Just over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from Charleston, SC, is the town of Mount Pleasant, a modern community exploding with growth but still known for its traditions of shrimping and sweetgrass basketmaking. Although there are many farmers markets in the Charleston area, as a dedicated home cook, my favorite is the Town of Mount Pleasant Farmers Market. It takes place each Tuesday from 3:30-7:30 p.m. on the grounds of Moultie Middle School, and although the August heat has taken hold in the Lowcountry, the market is still full of people who, other than commenting on the heat, don’t seem in a rush to escape it.
Why is it my favorite? It’s the perfect combo of accessibility, size, and variety. I routinely buy shrimp here, I get Big Daddy’s Pork Rinds and sneak one (or two) on the car ride home, I buy eggs from Wishbone Heritage Farms, and this time of year, I’m obsessed with peaches.
In fact, the peach is the belle of the farmers’ market ball at the moment. Vendors are competitively priced, and you’ll be offered a peach slice more than once if you show any interest. Although Georgia is known for peaches, South Carolina actually produces more, but there are only a couple of dedicated peach farm vendors here. Many more sell South Carolina peaches, so make sure and take note if buying direct from the farmer is your goal.
Quality of product is very high here, and in addition to beautiful local veggies and meat, you will find a wide range of artisanal food products, from pasta to grapefruit elderflower soda to freshly fried tortilla chips and salsa.
Stephanie Burt has been writing about food, art and travel long enough to have a one-up story for most cocktail parties. And she talks a lot, so don’t get her started.