Dutch Country Farmer's Market

On the advice of Erin's NPR boss, we took a trip to Dutch Country Farmer's Market in Laurel, MD, just up the road from us in Riverdale Park, MD.

It's a farmer's market in the sense of the Your DeKalb Farmer's Market (Atlanta area), in that it's not all-local, but nonetheless offers a mix of local foods (dairy, meat, some produce) plus tons of food made in-house (bakery, sweets). There's also a whole candy/spices/nuts/pasta, etc. section.

And of course, with it having a focus on all things Pennsylvania Dutch, the scent and sight of soft pretzels hits you the moment you walk in. We committed food-shopping sin #1: shopping while hungry! After a short walk around, and it being not too long after breakfast, we went traditional (regular soft-pretzel, below right) and adventurous/brunchy (steak, egg and cheese STUFFED, yes STUFFED, into a soft pretzel, below left).

We picked up smoked pork chops and NY strip steaks (all pasture-fed, no gunky hormones, etc.), local spinach and arugula (a.k.a. rocket), sourdough bread, grits and some spices. On our way to the produce, we were perplexed by CocoPop, a superheated, jet-blown ricecake looking thing firing out of a machine manned, or in this boyed, by a kid maybe eight or nine.

Child labor? Likely not, given honest cultural differences/values - at least that's my view. : )

After picking up meat, produce and other whole foods (including local chocolate milk, yum), we went into sugar-shock in the candy/spices section.

Gummi Kabobs were in-season, just in time for World Cup! If you're loaded up on one of these, you probably won't care if refs make terrible calls (Argentina, you were off-sides).

Or perhaps you could do with, oh, let's say about 190 square feet of chocolate!

Or how about gummi fried eggs? Yes, I am not kidding you.

If you haven't had enough sugary goodness yet, just wait. Rounding the corner into the bakery, an array of breads and rolls greet you, as do things you may have never seen before like ...

Pumpkin Rolls!

Whoopie Pies!

The market's a bit of a drive from Baltimore or D.C., but worth it! We're already looking forward to our next trip.