You'd think having the good tomatoes in season would be enough. But no, the local farmers markets have even more incentives to pull you out Saturday morning:
- Corn Roast Day returns at the Matthews Community Farmers Market, after being cancelled for two years by drought. Joe Bonaparte and chefs from the Art Institute will do the roasting, and there is supposed to be gourmet flavored butters. Ears are $2 each (it's fund-raiser for the market) and it starts at 9 a.m.
- If you're out earlier, Marc Jacksina, formerly of Lulu and now of Andrew Blairs, will teach the 7:30 a.m. Chef's Secret class at the Matthews market. Topic is supposed to be "alternative cooking techniques." Knowing Jacksina, there's no telling what that means.
- One more from Matthews: Tomato Tasting Day is July 24. You'll get to sample dozens of kinds and vote on your favorite. I was lucky enough to land at the Carrboro Farmer's Market on Tomato Day last year, and I still cherish the memory of a tomato jam I met there.
- At the Davidson Farmer's Market, Saturday is Melon Tasting Day from 8:30 to 10:30. They'll have samples of watermelons, Sprite melons and Crenshaws. They're claiming the hot, dry weather has concentrated the sugars, making this year's melons especially sweet. Go by for a taste and test the theory.
- How's your salsa? The Davidson market is holding its first Salsa Showdown on July 24. Deadline for entries is July 17. Four contestants will be picked through a blind drawing, and customers get to vote on the winner. Prize is $25 in market bucks. (Meaning, you have to spend them there. But that shouldn't be hard to do.)