Flavor and flowers at farmer’s market
Posted by infinitygoods on August 29, 2007
Speaking of Farmers’ Markets, earlier this summer I went to the opening of the California Avenue market in Palo Alto, Calif. What a treat it was: plein-air shopping, great live music, friendly farmers eager to please, samples of sweet ripe fruit and the satisfaction of bringing home yummy and healthy produce, flowers and goods which are not only good for us in the short run, but good for us and the environment in the long run too. Most cities across the country have a farmer’s market or even several where, like me, you can make your weekly pilgrimage.
In Palo Alto, kudos to Country Sun, one of the California Avenue grocers (www.countrysun.com), for thinking of providing free, reuseable grocery bags. Not only was it easy to carry purchases, but it was great advertising for them as well. People were talking about it all week and hoping they would continue passing out their green bags every week. By the way, Country Sun, green was the perfect color for your “Green Bags” on the first Sunday. Black was not nearly as popular the next week. Personally, any happy color will be more than welcome, but green is the best pun for a “Green Bag.”
Also discovered a French charcuterie (deli), Fabrique Delices, fit enough for the White House, the Pope and Air France. Their duck rilliette and mousse of goose liver are simply spectacular. First of all, you just can’t find great rilliette anywhere short of hopping on a plane to France, and the mousse was almost as good as a foie gras! They also carry tiny french cornichons for the gourmets who don’t like those fat, sweet pickles. Check out their website (www.fabriquedelices.com) for more details and look for Jean-Baptiste on Sunday.
Prevedelli Farms of Watsonville had some simply irresistible preserves. A young teen handed me a sample as I walked by, I thanked him, asking what it was, and kept right on walking. But I stopped dead in my tracks and walked the couple feet right back to their stand when the real fruit flavors danced on my taste buds. I wasn’t in the market for preserves, but I had to at least look at the ingredients and the name of the merchant. The man, just as friendly as the young teen, told me his wife makes these preserves using their ripest fruit and uses very little sugar, much less than usually required in receipes. Excellent and ripe fruit indeed because they were unbelievably sweet and flavorful. My taste buds were singing “uh huh, I like it!” I could not resist buying their Gourmet Fruit Sauce and their Seedless Blackberry Preserves. I would suggest to Prevedelli that they remove the seeds from their fruit sauce too. Who needs seeds?
Forget Smuckers, with a taste this good, it’s got to be Prevedelli Farms. Look them up at www. prevedelli.com. They are a third-generation family farm and also have pear and apple orchards. They grow 26 varieties of apples, and I happily look forward to the fall harvest season. My perennially requested apple tart is going to be just out of this world this year!
If you’re not familiar with Afghan foods, you should stop by the Bolani stand for some samples. Bolanies are similar to quesadillas and are eaten with various sauces and hummus. The spinach bolani I sampled was very moist and tasty. Also ask for their “Afghan Lasagna.” It’s a spinach bolani with sun-dried tomato sauce and two other sauces combined for a very realistic approximation of flavors and texture. If you’ve tried hummus before and didn’t like it, be sure to sample it here. This is what hummus should taste like. Their website is http://www.bolaniandsauce.com.
Before you leave any farmer’s market, be sure to pick up some flowers, too. They last and last when they come straight from the grower without any middlemen.