This is Rose Trujillo and she’s one of the founders of the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, considered one of the top farmer’s markets in the U.S. See that sack in her right hand? That’s a package of her buffalo tamales, handmade the night before, she told me. Rose and her daughter also make the anise seed bizcochitos (below), now New Mexico’s state cookie. (Yes, that’s right – a state cookie — any state with the good sense to have its own cookie is my kind of place.)
I realize that visiting a farmer’s market in January probably isn’t the best time of year, but what makes this market special is the abundance of homemade goodies baked by the people that are selling them, like Ruth, along with the farmers selling their produce, or cheese, or yak jerky, or whatever. At the markets in Paris, these people have signs that say “producteurs” above their stands. Here, everyone is a producer.
In other words, there are no stacks of boxes of fruits and vegetables in the back marked with “Mexico.” Not one single one. What’s sold here is grown here. Simple as that.
Of course we don’t have piñon fudge in Paris, but we do have pains au chocolat; there’s also homemade lavender soap at lots of Paris markets, and I’ve seen lots made from honey, but I’ve not seen any made from goat milk – aren’t these sweet?
You say empanadas, but in France, these would be called chaussons, because they look like house slippers…well, sort of.
I love the idea of these mini quiches, and of course, if green chile’s involved, I’m already sold. The bright yellow eggyness of these also tells me that these eggs are super-fresh. Speaking of, when you order an egg anything in Santa Fe, it’s likely that your server will ask “And would you like your eggs to be organic?”
Oh yes, please. Organic, local, free range…and served on a plate that’s been either recycled or upcycled.
Naturally, there’s lots of red chile for sale, too, along with the green. And this being Santa Fe, there’s also a good selection of smudge sticks to scare off evil spirits and hangover nonsense from previous trouble-making souls…something that Paris, a city that’s been around since 500ish B.C. or so, could definitely use.
Jugglers instead of mimes, though really, it’s been ages since I’ve seen a mime in Paris (thank god).
I stopped and chatted with the hydroponic tomato farmers, who supply tomatoes to Chef Charles Dale at Encantado Resort’s restaurant, Terra, and I would’ve bought the organic chicken at Pollo Real if I could’ve taken some home. I saw beets as big as Texas Ruby Reds at one stand, and at $1.50 a pound, I thought about filling up a sack, but the truth is I didn’t have my own sack, and this isn’t the sort of place where people would overlook that sort of thing.
So I stuffed my sage smudge stick into my purse and walked a few blocks west to the Tune-Up Cafe, and ordered my usual breakfast burrito with green chile inside and red chile out, and made a note to bring my own sacks next time. For beets, smudge sticks, and some really cute bars of soap.