Sum­mer eat­ing occa­sions are inher­ently more for­giv­ing. Many foods are hand held, eaten out­doors and have a cer­tain casual put-​together-​look about them.

No need for name call­ing or sham­ing, but sloppy look­ing foods get by this time of year out of sheer good­ness.

Less for­mal pre­sen­ta­tions give us more time pool­side or on the patio. We’re more inter­ested in less meal prep and more face time with our peeps.

A Cap­rese salad of rough cut toma­toes, torn basil leaves and ran­dom Buf­falo moz­zarella pieces is quite suit­able. Pep­pered and oiled, this sum­mer cold plate rivals any pris­tine sliced and shin­gled ver­sion.

Sum­mer fruits and veg­eta­bles are well groomed for a quick toss with herbs, dress­ings and light sea­son­ings. A squeeze of lime, lemon or grape­fruit may be all chopped and sliced mel­ons need.


Grilled corn is a stand out and stand alone messy food to rav­ish over bar­be­cues and cam­pouts. Shaved from the cob, the cooked ker­nels pro­vide a back­drop for wickedly good sal­sas, sal­ads or rel­ishes.

Aside from pizza, when else do we get a free pass on glo­ri­ous out of hand eat­ing? Whole corn cobs are summer’s ticket to messy at it’s best. Out­side table eti­quette only requires a few more nap­kins instead of proper place set­tings of knives, forks and spoons.

Cold plat­ters mounded high with vari­ety grapes, mel­ons and berries invite guests to dig in with their hands.

A smat­ter­ing of nuts, cheeses and dried fruits on the board sig­nal that a bounty of foods are at our fin­ger­tips. Nib­bles and small bites take the edge off hunger.

Bar­be­cued ribs, chicken and sausages are indul­gent sum­mer foods that allow for get­ting down and dirty with sauces and dips. They are still in the messy fin­ger food cat­e­gory. The slaws and sides paired with them are just as impor­tant to round­ing out the meal.

Desserts and con­fec­tions, frozen or oth­er­wise, can be equally wet, juicy and down­right fun to eat. Pineap­ple spears, peaches and nec­tarines are fan­tas­tic right from the grill with a sprin­kling of sticky cin­na­mon sugar.

Drip­ping with fla­vor, grilled fruit is an unex­pected sweet sum­mer treat. So too are sin­gle serve cups and pops of frozen fruit sor­bets, gran­i­tas and other delec­table. Melt­ing drops are all part of the sum­mer eat­ing expe­ri­ence.

Keep an open mind when it comes to being sloppy. It’s not a per­ma­nent state of being. As the hot days pass by quickly, so too will the lib­erty let­ting us to be messy.

To read the full Mar­ket Report, includ­ing this week’s mar­ket update, see below or click here.