Call me a yuppy, but there’s something I love about Farmers’ Markets. In a world of pre-packaged convenience foods, that have been boiled, peeled, chopped, preserved, or made just plain FAST, I find myself drawn to Farmer’s Markets and the people who sell at them.
Where else might I spot something that I can only guess are squash blossoms?
Or have a conversation with the farmer who lovingly grew my lemongrass, cilantro, lavender, lemon thmye, and sage plants and how best to care for them? (Tip for growing cilantro, aka coriander: it hates warm roots, so if you live in a warm climate, cover the flower pot with aluminium foil to deflect the heat.)
And where else would you find tomatoes such as these? Too bad I’m allergic* to the wolf peach, but these were magnificently ugly. For all your tomato-lovers out there, I recently learned that most commercially grown tomatoes are injected with an extract of salmon (yes, the fish) to give them uniform colour — but that affects the flavour. Turns out you can either have a perfectly tomato-shaped but flavourless tomato, or one that is freakishly streaked and bulbous but delicious.
And at the Escondido Farmers’ Market I have also found some of the best Indian food I’ve had in the US! Masala Cottage is a food-truck-stall-without-the-food-truck kind of place, and they do a wicked samosa. So good, in fact, that the Mister and I tend to demolish them before I have a chance to take a picture! (Local tip: Masala Cottage is also at the Golden Hill Farmers’ Market on Sundays…)
And then there are giant bags of the sweetest, juiciest blood oranges to be had for only $5, so damn good I put some in my hand-luggage as a housewarming gift for Momsicle on my recent trip to Oregon… (Again, so good I forgot to take pictures… well, that’s mindful eating in its purest form!)
So, Farmers’ Markets. I double dog dare you (with a locally-grown cherry on top) to call me a yuppy or tell me you hate them!
Hey, SoCal peeps! San Diego doesn’t have a huge indoor market like many other cities do (I’m thinking of Borough and Spitalfields Markets in London) but we could we your help — there’s a KickStarter project going on right now, but all funds must be raised by the end of this month! Let’s do our bit to support the local economy AND treat ourselves to a massive, indoor farmers’ market!! Get the scoop here!
And if you are in the Washington, DC area, be sure to check out the Glover Park-Burleith Farmers Market which my friend, Lauren, started. They’re hoping to win “Best in DC” for the third year running. Please and visit if you are in the area!
*Allergic to tomatoes: yes I am! Speaking of which, do any of you have an allergy to tomatoes, cooked or raw? Or maybe you just hate them? I’m thinking of starting a food blog that will have only those recipe which don’t feature the Devil’s Apple! I’d love to know what you think in the comments below