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Farmers Markets Not Just Fruits and Veggies

Phil Calvit uses the commercial kitchen at the Midtown Global Market to make several buckets of his shrubs at a time. In addition to finding them at numerous retail outlets and farmers markets, you can buy his product on Amazon.

Phil the Shrubber isn’t about to quit his day job. Otherwise known as Phil Calvit, he gave his last name to his Calvit’s Drinking Shrubs, is a freelance copy writer mostly by day and a producer in his spare time of hundreds-of-years-old drink mixers, called shrubs, which aren’t made from bushes in his front yard, but with vinegar, syrup, fruits, vegetables and botanicals.

Calvit discovered the genre when he gave up drinking and was looking for an alternative to a Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers. “No grown up should ever have to order a kiddie cocktail,” his website announces. His shrubs can be added to sparkling water or tonic for a nonsweet, nonalcoholic drink, and for Shirley’s and Roy’s parents, a jigger of liquor can be added.

Like his fellow presenters, Calvit was previewing his wares at Able Seedhouse and Brewery May 1, for a media event highlighting what’s new at Twin Cities area farmers markets this spring and summer.

Ancient techniques also played into Therese Moore’s product, 3Bear Oats. She uses steel-cut oats as her grain of choice, but while two flavors are suitable for breakfast, she also was touting savory versions.  “It’s not pasta and it’s not rice,” she says in reference to the high-carb varieties, “it’s like risotto for savory.”

Her culinary journey with steel-cut oats began when she went to Copenhagen and visited a restaurant that only served oat dishes. She started researching and discovered that oatmeal as a breakfast food is a relatively new idea. “Porridge was a dinner food” in Colonial America, she points out. When did that change? Moore blames it on the children’s story, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”—thus the name of her company, 3Bear Oats.

Adriana Xiong of Miss Papaya handed out samples of her papaya noodle salad and papaya and sticky rice dessert. Xiong said she grew up in a refugee camp where mangoes were sometimes the only thing they had to eat. Her delicious versions of the traditional dishes will be sold as walk-around nourishment while people shop at the markets. 

Popcorn lovers will want to bust a dance move in response to Hip Pop gourmet popcorn’s fun flavors, such as honey sriacha and birthday cake. Heather Jansen produces her snacks out of the commercial kitchen at The Lynhall on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis. 

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