I can’t stop smiling after my visit to Parkesdale Farm Market yesterday. Believe it or not, it was only my third visit and my first visit was actually this year. I tried a few times to go in the past but the line was so far out the door, I decided to try again on another time. I have been making a lot of trips to Plant City for work and just can’t be within 2 miles of this glorious place without stopping by.
I will never forget the first time I tried one of their strawberry cookies at the annual Food Wine Conference in Orlando. It was as if the world stopped and the only thing that mattered at that moment was the flavor of that glorious, red strawberry cookie. I knew at that moment that they would become one of my favorite food items of all time.
My other favorite item at Parkesdale is their strawberry shakes. There is a reason that they draw such record crowds. They are simply the best. I have had three of them in just the last two weeks and can’t wait to take my kids there to try one. Words really can’t describe how incredible they are, you must try one for yourself. In fact, Food Network named it the “best drinkable dessert.”
If you are like me and enjoy using local products for cooking and entertaining, you will find it hard to leave the market without tons of items like salsa, hot sauces, dressings, marinades, preserves and more. Last night I enjoyed some locally made bacon sriracha from Fat Cat Gourmet Foods drizzled over my chicken stir fry. It. Was. Divine.
I also took home some Pepper Patch Salsa which will be making an appearance this weekend at a football party.
I learned that Parkesdale was founded in 1956 and is the largest family-operated Strawberry & Citrus Market. Each year thousands of people visit for the sole purpose of tasting their world-famous strawberry shortcake, which I have not yet had the pleasure of trying. Hard to believe, I know. You must remember, I grew up in Northern California so I am still getting to know all of the local gems in Florida. While I was visiting yesterday, I spotted a gorgeous bag of Florida tangerines that I took home for my kids. I also love making whipped tangerine and honey goat cheese crostini for holiday parties. Simply whip goat cheese with a few tables spoons of fresh tangerine juice and local honey, then spread on toast points and top with a fresh berry. It is perfect for the holiday season.
Each time I visit Parkesdale, I have a hard time leaving. In fact, I am going back next week with my kids so they can experience a strawberry shake and so I can do a little holiday shopping.
I am very excited to have a wonderful giveaway from Parkesdale. A lucky reader will get a bag of strawberry cookies, a jar of strawberry preserves and one of their famous shakes. Items can be picked up at the market. To enter, simply click on the link below. I will be sharing some fun holiday recipes over the weekend with items I picked up at the market.