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Fresh from the market

a woman sitting at a table

Here in Charleston we are spoiled. Truly. With the temperature here, we are able to indulge in fresh market produce a large part of the year. Because of our warm southern coastal climate, our growing season starts in early February and lasts until mid-December, giving us on average a whopping 317 days of growing! Naturally, the farmers market is a big deal around here. Visitors and locals alike love to indulge in seasonal fruits, vegetables, honeys, jams, artisan baked goods and handcrafted treasures. While the Charleston farmers market on Marion Square is the largest and most well-attended market, we have more than one market to choose from! In fact, almost every day of the week you can find a local farmers market to enjoy. Here in Charleston perusing local markets is just part of the Lowcountry way of life.

While the opening date and schedule for many local markets have been modified due to COVID-19, we are hopeful that the markets will be in full swing soon. This time of year you can expect early spring veggies to appear at the market such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, greens, strawberries, corn and cherries. Is your mouth watering yet? We are certainly ready for the bounty of the gardening season! Here is a helpful guide to help you know when produce will be ready to enjoy.

Speaking of fresh market produce, one of our most popular food tours (as featured in Travel and Leisure magazine) is the Farm to Table experience. This food tour is a great way to explore the market and to meet one of Charleston’s chefs while experiencing his or her creativity in the kitchen! This three-hour tour starts at the corner of Meeting and John Streets at the fountain near the Charleston Visitor Center where you will meet your tour guide and that day’s participating chef, who will lead the group to the farmer’s market to pick out the freshest ingredients the market has to offer. After you and your chef pick out ingredients and you explore the market, your guide will take the group on a walking tour for approximately 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the chef will prepare a multi-course meal utilizing the ingredients just purchased at the market, for a true farm-to-table experience. Generally, the Farm-to-Table Experience is available when the Charleston Farmer’s Market is open, on Saturdays from mid-April through mid-December.

In the meantime, why not enjoy creating your own “Farm to Table” experience with Mr. Mary’s Creamy Pound Cake from Seewee’s restaurant topped with fresh local strawberries, blueberries and cream? Check out some of the other delicious recipes in the same article from local restaurants and be sure to support our local eateries by ordering takeout and delivery or dine-in where available! They are working hard to keep our community a thriving fusion of food options for all of us to continue to enjoy.

And, make sure to remember that the next time you are fortunate to visit our beautiful city, Charleston Culinary tours is a wonderful way to start your trip! We combine the best Charleston history, food, and drinks with unique historic tours that highlight local cuisine and cocktails. The food and cocktails on your culinary walking tour are chosen by our restaurant and bar partners featuring an array of eclectic dishes and concoctions that provide insight into Charleston’s cuisine and cocktail scene.

Depending on the style of Charleston food tour you choose, you will have an opportunity to sample some of the Lowcountry’s finest food offerings or to meet the owners, chefs and mixologists behind the city’s impressive culinary and bar innovations. A fun thing to do for families and couples alike! Book early, as many of our tours sell out! Hope to see you soon!

Seewee Restaurant: Ms. Mary’s Creamy Pound Cake
Recipe courtesy of Lowcountry Cuisine Magazine.

Ingredients:

3 sticks salty butter
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze

2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1/2 stick butter (melted)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
extract flavoring, if desired

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and lightly flour 10-inch tube pan. Sift cake flour, then lightly spoon 3 cups cake flour into measuring cup.

Combine sugar and butter until creamy in a large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in flour and whipping cream alternately. Stir in vanilla. Pour into prepared tube pan.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes – or until long tester is inserted to reach the middle of cake and it comes out completely clean. Cool completely.

Prepare glaze by combining confectioners’ sugar and butter in a medium-size bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. If desired, add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla for flavor. Beat until smooth and creamy; add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

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