Last Saturday we got up early to make it to the Durham Farmers Market before all the sweet corn disappeared. We were well rewarded with beautiful plump kerneled ears.
Overall, the market offers a good selection of fresh produce, baked goods, organic eggs, poultry, meats and cheeses. Additionally, we have soap makers (goat's milk!) as well as chocolatiers (DollyMama, a playful take on the Dalai Lama, whose chocolates include the Buddha box), and artists and craftsmen selling everything from jewelry to stained glass baubles to handmade cards to pottery.
But the booth that we kept gravitating to was Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farms' bison meat. You too can buy Rocky Mountain Oysters (ugh, no thanks) as my younger brother did or you can be more conservative (a term rarely applicable to me) and buy kabobs or burgers, roasts or stew meat.
Bison is pricey. The average price per pound for most cuts is between $7 and $10. Organ meats are cheaper, starting at $3. Prime cuts like steak as high as $20.
My son, the 11-year-old epicure, was dying to try bison. We bought kabobs (and unbeknownst to us, my older brother had already been shopping and bought burgers). Around five, we got a call to come over for Buff Burgers on the Barbie. So, we did.
Bison doesn't look that much different from ground beef, but is leaner and nutritionally superior according to some experts.
Sunset Ridge buffalos are grass-fed, and are not given growth hormones, low-level antibiotics, or animal by-productsAccording to the National Bison Association:
Research by Dr. M. Marchello at North Dakota State University has shown that the meat from Bison is a highly nutrient dense food because of the proportion of protein, fat, mineral, and fatty acids to its caloric value. Comparisons to other meat sources have also shown that Bison has a greater concentration of iron as well as some of the essential fatty acids necessary for human well being.