To celebrate National Farmers Market Week (Aug. 7-13), there’s no better place to enjoy fresh tropical fruits, sweet and savory baked goods, and other artisan treats than The Aventura Farmers Market. Stroll in air-conditioned comfort as you discover foods from around the world, created in small batches by local artisans and crafters. With over 65 vendors, the market welcomes visitors to choose from a variety of farm-fresh produce, eggs and honey; pastries made lovingly by hand; jellies and fruit preserves; rustic breads made without preservatives; fresh mango salads dressed with seasonings, and much more. Better yet, you can shop unique, handcrafted gifts!
Here’s a sampling of must-visit vendors at The Aventura Farmers Market
Candy Soap Check out their hyper-realistic bowl of raspberries and blackberries. Nope, it’s not fruit, nor is it cake – it’s soap, complete with berry-licious fragrance (even the bowl is soap!) Slava Zgureanu and his wife, Nadya, are behind these gorgeous faux cheesecakes, donuts, pastries and flaky croissants; boxes filled with mango, watermelon, avocado and mandarin orange; and bouquets of delicate flowers, all rendered in chemical-free soaps. They’re the perfect gifts for a housewarming, birthday or shower.
Ciabella Mediterranean Bakery Fresh, golden artisan bread – tender and flavorful inside, crusty on the outside – belongs on every table. At Ciabella, their sweet and savory breads are parbaked, ready for you to finish in your oven or toaster oven for a few minutes before serving. Imported from Montreal, these loaves are made using unbleached wheat flour with no preservatives or added sugars. Try classic baguettes or flavors like salty kalamata olive or chocolate and cranberry. Also not to be missed are the Tunisian olive oil – made with za’atar and balsamic vinegar – and jars of tapenade.
El Coco Loco Frio No farmers market is complete without fresh produce. El Coco Loco Frio brings you tropical fruits direct from South Florida’s agricultural district, including mango, mamoncillo, avocado, guava, pink dragon fruit and mamey sapote, along with exotic produce from further afield, like rambutan, cacao and yellow dragon fruit. Buy whole fruits and delicious fruit salads and, for the ultimate tropical cooler, order a cocada – an icy beverage made from fresh coconut and sweetened condensed milk (there’s also a vegan version).
Paula’s Bake Shop
Imagine melt-in-your-mouth pastries, filled with creamy dulce de leche and rolled in coconut flakes, all packed neatly in a charming gift box. These are alfajores, Argentinean delicacies handmade by Paula Chavez and her daughter. Since starting her business, Paula has added custom flavors like guava and dulce de leche, Nutella, chocolate-dipped versions, and gluten-free choices. There’s more: try Paula’s delicious banana bread, carrot cake, orange cake, marble cakes, and light-as-air meringues.
Arhus When Amadeo Quiroga couldn’t find jellies without preservatives or chemicals, he set out to make them himself. The delicious result is Arhus jellies, a unique collection of preserves that include jellies made from wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Sangria, Malbec and Merlot, each of which pairs perfectly with cheese and crackers. Arhus’ popular line of no-sugar-added fruit preserves are available in blueberry, strawberry and mixed berry.
Mango Biche How do people around the world enjoy mango? If you’re Colombian, you might sprinkle it with salt, pepper and fresh lime juice. Mexicans add hot sauce or tangy, sweet chamoy sauce. And if you’re Venezuelan, you could squeeze a few drops of Worcestershire sauce on top. Order your mango any way you like at Mango Biche, where they sell ripe and green mangos in chunks or cut into spiral like fat spaghetti, ready for you to add your favorite topping. Don’t miss their refreshing juices, like mango lemonade.
Chicha Criolla Chicha is the perfect refreshing summer drink. Made with cooked rice, it’s creamy and smooth, sweetened with condensed milk, seasoned with a dusting of cinnamon and chilled with ice – think rice pudding as a beverage. You can try this at Chicha Criolla alongside other Venezuelan specialties, including arroz con leche and catalinas, puffy cookies made with dark cane sugar and a touch of cinnamon. Make this a lunch stop for savory empanadas stuffed with chicken or meat, and cheese-filled tequeños.
The Aventura Farmers Market is open Saturdays and Sundays, spanning the Lower Level from Center Court to Zara and near Bloomingdale’s. For more information, call 305-935-1110 or visit AventuraMall.com/Aventura-Market.
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