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La Cañada Flintridge Farmer's Market is for suburban foodies

Smoked salts, truffles and much more in La Cañada every Saturday.

March 27, 2013|By Lisa Dupuy
  • Carlo Micalizio and his wife Amy grab spinach and other greens at the La Cañada Flintridge Farmer's Market.
Carlo Micalizio and his wife Amy grab spinach and other… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Farmer's markets are not just for farmers anymore. Many of them, such as the weekly La Cañada Flintridge Farmer's Market, play host to purveyors of artisanal and specialty foods. From canapes to coffee, you can fill your basket with every ingredient for dinner, not just for the salad.

Things are buzzing right at opening time of 9 a.m. each Saturday at the LCFFM. The first thing you'll want to do is get a cup of coffee at Forge. They roast the beans in small batches every Friday night close by in the San Fernando Valley so you can be sure you're getting the absolute freshest coffee Saturday morning. Beans are sourced from around the world with a singular dedication to humane and sustainable growing practices. After finally deciding on a cup of Costa Rican el jaguar, a woman next to me ordered a second cup of mocha. She claimed every sip was orgasmic. It was too late to say, “I'll have what she's having,” but my cup was satisfying as well — full-bodied, fragrant and exceptionally smooth. We took a bag of Guatemala San Diego Buena Vista bourbon to go and have been happy all week ($8 for half pound).

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My goal this Saturday had been simply to find a good bag of tangelos for the kids' lunches. I found them at Nicholas Family Farms but also found some amazing organic Murcott mandarins, as well as homemade blood orange preserves, raspberry-flavored almonds and a variety of dried fruits ($2-$10). The bread for the preserves might've come from The Rustic Loaf, where they use triple fermentation to get an authentic sourdough flavor, or from Venice's famous Rockenwagner bakery, but we chose the soft white boule from the French baker (as everyone calls him) otherwise known at T.O.P. Bakery of Long Beach.

Making the rounds, we were thrilled to find a table dedicated to salt, a minor passion of mine. There was rock salt, sea salt, smoked salt, flavored salt, Himalayan salt, cooking salt, and finishing salt. The knowledgeable people at Hepp's Salt Barrel will help you find just the right seasoning for your meal. We left with a small packet of alderwood-smoked salt ($5) and it's been finding its way onto sandwiches, veggies and eggs ever since.

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