The Masterful Market

Market’s trump (no pun intended) the supermarket for me ANY DAY! The local  Farmer’s Market, Renninger’s, here in Kutztown gives the electric feel of the weekenders and culture of 5 generations as compared to the dull fluorescence of strolling through the supermarket where I feel like Jeopardy’s iconic ticking-time music should be playing while I walk through (or that crappy elevator music that constantly reminds you that you’re stuck. There is this essence in the air, an ambient mood, that everyone is closer to their produce, meats, or products, than you would find walking through Weis or Giant. I’m sure the response you’d find from asking one of their employees where the food came from might be, “I really don’t know.” But, walking through the market, I had some interesting conversations with some of the vendor’s. For produce in season, which a select few vendors only sold, I found that most of them were grown locally, or not far from Kutztown. For many, I could clearly see that no preservatives or chemicals were used on the food. Carrots fresh from the ground, still with dirt on them, made had my mouth dribbling drool. Drop the chain, drop the chemicals, I can clearly see. One vendor that only had select in-season produce came from Shartlesville. Another vendor I spoke with said, “off the truck,” when I asked where they got their produce. She then continued, “We get out produce from our farm and other local farms. Some items come out-of-season items come from suppliers.” A lot of the meats come from local butchers and farms that, unlike their produce-farming counterparts, can operate all year. The bacon had me slobberin’ the floor like a dog.  It made buying bacon from the store seem like a waste. Hmm, bacon slices as thick as my finger or bacon sliced thinner than my final essay? What the heck do you think I picked? Some other meats like ring bologna were a mix of larger brands and local made. However, a lot of the foods were clearly homemade and quite delicious—I couldn’t help but try them. I found the energy and the overall experience of the market to much more amusing and satisfying than a supermarket trip. I didn’t just want to get in, get my food, and get out. 

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