When traveling, I find that you can tell so much about a place by what’s available at local markets: what do people eat, what is there an abundance of, what don’t you see, and (of course!) what “healthy” items can be found.
Thankfully, my host here in New Brunswick likes markets too - so we spent the day yesterday visiting farmers markets in Moncton, Dieppe, and Hillsborough.
I was pleasantly surprised by how many vendors were selling healthy alternatives to traditional wheat breads and sugary desserts. There was a huge selection of gluten-free fresh baked breads, paleo desserts sweetened with dates or local maple syrup....and many take out meals/soups with all natural and organic ingredients.
In terms of produce, my initial observations were the large amounts of potatoes and corn - and while neither of those are high on my “must eat” list, I was happy to see how many of the vendors were organic!
I also saw some new things - like some unique colors of carrots, huge green radishes, lemon cucumbers.....and my favourite discovery: “ground cherries”. Though not native to New Brunswick, we found them at each of the markets we stopped into.
Often confused with Chinese Lanterns- ground cherries look like small orange pearls, approximately 1-2 cm in diameter, and are enclosed in a miniature papery husk. They taste sweet, a tiny bit tart - and even a little “nutty”.
Ground cherries are high in vitamins A, C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and beta-carotene. They also have significant amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, bioflavonoids, protein, and fiber.
And what’s more - they are super adorable to look at! ☺️