We all know no matter how beautiful and warm it is right this minute, it will come to a close, but it does make you appreciate something all the more because you know you won’t be able to have it for awhile. There are a lot of things right now you could say that about: corn, tomatoes, peppers … the list goes on.
But today I am dreaming about Tollefson’s fresh grilled food available at the Northwest corner of the Minneapolis Farmers Market on Fridays and weekends. The Tollefsons have been coming to the Market for more than 30 years, and will still be there for the next few weekends. Now, you will still be able to buy Tollefson’s pork all winter long (link to winter schedule here), but to have Ricky hand you what I will now call the famous Tricky Ricky, cooked to perfection, you’ll have to visit during the normal Market season.
Last Friday I hung around the Market and talked to Ricky Tollefson who shared a lot of interesting information about their family farm, how they raise their animals and the unique feed and care that their pigs receive. “I really love watching them grow up, caring for them,” Ricky said, and I could tell he really meant it and that these animals had a good life, something that matters somewhere very deep to some of us.
Then he fixed me a Tricky Ricky. I can hardly write about it here, without my mouth watering. A beautiful grilled Tollefson pork patty, topped with the sandwich’s piece de resistance: a slice of shoulder bacon, lean and smoked to perfect, then a layer of cheese, all slapped on a bun, with a generous scoop of Asian slaw made by Rainbow Chinese’s (and the Market’s) Tammy Wong and locally made mustard and barbeque sauce. That’s the way Ricky likes his sandwich and I wanted to know what the genuine Tricky Ricky tasted like.
So juicy. So full of flavor. Not greasy. “My Dad created a special feed and it’s the feed that makes the meat so lean and delicious” Ricky said, whose been coming to the Market with his for over 10 years.
“I’m not afraid to experience things—I think that’s one reason I feel older than I am,” and wiser than most, is what I think. And maybe this is the most important things about a place like the Minneapolis Farmers Market: not only am I eating ethically raised, local, and delicious food, but I get to hear a story, and have a real connection. That’s worth everything
But I tell you. It’s a good thing we don’t have to wait until next May to have another Tricky Ricky, I still have a few weekends left- and so do you!