~Here it is, the post you’ve all (or most of you) been waiting for: my experience of the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market! But before I jump into my formal review, I’d like to take some time and talk about my most recent trip to the Downers Grove farmers market. It was a rainy and dreary Saturday morning, but that didn’t deter me from my plans. Armed with my umbrella and good spirits, I hit the stalls. At the first produce stall I visited, I had picked up some leeks ($3 each), a purple cauliflower, a parsnip and a whopping 3.5# butternut squash! While I was paying for my purchases, a woman looked over my goods and wondered whether or not I was making soup. I laughed and said, “Maybe, it’s the perfect day for it.” After about 20 minutes walking in the rain, I got a half-gallon of fresh apple cider and headed out to Fresh Thyme.
Thankfully I found a close enough parking spot to the entrance where I wouldn’t get more wet than I already was. I grabbed a cart and was ready to hit the aisles! My initial thought was that it wasn’t very big, but it had a lot to offer. The vast majority of the products there were either organic or gluten-free, and they had a large selection for vegans as well. The first place I looked was the frozen food section, since there was an advertisement for 20% off frozen products. There was the standard fare of burger patties and frozen potatoes, but what really caught my eye was an assortment of exotic game meats. They had venison, antelope, goat, buffalo and wild boar. I was *this* close to buying goat patties, but I’m pretty sure I’d be the only one who’d eat them.
Next were the spices and preserves. On the left hand side of the aisle, there was a vast array of different butters and spreads. Something I’d always wanted to try but could never find is cashew butter. And lo and behold they had it, tucked away between the peanut butter and almond butter. On the right hand side were dried herbs and spices. They had everything from your average cloves and bay leaves to the more unusual Vietnamese cinnamon and turmeric root powder. I have no idea what the difference is between regular cinnamon and its Vietnamese twin, maybe a different taste? But I wasn’t willing to find out. But what I did find was even better: garam masala!! ❤ Known for its use in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, its warm and earthy aroma was just what I’ve been searching for.
Perhaps my favorite part of Fresh Thyme was the dried goods. You could get lentils, beans, snacks, granola, you name it all in bulk. They had so many flavors of granola it was making my head spin. But I settled on three: apple cinnamon, blueberry flax and strawberry vanilla granola. I got about a pound of each.
Overall, I loved Fresh Thyme! I spent over an hour wandering the aisles taking it all in. The prices are reasonable and the selection is enormous. I would come back in a heartbeat.