What to Look For
Tamarack Hollow's sweet, nutty, organic pastured pork chops are relatively lean yet juicy, tender, and flavorful ($15 per pound, available Wednesday).
Dines Farms does its own slaughtering, and as a result, it's one of the few vendors to offer never-frozen meats from rabbit to goose, including reliable, super-fresh chicken, lamb, and pork. Also try their hearty-textured chicken sausage ($2.95 per pound for whole chickens, $5 per pound for rabbit, $6.75 per pound for sausage, available Monday).
If you've been reading up on the superior flavor and politics of grass-fed beef and you're craving a burger, go for New York Beef's ground meat. The mix of shank, round, and chuck makes for a chewy burger with a malty, red-meat taste that renders ketchup almost superfluous ($6.50 per pound, available Monday and Wednesday).
Related: Inside Surf and Turf
Pastured Belle Rouge chickens lead a highly active lifestyle, which contributes to the character of their meat. They are favored by chefs for their succulence and vivid flavor ($3.95 per pound at Violet Hill Farm, available Saturday).
Traditional mid-Atlantic recipes for scrapple include flour, cornmeal, and buckwheat flour mixed with the jowls, heart, and liver. Cook slices of this porky cake until crisp on both sides and serve with a pancake breakfast for a delightful commingling of savory and sweet ($3.50 per pound at Oak Grove, available Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday).
Small and oval German butterball potatoes have skin webbed with a net pattern and are sweet and, yes, buttery. Their sturdy flesh has a complexity that suggests parsley and nutmeg. Try this all-purpose spud mashed or stuffed with cheese (recipe) ($3 per pound at Mountain Sweet Berry, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Medium-waxy Kennebec potatoes have silken white flesh with a fresh mineral smell and a milky, delicately floral flavor with hints of almond. Their low starch content and dense texture suits frying, baking, or making chowder ($1.60 per pound at Keith's Farm, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Gumball-size Papa Amarilla potatoes from Peru, the birthplace of the potato, are curry yellow, surprisingly dense, and slightly sweet, with distinctive veggie and cheddar notes. Boil then smash them, skin on, with butter, salt, and a little warm milk for a mash with character, or make a traditional Peruvian causa, a layering of cold mashed potatoes and seafood, meat, or eggs ($3 per pound at Mountain Sweet Berry, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Waxy Russian Banana potatoes look like large lumpy fingerlings. Cook them a little longer than most to accentuate the suave texture and chestnut-squash aroma of their yellow flesh. Toss warm with a vinaigrette or roast with plenty of olive oil ($2.50 per pound at Paffenroth, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Large Mountain Rose potatoes have a creamy texture and a toasty flavor with nice tang. Fry them into flavorful, rose-petal-pink potato chips ($1 per pound at Paffenroth, available Wednesday and Saturday).
— Zoe Singer