There are all kinds of road food. Driving across the country we try and sample as much of it as we can. From out of the way Taco stands to diners, drive-in’s and dives, we love to find great food at a reasonable price. Not all road food is bad for you. We also love farmers markets and roadside stands offering fresh local produce. Traveling along the back roads you can always count on finding one or the other to provide your veggies and salad fixings and much more.
Farmers Markets are bigger affairs, usually open only on the weekend or on a specific day during the week. We always check the campground manager or a local paper to see what is available. Farmers markets can offer everything from locally grown produce that you won’t find anywhere else to crafts and artwork by regional artists. They are a great place to wile away a morning, enjoying the sights and sounds and mingling with the locals. One of the best we found was in Missoula, Montana with blocks of vendors stretched along the river. I still salivate at the memory of the fresh huckleberry pie we picked up there. (not to mention the huckleberry jam and the huckleberry syrup… the Montana huckleberry season is short so you don’t want to miss its offerings.)
Each region we travel in has its own specialties. In Sante Fe, New Mexico’s market, for example, we found hot peppers and south western spices that we haven’t found elsewhere. In Ohio we found just a roadside stand run by an Amish family. We feasted on the homemade egg noodles, bread and breakfast sausage for days after that visit. The sweetest white corn is in New Hampshire. Fresh stalks of brussels sprouts (did you know they grew on a stalk? I didn’t) can be found on the east end of Long Island, NY. Need I go on?
All you need to do to eat well and eat fresh is to keep your eyes peeled, or ask around, and you’ll find a cornucopia of fresh, local produce a short drive from wherever you are staying. Sometimes you don’t even need to leave the campground. When we were in Baja, Mexico we camped on the beach along the Sea of Cortez. Every morning a local woman would come through selling fresh, still warm, epanadas and corn tamales out of the truck of her car. It doesn’t get any fresher, or better, than that.