Whenever I travel, I’m on a mission for local food. This past weekend Bill and I made Pittsburgh’s Public Market in The Strip District our destination. Going to The Strip is a fun experience in itself–the old architecture, the hustle-and-bustle of a Saturday morning, the variety of ethnic foods (and I suppose the shopping if you’re into that sort of thing).
In the early 20th century, The Strip was the hub of the wholesale produce business in Pittsburgh. After the Depression, the flood of 1936, and World War II, food supplies decreased. Then trucks began to replace railroads as the preferred method of transportation, and grocery store chains continued to grow, putting small independent stores out of business and cutting out wholesalers by purchasing directly from growers.
By the 1970s there were about two dozen dealers left in the produce terminal. Remaining dealers began to expand their businesses by opening retail stores on Penn Avenue and Smallman Street. Today the Strip District is best known for its retail produce and ethnic food stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.
I love a neighborhood that focuses on food!
After wandering The Strip, we headed to the Public Market, an indoor farmers market with many vendors selling local and organic produce–farmed and foraged–as well as meat and dairy products from humanely treated animals.
Always lured by goat cheese, we stopped by Abbe Turner’s booth on our way out. She’s the cheesemaker at Lucky Penny Farm, which raises Nubian, La Mancha, and Alpine dairy goats in Northeast Ohio, less than 100 miles from Pittsburgh.
We got to sample both the Chevre and the aged Goat Rock. Delicious!
We only wish we had brought our cooler since it was 90 degrees that day and we were a long way from a fridge!