Farmers’ Market 35 York Boulevard
Central Library 55 York Boulevard

During the last few tour stops, there had been a number of references to all things fiesta, from cake snake to tequila to maracas to arrrrrribaaaa! As such, May was deemed ‘fiesta’ month and what better way to prepare for a fiesta than to incorporate TWO tour stops in one outing?? The four of us had a post-exam fiesta last May where we each made a dish and met up for a night of food, drink, karaoke and pin the moustache on the mariachi (yes, that is a real game). This year though, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun if instead of making food separately and meeting up, we got together, cooked food and made drinks, all from scratch??” After discussing it with the gang to see if they’d fancy having a cooking day, we made a plan, a rather brilliant plan: we’d check out the newly renovated Hamilton Farmers’ market downtown and pick up all the necessary ingredients there and pop by the also newly renovated Hamilton Public Library next door afterwards! This was also Jenny’s first tour stop which made it a rather special occasion.

After meeting up at the car park (please note that I’ve been told by Carly to throw in as many British/colonial/what have you references as possible throughout the entirety of the tour, so for those who don’t know what that is, well, it’s a parking lot) and realizing we only had ONE hour to shop, we rushed over to the Farmers’ Market ready to explore. Somehow I was designated the role of listmaker and listchecker so after entering the market, I pulled out my notebook and pen as the others waited dutifully awaiting their assignments. So began Operation Farmers’ Market! Cue the James Bond theme, or whatever spy theme you see fit, or one of those songs you often hear in movie trailers, like Requiem for a Dream. Tick tock, tick tock…

We’d read through Jenny’s recipe book and had selected recipes that sounded simply fab and were feasible to make in the time we had. After surveying our surroundings, we thought it best to start with produce. We managed to find nearly everything except for the ever mysterious and evasive tomatillos. After a quick Google search on my super snazzy smartphone, we were on the hunt, determined not to rest till we found them, along with two peppers we needed: poblano and serrano. Okay, maybe me moreso than the others.

We made our way to the cheese section, then headed down the stairs trying our best to navigate through the different stalls and take it all in. So many stalls, so little time and so much to see and check out! The Farmers’ Market features local vendors that sell a variety of foods and goods ranging from British to Greek to Indian as well as clothing and flowers. It’s a very popular spot in Hamilton and a great way to support the locals. We had a funny encounter with a gentleman who was selling pitas and began listing off the many ways of eating pita bread in some sort of Greek accent. Definitely a highlight of the market. After a few walks around the market, we managed to find everything on the list, even those evasive peppers and tomatillos. Though really we figured, even if we didn’t find the tomatillo, it wouldn’t be the end of the world…as they say, banana, banahna, tomato, tomahto, tomatillo…tomatahlo?? Same thing at the end of the day, no?

Outside view of Farmers’ Market and Central Library

We headed over to the library which was a rather interesting venture. The library had also adopted a modern, sleek and rather futuristic look, all white and glass windows. The four of us took a stroll through, noting the decor and furniture as well as photographs featuring historic spots and locations in Hamilton. Some of the decor added a pop of neon colour to the white backdrop and so began another photoshoot.

We made it back to the car drop just in the nick of time and headed over to my place to get the fiesta started in true Hamiltonian style!

-Avishka

kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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