October 7, 2016
We recently spent a morning shopping at the Boston Public Market and chatting with some of our favorite vendors. There are so many great kiosks offering fresh ingredients for home-cooked meals, snacks for a quick fuel-up and a slew of unique items that make great gifts. Below is each of our recommendations for what to pick up during your next visit to the Market.
Favorite Gift for the Host & Hostess
HIS: Hopsters Alley has an extensive collection of beer and hard alcohol from local breweries and distilleries. As a party guest, I like to bring a bottle from a brand that isn’t sold everywhere and is a type of alcohol that I know the host enjoys drinking. When it doubt, I’ll grab a bottle of something that can be served on-the-rocks like Mad River’s Urban Whiskey.
HERS: Stow Greenhouses offers an array of colorful flowers by the bunch or already arranged in jars. If you ask for a “bouquet in a bag” ($20), they’ll make an arrangement for you on the spot with seasonal flowers from their farm in Stow, MA. The craft bag is for carrying the bouquet and the floral printed tissue paper and raffia bow make it extra special. This makes for an adorable hostess gift and they told us that a lot of customers buy them as “feel better” gifts for patients at the nearby hospitals.
Favorite Charcuterie or Cheese Board Items
HIS: Daniele Fine Charcuterie sells packaged meats for $7 each, like chorizo, prosciutto and uncured sopressata. These work well for a small charcuterie board and all of the meats are from local farms. Add some local cheeses sold at the Appleton Farms’ kiosk, such as Ruggles Hill Creamery’s Cider Washed Goat Cheese and Smith’s Country Cheese’s Farmstead Gouda.
HERS: A high-quality, great-tasting honey is always a nice addition to a cheese board and the Boston Honey Company offers a bunch of cool flavors. The little boxes of pure honeycomb ($12) are perfect and not many places sell the actual honeycomb.
Favorite Snack On-Site
HIS: If you’ve never tried Sofra Bakery’s sweet and salty hazelnuts, you must pick up a bag! The Siena Farms area sells them – they are delicious and pretty addictive.
HERS: Try the mini cider donuts from Red Apple Farm – they’re warm, sugary and worth the calorie splurge.
Favorite Ingredients for a Home-Cooked Meal
HIS: Since we love to have pasta for dinner, we’ll either hand-make it or buy some fresh and toss it with blistered tomatoes (Stillman’s Farms sells Roman tomatoes for $3 per lb) and some buffalo mozzarella (available at Wolf Meadow Farm).
HERS: Nella Pasta’s homemade pasta, like the rigatoni ($5.99 per lb), is a great choice because it’s handmade on-site every morning and super fresh. For a nice wine to pour at dinner, the Massachusetts Wine Shop sells 75 wines from across The Commonwealth. I recently grabbed a bottle of Le Tres Sorelle, a fruity dry red wine from Mineral Hills Winery at Goddard’s Red Hen Farm in Florence, MA.
Favorite Beverage Break
HIS : George Howell Coffee has a stand at the Boston Public Market and they rotate a few specialty drinks each season, made with local ingredients. The Maple Harlow latte, a new addition to the menu for fall, is made with firewood maple from Vermont Harlow. This latte tastes like nothing you’ve had before!
HERS: I love a good green juice drink and Mother Juice has an extensive menu of options (in addition to gluten-free toasts, bowls and healthy salads). The Kale Yea drink is my pick – it’s made with kale, spinach, cucumbers, celery, pineapple, mint and ginger.
To learn more about the Boston Public Market and its vendors, visit bostonpublicmarket.org.
Photos by Christopher Padgett