. The ash adds a layer of tanginess beyond the barnyard of the goat cheese. I love it paired with dried figs or dates.
The Downtown Salt Lake City Winter Market takes place every Saturday through April 15th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at The Gateway. Please note that they will be closed for the holidays on December 24th and 31st. So get your Christmas shopping in early!
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