For starters: small time chevre
Try some goat cheese, or chevre (pronounce it “shev” for +10 sophistication points), from Stone Creek Farmstead, Colorado’s smallest dairy. A family-run outfit with just ten goats, each batch, made the night before you buy it, comes without hormones, preservatives and artificial enzymes. As for the chevre, the fat globules of goat cheese are five times smaller than cheese from cows, giving it a mild taste, smooth texture and none of that slimy lactic fat coating inside your mouth. Also stop by for ordinary cow cheese, hand-made soap and +10 points for sophistication.
Back Yard Soda’s shtick is that the strawberry soda actually tastes like a strawberry, the lemon-rosemary really does taste like lemons and rosemary and you get a hint of actual veggies in the carrot-thyme. After a managing gig at Olivea restaurant, Patrick Creagers started his craft soda outfit mixing simple syrup with whatever he thought sounded good, which explains the origin of lime-basil, Earl Grey-lavender, cucumber and other off-beat carbonated concoctions. They also come in snow cones.
Not so whacky are the recipes, which rarely go beyond organic sugar syrup and a bit of fresh produce. “I’m not selling colors, I’m selling flavors,” Creagers says.
Check out backyardsodas.com for a full flavor list, recipes and cocktail ideas.
On the side: Rocky Mountain stone fruit
I can never get used to the idea of a Colorado peach, yet there they are, at every farmers market, crate after crate full of plump, juicy peaches picked among the fir trees and bubbling creeks of the Western Slope. But 3000 miles from Georgia the hot days and chilly nights help bring out the natural sugars in Colorado peaches, making them sweet, rich and just…mountainy, says Ian Gilbert of Fonte Farms in Grand Junction. “I don’t know how to describe it 100%, I just know they’re good.”
In addition to 18 varieties of Colorado peaches, Fonte Farms offers other local stone fruit, including plums, apricots and pears.
For a picnic on the fly, skip the raw ingredients and let someone else do the cooking, especially if that someone else is Cezary Grosfeld, and you’re in the mood for a taste of Eastern Europe. Grosfield was incensed at what passed for pierogies, or Polish dumplings, in the States when he came seven years ago, so he made his own. Now his dumplings, his grandmother’s recipe, are a breakaway hit at his downtown pub, the Polished Tavern and also fill the food truck corner of the Cherry Creek Fresh Market with the smell of sizzling, Polish goodness.
In addition to the traditional potato and cheese, try BBQ pork, sauerkraut and mushroom and feta and spinach. (whiteeaglefoods.com)
When 12-year pastry chef Maya Tull’s great grandmother passed away, she left Maya with two things: money to start something of her own, and the recipe for one kickass plum cake. Of course, by the time she started her business in farmer’s markets and as a freelance pastry chef she already had her own book of pastries, including a legendary carrot cake filled French Buttercream cheese. But the up and coming star is none other than her grandmother’s own keepsake, a thick, rich cake made from but a handful of organic ingredients and plastered in fresh, sweet plums from the nearby Fonte Farms booth.
Check out a full menu or commission Maya at www.just-beecause.com.