Perhaps your backyard flock is producing more eggs than your family can eat or your garden is growing quicker than you can cook it. Food Swap Tucson may be the perfect outlet for your culinary cravings. For over a year, this food-centric gathering has brought together home chefs, beekeepers, mead makers, bread bakers, jam and jelly masters, picklers, preservers and small urban farmers who “swap” their goods. Each participant is required to bring between five and ten items. Creative packaging is encouraged. After swapppers taste each other’s wares and mingle with the makers, each person fills out a form suggesting a swap: apple chutney for pecan pie, say, or enchilada sauce for peach marmalade. There is no set schedule but organizers say they meet about once a month, usually somewhere near downtown. Find the swap at facebook.com/FoodSwapTucson.
We wanted to bring a taste of New England to the Southwest,” says Ally Crist, owner and operator of Hopyard Market on North 4th Avenue. And she has. This charming market resembles those found in neighborhoods throughout New England, where Crist and her husband grew up—indeed, the name Hopyard comes from a state park in Connecticut. Find dried goods alongside freshly prepared food and drink, with plenty of items locally sourced. Toothpaste or laundry soap, ketchup or candy, fresh vegetables or cold cuts from the deli—Hopyard has you covered. The market has honey from nearby hives, full pounds of coffee from Gadsden Coffee in Arivaca, and homemade jam. In the back, a refrigerator case is filled with the basics for the house grinders and salads. Crist emphasizes that everything is homemade, from the marinara sauce on the chicken parmesan sandwich to the roast pork in the grinders. Salads are fresh and varied. Desserts come from Bavier’s pastries. You can eat in or carry out, Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. 210 N. 4th Avenue; (520) 300-6256; email info@HopyardMarket.com for more information.
Urban Fresh is part restaurant, part school, part catering service; it is entirely focused on being fresh, local and organic. Everything is made from scratch and no animal products are used. Owners Kathy Iannacone and Kathleen Lohnes opened the store late in 2012. Both are certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners as Integrative Health Coaches, and Urban Fresh is a combination of their knowledge and love for healthy food. The menu includes freshly made juices, smoothies, salads, soups and wraps that are made with vegetarian and vegan ingredients. The school consists of small classes and guest chef presentations. Take their “Plant-Strong” Summer Boot Camp to learn how to stock a pantry, or the “Cool Down” class that’s all about desserts. Also on offer at Urban Fresh: meal pick-up. A special menu is published once a month; order from a list of entrees, side dishes, salads and desserts, and decide the days you want to pick up meals. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m-3 p.m. ‘Vegucational” classes held on weekends. 73 E. Pennington St; (520) 792-9355; email UrbanFresh@cox.net for more information.
The Loft Farmers’ Market is the latest addition to Tucson’s ever-growing fresh market scene. Find an assortment of goodies ripe for the picking on the patio of the Loft Cinema on Speedway Blvd. every Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-noon. You’ll find beautiful produce grown by local urban farms such as Breckenfield Family Growers and River Road Gardens. ZenHens, a local farming cooperative, has eggs of all colors and Tucson Honey Company offers their 100% raw, natural honey. The Tucson Food Conspiracy Co-op brings baked goods to go with Aqui Coffee’s hot, steaming Joe. You’ll also find natural soaps, garden plants and succulents, bread and salsa. And, every week, the market invites a local non-profit organization to set up a table and share their information. For more information, visit LoftCinema.com/film/the-loft-farmers-market. ✜
Rita Connelly shares her opinions about the local food scene in the Tucson Weekly and at The Well-Fed Foodie on Facebook.
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