Boston Haymarket Finds with Meredith Abenaim

Haymarket, Boston’s centuries-old open air market, offers the best deals on fresh produce in the historic heart of the city.  Looking through these images that are full of color and textures by Meredith Abenaim I feel as if I strolled through the market myself. Meredith shares with us her experience during one of her visits.

With eager vendors calling out the daily deals or greeting shoppers with live crabs in hand, Boston’s Haymarket is an adventure of the senses.

Haymarket, sandwiched between Boston’s North End and historic Faneuil Hall, is an open air market that dates back to at least 1830. It is a slice of living history, a celebration of food and diversity, and not typically a tourist attraction. Haymarket is filled with hard workers, many whose families have sold here for generations. Vendors exude enthusiasm, pride, and warmth and hawk their wares at rock-bottom prices from dawn to dusk, on Fridays and Saturdays, year-round. I remember visiting as a child, in awe of this urban shopping experience, because it definitely was not like my suburban supermarket trips with my family. Just recently, I choose a sunny summer morning to explore with my camera. I loved the energy, smiles, and colors. I could smell cilantro, strawberries, and tomatoes as I strolled by or leaned in to photograph the details. I overheard recipes being swapped in one ear, and the prices for fresh cheese being announced in another. Haymarket is boisterous, beloved, and truly a unique food shopping experience.

MeredithAbenaim greens at Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim shopping at Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim workers at Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim fruit at Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim apples at Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim fresh fish at Haymarket

MeredithAbenaim crab at Haymarket

I love visiting street markets while traveling, and the Haymarket would definitely make it on my list. Thank you so much for sharing with us Meredith! Feeling inspired to try something new? Here is a recipe I found on Boston Discovery Guide for Baked Stuffed Sugar Pumpkins, a Boston and New England Classic.

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Ingredients for stuffed pumpkin

  • 1 sugar pumpkin approximately 9-10″ in diameter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 2 large fresh ripe tomatoes or 2 cups canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Preheat your oven to 325°

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and add the onions.  Cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions begin to turn translucent.

2.  While the onions cook, cut the top off the pumpkin, as though you were making a jack-o-lantern, and scoop out the seeds and fibers.

3.  Add the ground lamb to the onions, using a fork to break it into small pieces, and cook until it begins to turn brown – about 5 minutes.

4.  Stir in the spices and other seasonings except for the parsley.  Let them cook for about a minute, stirring the mixture so that it doesn’t burn.  Stir in the tomatoes, rice, and parsley.  The mixture should be moist.  If it seems dry, add a little water.  Cook for 3-5 more minutes, until the tomatoes and rice are heated through, and then remove from the stove.

 5. Using a large ladle or even a cup, fill the pumpkin with the meat and vegetable mixture. Place the stuffed pumpkin on a baking tray (line with with aluminum foil for easier clean-up), and place the pumpkin top back on.

6. Bake your pumpkin for about 2 hours, until the sides become soft and the liquid in the mixture inside bubbles, indicating that it’s cooked through.

7.  Remove the pumpkin from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully place it on a platter for serving, and remove the top.

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