7 farmers' market finds at the Crossroads Market
Truffles, cherries, bison meat among vast range of products on offer at market
The Crossroads Market has been a popular stop on the corner of Blackfoot Trail and Ogden Road in the southeast since 1999.
It's part flea market, part food vendors, and with more than 150 vendors on site there are plenty of delicious finds available every weekend year-round. Here are a few of my favourite things.
The Crossroads Market is open from Thursday to Sunday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. MT at 1235 26 Avenue S.E.
Say Cheese Fromagerie
Nancy Brown has been running Say Cheese Fromagerie at the Crossroads Market since 1997 and has an amazing selection of over 300 domestic and imported cheese. She's always happy to help you find something specific.
For a quick appetizer that's perfect for snacking on the deck, warm 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil with a couple of gloves of garlic, a few peppercorns and coriander seeds, a sprig of fresh rosemary and a few of thyme. Pour over a log of soft chevre (goat cheese) and serve.
Regina has been selling free-range beef, chicken and pork at Regina's Meats since 1984. She does all the butchering herself and makes sausages using a 100-year-old family recipe and spices she imports from back home in Germany. It's a great place to buy meat, especially if you like having a butcher who can advise you about cuts and do any trimming you need.
Fifth Element specializes in truffles. Their truffle salt is excellent on popcorn.
Rocky's Burger Bus
Rocky's Burger Bus has recently moved from its previous location over by DJ's Market, where it spent the past 18 years, and is now parked at the Crossroads Market. Rocky's makes their burgers using Alberta beef and staff shape them gently by hand so they are tender, juicy and about as thick as they are wide. They also serve up some of the best hand-cut fries and shakes in the city.
Broxburn Farms sells their fresh produce — beautiful tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and other salad fixings — out of a stall in the newly expanded food section. On Sundays they donate produce and volunteers are on hand to sell it, with proceeds going to the Calgary Food Bank.
Olson's High Country Bison
Olson's High Country Bison is a family-run business founded in 1992. They operate four bison ranches in western Canada and are dedicated to the conservation of bison and the restoration of the natural environmental ecosystems of their respective regions. In order to help manage the costs of the conservation ranches, the Olson's started Olson's High Country Bison, a meat distribution business that sells grass-fed bison products and will soon open a prepared food outlet at the Crossroads Market as well. If you're new to cooking bison, try braising a stew or slow roasting some ribs. They can be finished off in the oven or on the grill.
Slow roasted bison back ribs with chili and honey
- 1 to 2 racks of bison back ribs
- Chili spice rub (any dry barbecue rub will do) or chili power
- Salt and pepper
- Liquid honey
Place the racks of ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet and rub all over with your choice of chili or barbecue rub, or just with chili power, salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 300 F for two and a half hours or until very tender.
Remove from the oven, uncover and turn the oven up to 425 F or preheat your grill to medium-high. Brush the ribs all over with honey (about 1/4 cup per rack) and return to the oven or place on the grill. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or grill for five to 10, turning until charred and caramelized on the edges.
Each rack serves two to four people, depending on appetites.
B.C. cherries are in season! You'll find them at Chongo's and many of the outdoor vendors at this time of year at the Crossroads Market. Pick up one of the many local honeys from Ray Henry's honey stand just inside the main doors and roast them together (with balsamic from Say Cheese) for a delicious topping for ice cream or a log of soft goat cheese.
Honey balsamic roasted cherries
- Fresh cherries, pitted
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- A sprig of rosemary (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Spread the cherries out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Whisk together equal amounts of honey and balsamic vinegar with about half as much oil (about 1/4 cup honey and balsamic and two tablespoons oil for one pound of cherries) and pour over the cherries. Add a sprig of rosemary, if you like, and toss to coat.
Roast for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice until the cherries soften and release their juices. Serve warm over ice cream or a soft log of goat cheese, on a cheese board or on good bread.