New Vendor: Dacha Fermented Veggies
As you know the Chappaqua Farmer’s Market is composed of two types of vendors. Those who come every week – the “bread & butter” – vendors, as it were, who sell produce, fruit, proteins and, yes, bread. Then there are the rotating vendors, who come once or twice a month. They sell the types of foods that aren’t necessary to prepare a meal, but they sure do make cooking, and life, more interesting.
So it goes for DACHA FERMENTED FOODS, a new vendor who will be visiting us once a month this season at the train station. Owner Sheila Bober had me at hello. Or rather, at DACHA, a Russian word and concept I love for obvious reasons.
Best to let Sheila explain in her own words:
For millions of Russians including my family, the dacha cooperative is a community; a place of connecting with the earth where people enjoy farming as a life-long hobby. City workers go to their dachas on weekends to take a breath of fresh air and to garden. Dachas are far from the city in the countryside of Russian villages. I remember as a child running in the fields and eating fresh vegetables from my family’s garden. At the end of the season, my parents would harvest and my grandmothers and mother would pickle the vegetables that the whole family enjoyed throughout the fall and winter.
Dacha Foods are a modern take on traditional Russian foods, using the age-old process of lactic acid fermentation, instead of vinegars and crispers, to create probiotic-rich foods with a multitude of health benefits. Made in small batches by hand, DACHA foods use seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms with organic or pesticide free, non-GMO, sustainable farming practices.
I was born in Chernovtze, Ukraine and emigrated to New York City when I was eight years old. I grew up surrounded by a tight-knit community that celebrated life by cooking and sharing food. Growing one’s own food is a Russian tradition and my parents continued that tradition in the United States. Every summer my father planted a huge vegetable garden and my mother pickled the bountiful produce so friends and family could savor them all year long. Today I share these food traditions with my husband and three children, family and friends.
Sheila will be selling several varieties of Sauerkraut – such as Russian Classic with carrots and fresh cranberries, Garlic Kale Kraut, Spicy Kraut with Daikon Radish, and Ginger Turmeric Kraut, just to name a few. Since they source their vegetables from local farms, the seasons dictate their pickled products but you can expect fermented CauliKraut, Dilly Beans, Jalapeños, Watermelon Pickles, Sweet and Sour Red Tomatoes and “Pucker Up Hot Stuff” Spicy Green Tomatoes, too. Along with fermented foods they also make traditional knishes, a favorite snack at most Dachas.
So happy to welcome Dacha Fermented Foods and the Dacha tradition into our market family fold. You can look for them on the FIRST Saturday of each month.
Counting down to May 12th.
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ farmer’s market director
author: “American Pie:Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” (HarperCollins)