Miolea offers Italian Cooking classes ranging from beginner to advanced topics in rustic Italian cooking.  Intimate four to six person classes, 45.00/per. Contact us  for more information.

Our Recipe Pages are for our students. As Julia always said "Bon Appetite,"



Farmers Market Shopping Tips:

Caveat Emptor -

When you go to a farmers market there is some basic information that you should know. Knowing what to look for is key when shopping for local. Keep these questions handy                           

      -- Is the market producers only
      -- Are they selling only seasonal items learn what is in season here
      -- Do they claim certifications
      -- Are the farm's growing practices environmentally sound
      -- Can they give you names of the fruits and vegetables            

Producers only:  They call it a "Farmers Market" not a grocery store for a reason because you will be buying from the grower of the product.  You are looking for local food, so it is important to make sure you deal with the actual growers, not hucksters. 

Hucksters, are not bad, my grandfather was one his whole life.  He bought and sold fruits and vegetables. Some hucksters try to pass themselves off as growers. You go to a farmers market to buy from a farmer. Think of hucksters as mobile grocery fruits and vegetables.  If the market is producers only you stand a better chance of making that direct connection to the grower.

Seasonal: Corn comes in middle to late July in Maryland, tomatoes are the same unless grown in a high tunnel.  If someone is selling corn in June it is not local.  Every fruit and vegetable has a growing season. Knowing what fruits and vegetables are in season, in your area, is another way to verify local.

Certifications: If they claim it, they should proudly display the certificate to prove it, ask to see the certificate if you do not.

Growing Practices: How do they grow their food, does it benefit the earth or does it harm.  They should be able to explain. Do they use integrated pest management, nutrient and soil conservation practices, what kind of irrigation method is used.  Conservation is key. 

Names: Every vegetable has a name and type, from heirloom Rutgers tomatoes to Black Ganga Squash.  If you ask and your vendor answers cucumber, walk away.  If they answer Diva or Silver Slicer or some other cucumber genius you have a real grower.  The farmers we know will perk up at the question and have a reason for why they chose to grow what they are offering.  

Ask questions, we have found some great growers at farmers markets and unfortunately found many hucksters.
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