Farmers' Market at Houston's CityCentre

Homemade marshmallows.
Homemade marshmallows.

I'm not even going to mention how stupid it is that the new retail/dining complex located way out on 1-10 and Beltway 8 is called CityCentre. Oops. Anyway, when I heard that a farmers' market was taking place there on Thursdays from 4 to 8 p.m., I had to check it out. The majority of the farmers' markets are (understandably) early in the morning. But because I'm someone who loves farm-fresh food and hates waking up early, I am always thrilled with an evening market.

CityCentre's market has only been around for about three months and is clearly still in its infancy. I counted only 13 vendors last week, and only about a quarter of those were selling produce. Still, it was a nice crowd of people and the vibe was ultra-friendly and relaxed. Vendors set up small booths in white tents around a green, grassy area. A band started playing around five, and there were small children dancing and clapping. It was an unbearably hot and humid August day, but somehow everyone still seemed to have a smile on their face.

And the best part? Tons of delicious free samples. There was a company called Queen Bee that sold homemade, gourmet marshmallows using ingredients like Valhrona chocolate and real peppermint oil. They were divine.

Farmers' Market at Houston's CityCentre

The Slow Dough bread company was there with a plethora of freshly baked breads and cookies and some insanely yummy, soft and chewy giant pretzels -- the perfect snack to tote around while exploring the place. The folks from Swede Family Farm was hawking goat-milk products, and they were some of the nicest people I've ever met. Unfortunately I wasn't going directly home; otherwise I would definitely have scooped up some creamy yogurt and cheese.

There were beautiful flowers, squash blossoms, purple hull peas, and lots of baby eggplants to choose from produce-wise. You could also pick up readymade foods like soups, spaghetti, and pimiento cheeses. Everything I sampled was a welcome treat, and chatting with the people who had just prepared the food made for a great afternoon.

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