We are very lucky to live in an area with the most bountiful and varied producers of fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood in the US. Nowhere is this more evident than the Santa Barbara Certified Farmer’s Market. The granddaddy of them all is on Saturday downtown. This is where I set off to find ingredients for my Pasta with Mussels in Tomato Sauce. My plan was to pick up some locally grown mussels and some local tomatoes and see what else there was to buy.
There is just so much it is overwhelming. Everything looks amazing. The deal with this market is every vendor must be the producer of what they are selling. In other words, no one is allowed to sell something that they did not make or grow themselves. That way the vendors are fully familiar with the provenance the the product from beginning to end.
When we first would go years ago, it was mostly fruits, vegetables and flowers. Now in addition there are vendors offering wonderful proteins: chicken, fish, shellfish, beef, lamb, etc. Also, nuts, jellies, honey, herbs, essential oils, eggs, the list goes on and on. This is something I will surely miss when we move to Oregon. If you are ever in Santa Barbara on a Saturday, do not miss the Farmer’s Market.