Some very good friends are visiting us this weekend from the Philadelphia area. In addition to themselves, they brought a number of lovely things with them including some beautiful cheeses, crackers and Dalmatia fig spread that they brought from the Ardmore Farmers Market. Amongst the cheeses were the creamy, smooth and delicious Delice de Borgogne and the rich, blue St. Agur. Each cheese served atop La Panzanella Rosemary Croccantini was marvelous. The Delice was also lovely with a dollop of the fig spread. I'm looking forward to sampling some of the other delights they brought as well.
I'm still scratching my head though, as to how these lovely foods from France and elsewhere, as wonderful as they are, can come from a place outside of Philadelphia that calls itself a "farmers market." I fear that the term "farmers market" is being co-opted, like so many other terms that start off meaning something specific and wind up becoming relatively meaningless. While that has yet to become commonplace where I live, it appears to be all too common elsewhere. In my point of view a "farmers market" is not a "farmers market" unless it is selling only foodstuff directly from the farms from which they were grown or raised. That definition can be stretched to the production of artisanal food products so long as they are sold directly by the artisan. Anything else, though it may be a wonderful market, is quite simply not a "farmers market." This opinion in no way is meant to disparage The Ardmore "Farmers Market" or other markets that sell items like the wonderful ones our guests so kindly brought. It is a fine market, however, It should call itself something other than a "farmers market," lest the term continue to lose all real meaning.