Winston-Salem, North Carolina is a town with quite a varied history, ranging from its financially lucrative roots in the tobacco industry (R.J. Reynolds is based here—think Camel, Newport, and Winston) to its significant ties to the Moravian church (one of the world’s oldest Protestant Christian religions, known for their gender equality, emphasis on education, and delicious baked goods).
Old Salem is a corner in Winston-Salem that houses a restored Moravian community complete with a living museum (including guides in traditional 18th and 19th century attire) as well as Salem College, the oldest women’s college in the nation, dating back to 1766.
Also found in Old Salem on Saturday mornings (April through November, at least) is the Cobblestone Farmers Market, a delightful farmers’ market in operation since 2011. It features fresh produce, meat, flowers, cold-pressed juice, coffee, eggs, and more from Winston-Salem and nearby areas. My husband and I travel a ton on the weekend during the spring and summer, so when we’re in Winston-Salem on a Saturday and can check out Cobblestone, it’s a real treat. You’re sure to find families shopping together, dogs excited to be invited to the market, and live music to set the tone.
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Old Salem, where the market is held, offers tours of restored historic buildings and period gardens.
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Padrón peppers (the green ones on the top), originally from Spain, are best when blistered (in my opinion). They say about one in 10 is hot, so watch your bites!
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Krankies Coffee is a beloved favorite here in Winston-Salem, and they always have a presence at Cobblestone, offering a much-needed caffeine boost to fuel Saturday market shopping.
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Foraged and/or grown right here in the Piedmont region, these remarkably flavorful mushrooms can't be missed. Featured varieties include lion's mane (which, when cooked, is akin to seafood in texture and flavor), shitakes, and oysters.
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Black Mountain Chocolate--inspired by the artistic traditions in the Black Mountain region of North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains but based here in Winston-Salem--offers decadent samples of their sweet treats, which is sure to entice you to purchase a whole bar. I especially love their Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bar and drinking chocolate (mixed with almond milk). Yum!
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Another favorite here in the Camel City, Camino Bakery--serving up fresh bread and tempting baked goods--sets up shop at Cobblestone, satisfying the morning sweet tooth of market attendees with their sticky buns, banana-walnut bread, and (my personal favorite) lemon ginger cookies.
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It doesn't get much prettier than fresh hibiscus. And, lucky for us Southerners, the plant flourishes in this region. You can brew the leaves into a beautiful tea, or just eat them on their own for a tart, tasty treat.
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One of the best things about the Cobblestone Market is the abundance of fresh, organic meat offerings, ranging from duck to pork to water buffalo to chicken. We try to stock up when we're here, knowing that this meat is so high quality.
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Winston-Salem is a small-ish city, so we were thrilled to get a cold-pressed juice offering here in town. Village Juice launched earlier this year, and their incredible flavors and quality juicing process has made them a favorite in the community already. Their traveling trailer is available all around town. (I especially recommend their "Blender Bender" almond milk flavor.)
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The live music at the Cobblestone Market helps set an upbeat tone to the shopping experience each week.