Fresh and Local at The Broadway Market
Western New Yorkers are spoiled in the summer and autumn months. It seems that farmers markets are everywhere, supplying fresh produce from local growers. But where do we go in the winter to get quality local produce without paying the steep prices supermarkets charge for goods shipped from the warmer climates?
The Broadway Market of course!
Lewandowskiâ€™s Produce has been a mainstay at The Market for almost 25 years. Ten years before coming to The Market, Mary and her late husband Ron made the rounds at area farmers markets. Their business provided an outlet for the produce of farmers that could not commit to going to the various outdoor venues. The markets in Springville, Clinton-Bailey, Niagara Falls, and the Super Flea on Walden are where they began their journey as a business.
Mary buys cold storage goods from local farmers during the winter months. New York State apples are always available. â€śOur prices are way cheaper than the grocery stores. You canâ€™t compare. Local apples are always 50 cents a pound or 3 pounds for a dollar,â€ť the Broadway Market veteran told me. â€śWe get our apples from Niagara County grower and potatoes, cabbage and onions from other local growers.â€ť Local brand Appleton Honey is another specialty with 1 lb. jars starting at low $3.00 a jar.
With Saint Patrickâ€™s Day around the corner, Lewandowski's prices for that traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner are more than affordable. Local potatoes are just $2.99 for a 10 lb. bag, local cabbage is $1.25 a head, onions are a steal at $4.99 for a 10 lb. bag, and carrots, trucked in from out-of-state, are still a mere $2.29 for 5 lbs. If you prefer the more tender baby red creamer potatoes, they're only a buck a pound.
Lewandowskiâ€™s expands their business during the Easter Season by bringing in spring flowers. Lush and colorful Easter lilies, mums, azaleas, hydrangeas, violets, mini roses, begonias are stacked high. â€śWe buy everything we can get our hands on,â€ś Mary said.
And of course, a huge supply of pussy willows is readily available for area Dyngus Day activities. The pussy willows are also purchased from area farms. Over 1500 stems are sold Easter weekend alone.
Polish wooden Easter Eggs and the Marushka dolls are also a favorite. Mary tries to impress the kids with the colorful Easter decorations. â€śI like to make a fun festive atmosphere. This way the kids will start to have the memories of coming here at Easter just as older generations do.â€ť
Another popular Market produce stand is Famous Horseradish. You cannot miss this place as the pungent aroma of freshly grated horseradish grabs your attention, even from a distance.
Famous Horseradish always has a beautiful display of produce - again at reasonable prices. But freshly grated horseradish is truly what this place is all about.
Zenon Skup and his sweet smiling wife Wanda have been at the Market for over 25 years. Together they produce a variety of homemade horseradish based products that act as the foundation of their business. Fresh horseradish root is harvested in the spring and fall and sent to The Market where employees grate the root daily, releasing the volatile oils that distinguish horseradish from all other flavors. The bite and aroma of the horseradish root are almost absent until it is grated or ground when, as the root cells are crushed, the oils known as isothiocyanate are released. The ground horseradish is then mixed with distilled vinegar to stabilize the heat and flavor. This basic formula may also contain spices or other ingredients-- salt, sugar, cream or vegetable oil. But, Zenon insists that only horseradish and vinegar be the primary constituents in their brand. One of the varieties that Famous Horseradish sells is horseradish mixed with beets, a personal favorite. The color is amazing, and the taste is unique. I love to serve it with hard-boiled eggs.
Cocktail sauce and horseradish mustard are some of the other products Famous Horseradish makes. Horseradish is a member of the mustard family, sharing lineage with its gentler cousins, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and the common radish, so it is only natural that the marriage with mustard seeds works so well. Fresh horseradish root is sold if you want to grate your own.
Zenon suggests that shoppers buy only the amount of horseradish they will use in a reasonable amount of time, which is why he stocks bottles of various size. He suggests that the horseradish be kept in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator to maintain freshness. Serve the desired amount of horseradish in a glass or ceramic bowl (it tarnishes silver). Then return what is left over into the jar, close it tightly and refrigerate it immediately. Horseradish that remains unrefrigerated loses flavor. Another tip is to freeze it. Put horseradish in ice cube tray compartments, freeze, and then pop them in a zip lock bag and keep them in the freezer. This is a great way to be able to add fresh horseradish to applesauce, sour cream or heavy cream as a condiment for beef, ham or sausage.
Both of these stands are part of what makes The Broadway Market such a special place, and a great option for shopping year round.
999 Broadway Street, Buffalo, 14212
999 Broadway Street, Buffalo, 14212
***In the weeks leading up to Easter, the Broadway Market has over 300,000 visitors who come home to the market to renew old friendships, relive family memories and traditions and buy some of the foods that will grace family tables during this special springtime holiday season.
For the next two weeks (and the past two as well), Buffalo Rising contributor and Slow Food Buffalo founding member, Sandra Starks, will be highlighting some of the vendors and the specialty products they offer each Friday on YUM. Each business is unique, but they all have some things in common-â€“a passion for the tradition of the market, a strong work ethic and pride in the products they produce and sell.
Other Broadway Market features from this series:
Peter Lupas Meats