5 Reasons Why Farmers' Market Baked Goods Often Suck

Categories: My Rant, Sietsema

Chalky, crumbly, low on flavor -- and please leave it in the oven a little longer.

You see them lined up on tables between the lavender sprigs and homemade soaps: pale, starchy, looking like a kid who hasn't been in the sun all summer. These are the baked goods of the farmers' markets. And not only do the cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, and sweet rolls often look bad, they frequently taste bad, too.

This cookie tasted OK, I guess, but, though it was supposed to be an oatmeal cookie, virtually no oatmeal could be detected.

I guess I should be grateful. Good baked stuff has turned the Madison, Wisconsin, farmers' market into a strolling cake cram, resulting in collisions between pastry eaters on the narrow pathway that rings the capitol building, and a general de-emphasis on things you cook with, in favor of things you can eat right away -- instant gratification.

I recently undertook a baked-goods eating binge at one of our markets, to see if this negative impression would be confirmed. It mainly was. Sure, there were a couple of good things -- cider donuts, gingerbread, and a sweet roll with plenty of frosting on it -- but these were notable exceptions.

Though somewhat unsightly, the gingerbread men were pretty good.

Next: The five reasons

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