The Market Basket – Nathan Phillips Square


Nathan Phillips Square Farmers Market
100 Queen Street West
Wednesdays, 8:30am – 2pm
June 4th – October 15th

I’ve got to admit that the Wednesday morning market at Nathan Phillips Square is still my favourite of all the farmers markets in the city. There is no face-painting, no snack stalls, no fun activities for the kids. Heck, usually there are no kids. And while there are “Fresh Wednesdays” concerts from noon to 1pm, it’s mostly just farmers and customers who are serious about their produce.

Most of the customers are, in fact, workers from within City Hall or the nearby office towers on Bay Street. To accommodate these customers, many of the produce vendors selling stone fruit ingeniously offer mixed baskets of seasonal items to accommodate snacking. Usually retailing for around $8, baskets can include cherries, peaches, plums and apricots, and as the season moves on, will see the addition of small sweet pears, apples and grapes.

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How Do You Like Them Apples?


I am eating a Gingergold as I write this. The first of the season – they’re weeks early due to the hot dry weather. The skin is crisp, the flesh is sweet and if I allow it to linger on my tongue… yes, just the slightest bit gingery. The second best thing of summer is finding the pinkish-green apples piled in baskets at the farmer’s market. The first is the moment I bite into one. Neither the first corn, the first blueberries or the first peaches can match the moment of the first Gingergold. Oh, there’s other apples, and they’ll keep me happy throughout the winter and into the spring, but the Gingergolds never last; there’s not enough of them to start with and fans like me buy them in bushel baskets, hoarding them in cool closets or cellars, desperate to make them last as long as possible.

Probably those Gingergold fans are going to be out for my head, having shared a harvest secret with TasteTO readers. See, we apple-lovers count on most of you to think of apples as coming in red, green and yellow, and to be ignorant of the over one hundred varieties of apples currently grown in Ontario.

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