Have You Hit Your Platonic Ideal of Summer Foods Yet?

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
August 22, 2014

Got corn? Photo credit: Glasshouse Images, Stockfood

It’s the end of August. Maybe you’re feeling a little panicky. Have you gotten in enough beach days, enough lake outings, enough lazy walks, enough rosé

Well, then, get on it, if you can, but stay focused for a sec, here. Do a little gut check. A literal one:


Have you walked through a farmer’s market recently? It’s like walking through a Benetton circa 1992, with everything organized by color. It’s a rainbow of fruit (and vegetable) flavor out there. Everything is fairly shimmering with awesomeness. 

So here’s the list. The top 10. Have you REALLY gotten your fill of: 

1. Corn on the Cob

With butter and salt. With lime, cotija, and chili powder. On the street. While camping. All the time.

2. Peach Ice Cream

Lots of folks have it right now. Look for it. Or make your own. But peaches are damn dreamy at the moment almost everywhere. 

3. Grilled Steak

All the steak. Photo credit: Condé Nast Collection, StockFood

It’s pretty good when you treat it right indoors. But outside, with proper grill marks? It’s a freakin’ marvel.

4. Summer Fruit Cocktails

Photo credit: Christopher Almeida

Make punch. Throw sliced peaches into the bad boxed white wine you brought to the outdoor concert. Make cocktails based around plums, nectarines or peaches. Don’t miss these. 

5. Hot Dogs

Don’t think too long or hard about what’s in them. Just get yourself to a ballgame and eat them. 

6. Ice Cream

Team Food is pro–ice cream. Some might call it a problem. We call it a privilege. 

7. Eggplant

Photo credit: Alex Van Buren, Instagram

It’s never gonna look foxier at the farmer’s market than it does right now. Do it.

8. Ratatouille

Dash through the market joyfully like you’re in a French musical from the 60s and put all of it into one big happy pot of summertime. It requires patience, sure, but the flavor will make you “want to punch a hole in a wall.”

9. S’mores

Not outdoorsy? WHO CARES. Get yourself somewhere that it’ll be fine for you to eat at least four of these and not be judged. Even if that’s a small piece of sidewalk. Put the Weber on it. Eat s’mores. Enjoy your life.

10. Mediocre Ice-Cold Beer

Are you a PBR, a High Life, a Bud sort of person? We don’t care. If you’re a drinker, make sure you drink a mediocre ice-cold beer while shooting the breeze with someone, somewhere, outside this weekend.