5 food finds at the Symons Valley farmers market

Calgary Eyeopener food and nutrition guide Julie Van Rosendaal visits a new farmers market and restaurant on the site of the Symons Valley Ranch and samples the fare.

Local vendors and new restaurant offer up tasty fare in former ranch location

Calgarians are catching on to the relatively new Symons Valley Farmers Market, which took over the space that was once Symons Valley Ranch.

It’s popular with the growing population up north and with ranchers who are known to arrive by horse and make use of the hitch in the parking lot. It’s a year-round market, open Friday through Sunday.

However, this summer there’s a road closure that continues until November. People are being deterred from going because of it, but the detour is really simple – it just brings you around to the back instead of going in the front. For more information, visit the Symons Valley Ranch website.

Duck tongues anyone?

Greens, Eggs & Ham is a producer of odd, unusual and heritage vegetables, duck and duck eggs, free range turkey, Cornish game hens and guinea fowl. They do sausage and charcuterie, and lovely greens, and you can even find frozen duck tongues, which can be deep fried, braised, or stir fried. In the display case, a recipe card instructs you to braise them for 2 hours in 1 oz. brandy and 1 oz. soy sauce, but you could use any teriyaki-style sauce made with soy, brown sugar or honey, garlic and ginger.

Duck tongues are on the menu at Greens Eggs and Ham. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

Try the bison

Roaming Alberta Meats offers locally raised bison; burgers, sausage, lean bison bacon, brisket, short ribs, smokies and summer sausage – for all your summer grilling needs.

Braised bison short ribs. (Julie Van Rosendall)

Time for something sweet

Papa Chocolat, Bernard Callebeaut’s latest chocolate factory, channels a lifetime of chocolate making experience into exquisite little bites filled with carefully sourced ingredients. 

Long-time Calgary chocolate specialist Bernard Callebaut's new venture, Papa Chocolat (Julie Van Rosendaal)

Sustainable meats

Sunworks Farm is guided by the principles of organic, humane and sustainable farming as they raise chickens, turkey, beef, lamb and pork on their farm in Armena, Alberta. They’re a great source for truly delicious, juicy chicken and rich, flavourful eggs, as well as cured meats.

A Sunworks Farm chicken trussed and ready for the oven.

New restaurant worth the drive

Symons Roadhouse is worth the drive. Chef Kevin Turner (previously of Brava Bistro on 17th) has brought some of his customers favourites— including chicken, mussels and frites and lobster poutine — to supplement a new menu that includes Sunworks Farms smoked chicken wings, pulled pork and brisket. 

The new roadhouse restaurant at Symons Valley. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

About the Author

Julie Van Rosendaal

Calgary Eyeopener's food guide

Julie Van Rosendaal shares recipes and cooking tips with the Calgary Eyeopener every Tuesday at 8:20 a.m. The cookbook author explores Calgary's culinary wonders in her column Food and the City.