Artisan Foods at Farmers Markets

THE BOUNTY AT FARMERS markets includes more than seasonal fruit and veggies. Artisan food also is offered, including bread, cheese, jams, sausage, pâté, meats and fish.

Some examples we enjoy from the Foothill Farmers Market (at one or more locations): cheese from Dedrick’s Cheese in Placerville; sausages from Smokey Ridge Charcuterie in Placerville; chicken, lamb, pork and eggs from Sinclair Family Farm in Penryn; fresh fish from Little Fish Co; and bread from The Baker and the Cakemaker in Auburn.

The Nevada City Farmers Market includes chickens, pork and eggs from Fowler Family Farm; fresh pasta and sauces from Bear River Pasta Co.; and “treatsicles” from Treats of Nevada City.

Many of the artisan products are served in Northern California restaurants. Lamb from the James Ranch in Penn Valley (sold at the Nevada County Certified Growers’ Market) also is on the menu at Chez Panisse in Berkeley.

Summer is the season for barbeques and picnics. For local home-made sausages, specialty meats and preserves, we like Smokey Ridge Charcuterie’s artisan products. Smokey Ridge is at the Auburn Farmers Market on Saturdays, Placerville market on Saturdays and South Lake Tahoe market on Tuesdays. You also can join their buyers’ clubs (now serving Grass Valley, Truckee and Reno, among other locations).

Some examples of Smokey Ridge’s sausage are: garlic sausage, smoked kielbasa, free-range chicken basil, mild Italian, maple and sage breakfast, smoked chili and cherry; and Mexican-style chorizo.

Specialty meats include Cajun Tasso (spicy seasoning ham); free-range Chicken Liver Pâté; Country Pâté with Pistachio and Duck Confit; farm-style Pâté with seasonal greens; and Duck Pastrami.

Condiments and preserves include Apple Ketchup; Popping Whole Grain Mustard; Cranberry Red Onion Marmalade; and Caramel Apple Butter.

The sausages and pâtés are made from trimmed, USDA inspected meat. Pâtés are made with Mary’s Free-Range chicken livers or liver from local farms. Condiments are made from farm products grown on site.

The charcuterie’s chef-owners are Kara and Zach Taylor, based on the Smokey Ridge family farm in Placerville.

It all started with Apple Sausage (a staple crop at the farm) and grew from there. Smokey Ridge also offers catering.


Want to grill with locally sourced meats? Try sausage from Smokey Ridge Charcuterie, steaks from Nevada County Free Range Beef or chicken from Sinclair Family Farm.

The improved taste with local meats and poultry is noticeable.

Smokey Ridge’s sausage and Sinclair Family Farm’s lamb is offered at the Auburn Farmers Market on Saturdays. Nevada County Free Range Beef is sold at BriarPatch Co-op.

(photo: Karen Schmautz)

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