The market is held on the sidewalks of the capitol square. Dane County, where Madison is located, is a highly prosperous agricultural region. I rolled out of bed early Saturday and reached the market around 8, meeting up with our friends.
It was great to go shopping with them, as they know the market well and guided me to the stalls with the most delicious fruits, meats, and cheeses. Pears, apricots, and cherries are beginning to come in. And real home-grown tomatoes, not those fakey hydroponic ones.
While the Chicago markets offer as great a variety of produce (perhaps greater), the Madison market is more beautiful and homey. The crowd circulates around the square in one direction, slowly ambling past the cramped stalls, which are beautifully arranged. The vegetables, fruits, and flowers are lovely, their colors all the more dazzling on a perfect summer day.
My husband had the foresight to pack a cooler, so we could take some perishables home. I ended up buying many items, including organic bacon and pork chops, apricots, heirloom tomatoes, Madison Sourdough pastries, tiny Brussels sprouts, spinach, and cave-aged cheeses.