Friday, August 17, 2007

It's All Delicious at Baltimore's Lexington Market

Mmmm…farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, succulent crab cakes, steak and cheese subs dripping with flavor, fresh from the Chesapeake crabs and oysters, fudge-topped cookies to satisfy any chocoholic. Hungry yet?

All these and more await you at Baltimore's Lexington Market, 225 years old and going strong. Opened in 1782, it is the world's largest continuously running market, and still at the original site on Lexington Street between Eutaw and Greene.

At first, it was an open air market where farmers brought wagons filled with hams, butter, produce, eggs, and poultry. About 20 years later a shed went up and the market grew from there. Famous people have visited the market over the centuries; Ralph Waldo Emerson proclaimed Baltimore "the gastronomic capital of the world" after visiting The Market. The growth continued until there were more than 1,000 stalls and major traffic problems in the 1920's. Plans to replace old buildings with new, modern ones never quite got off the drawing board until 1949. In March that year a six-alarm fire destroyed buildings, equipment, and merchandise, and moved plans for a new market along quickly. Today, there are about 140 merchants carrying on the tradition.

The Market hosts special events throughout the year including a Chocolate Festival, the Preakness Crab Derby, and Lunch With the Elephants when the circus comes to town. We just enjoy the every day guaranteed good eating, as you can see in the photos – that's Lee lining up for Andy's Steak subs.

Lexington Market – a delicious Baltimore tradition not to be missed. Be sure to try the fresh seafood – Faidley's is famous for their oysters. And don't pass the Bergers Cookies without buying a package or two. Chocoholics recognize them as the ultimate, with just enough cookie to hold a great glob of dark, rich, fudge icing. Bon appetit!

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