HINSDALE - Along with the many fruits and vegetables shoppers expect to find at a farmers market, there are always some unusual items waiting for those who are willing to explore.
Here are the top five most interesting items found at Monday’s downtown Hinsdale Farmers Market.
1.) Nichols Farm and Orchard’s cosmic purple carrots
For the past 350 years, carrots have been primarily orange. Prior to that, however, carrots were purple.
Before Dutch farmers in the 17th century started growing the orange carrots of today, it was commonplace that orange and yellow carrots were considered mutated.
Those purple carrots are making a comeback, according to Nichols Farm and Orchard employee Steve Freeman, who noted that the purple carrots stand out among their vegetable and fruit stock.
“I think the orange ones are losing their 350 year foothold,” he said.
While some purple carrots are orange on the inside, the strain of purple carrot sold at Nichols are purple, through and through.
2.) flavored honey sticks at the CRIA tent
While mom and dad may have trouble getting their children out to local farmers markets, Bruce Hughes said his tent has the perfect bribe to entice the young ones.
At $0.25 a piece, his flavored honey sticks come in a variety of flavors that kids enjoy as a snack. But Hughes said they’re also a good "sugar pick me up" when people are out of energy, or as a flavor to mix in yogurt.
3.) Anthem Organics’ einkorn wheat cinnamon vanilla pancake mix
While pancakes are a breakfast staple, few store-bought mixes include the einkorn wheat, which is one of the oldest cultivated forms of wheat.
Einkorn is recognized as a good wheat substitute as it is less toxic to people with gluten digestion problems than it’s processed cousins.
Anthem Organics owner Paul Markiewicz also pointed out that it's not just tough to find at the local grocery store.
“There are only a few places left on earth that still grow [it],” he said.
4.) Gouda-nettle cheese from The Cheese People
Anyone who has rubbed up against a stinging nettle plant knows the irritation it can cause.
But Cheese Monger Dave Grothause said in this case the nettle adds to the flavor and texture, creating a distinct slice of gouda. He added that the cheese has an interesting healing property, as well.
“It’s good for prostate cancer, if you’re worried about that,” he said.
5.) flavored pub burgers at Farmer Nicks
While most of the menu initially appears standard, the half-pound flavored pub burgers get a lot of attention, employee Tina Seekings said.
People will call her before showing up to the farmers market, reserve an order then form an impromptu drive-thru alongside the tent.
“They pull right up, and I run out,”Seekings said.
IF YOU GO
What: Hinsdale Farmers Market
When: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Oct. 13
Where: 30 E. Chicago Ave.