Farmers Market Update: Changing Seasons

by | Oct 4, 2009
Bosc Pears

Bosc Pears

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but feel like there wasn’t much of a summer this year. In fact, if it weren’t for the amazing produce at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, I wouldn’t believe it had been summer at all. Shouldn’t I have tan lines by now?

Yet somehow it is October.

And despite the confusing weather, it is clear that the market is moving on to fall. There is still plenty of summer bounty to be found, but make no mistake about it: this is your last chance for stone fruit, tomatoes, summer squash, corn, eggplant and melons.

Zucchini

Zucchini

Sweet Organic Melons

Sweet Organic Melons

The Sungold cherry tomatoes (the little orange ones) are especially awesome. But the most impressive thing I found at the market today was the chili peppers.

I never cared much about peppers before I started shopping at the farmers market, but I can assure you that nothing smells better in my market bag than the peppers. (Maybe the basil. But not really.)

Extra Hot Peppers

Extra Hot Peppers

Chili Pepper

Chili Pepper

A fellow market goer was blown away that Tierra Vegetables had these Scotch Bonnet peppers, which she said are necessary for making Jamaican jerk sauce. I had already spent over $10 on peppers, so I held off buying them until next week. But aren’t the beautiful?

Pepper Chips

Pepper Chips

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

Scotch Bonnet Peppers

I also got to try these funny looking pepper chips from Happy Quail Farms, and they were delicious! Sweet, flavorful and crisp without a drop of oiliness. They had a spicy variety as well, but the woman scared me off from trying them because she said, “I mean really hot.” Again, maybe next week.

Also peaking now are figs, grapes, pears and apples.

Flame Grapes

Flame Grapes

Kadota Figs

Kadota Figs

But how we really know fall is here are the winter fruits and vegetables that are appearing. I saw the first persimmons this week at Twin Girls Farm. I also bought one of these adorable white and green baby pumpkins. I was told they are really sweet and easy to cook.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins

First Persimmons

First Persimmons

Pomegranates are also fantastic right now. I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine (shhh, don’t tell anyone): the white pomegranates at K & J Orchards are worth getting to the farmers market early for–before they sell out. They are sweet and amazingly flavorful, but the seed is much more tender than in a red pomegranate. Plus they are a beautiful pink color, amazing in salads or on cereal. Their season is shorter than the red pomegranates, so get them while you can.

(Read: How To Clean A Pomegranate)

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranate Seeds

White Pomegranate Seeds

I have another not so well kept secret for you today as well. The pears at Frog Hollow Farm have, against all odds, reached new heights. I’ve been obsessed with their Warren pears for years, and they are just coming into season. But right now I cannot get enough of their Taylor Gold pears. These things are amazing! What’s a girl to do?

Taylor Gold Pears

Taylor Gold Pears

Warren Pears

Warren Pears

Today’s Purchases:

What are you eating?

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For The Love of Food

by | Oct 2, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

I’m thrilled and delighted to see that so many of you have signed up for the Summer Tomato newsletter I announced last week. Newsletters will contain content that is not on this blog (and some other awesome bonuses in the coming months), so definitely sign up so you don’t miss out. There’s a sign up form in the sidebar.

As usual I found lots of great tips and information around the web this week. I especially like Marion Nestle’s two cents on whether recipes should include nutrition info. While I do like people to check to see how much salt and sugar they are really eating, I think nutrition info tends to make us more confused about what is healthy (hint: it’s vegetables).

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

I also invite you to submit your own best food and health articles for next week’s For The Love of Food, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am also accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any awesome healthstyle tips and recipes you’d like to share.

This post is an open thread. Share your thoughts, writing (links welcome!) and delicious healthy meals of the week in the comments below.

For The Love of Food

  • Darya Pino: 10 Reasons To Never Eat Free Food <<Did I mention my Huffington Post piece this week was picked up by NPR? Woohoo!
  • Should recipes include nutrition info? <<I love this article because it points out how inaccurate nutrition info really is. In my opinion, nutrition labels serve only to cloud your common sense. Few things with labels should be eaten anyway. (Food Politics)
  • “Anti-Atkins” Low Protein Diet Extends Lifespan in Flies <<I haven’t read the real study yet (printed it!), but this is intriguing because the life-extending properties of calorie restricted diets is usually attributed to insulin signaling (the lack of). We’ll see what becomes of this. (NewsWise)
  • Green Soup with Ginger Recipe <<To know me is to know that I love soup. This recipe is in my future. If you haven’t yet, definitely go check out Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks, my personal favorite recipe site. Heidi’s recipes are always amazing and awesomely healthy. She also happens to be one of the coolest people I met at BlogHer Food last week.
  • Is vitamin D your best protection from swine flu? <<Speaking of getting sick, I found this article fascinating for a bit of info toward the bottom that vitamin D supplements are not as good as real sunlight. I’m not surprised, but I haven’t heard this before. I bet vitamin D from fatty fish is better for you too. (Nutrition Data)
  • How to Choose the Fastest Line at the Market <<This article about how to pick the fastest line at the grocery store actually uses real data. I didn’t know such research existed. (Lifehacker)
  • Probiotics: Looking Underneath the Yogurt Label <<Fantastic article by Tara Parker-Pope about the health claims made by yogurts and foods containing probiotics. Personally I don’t like talking about parts of food you can’t see without running a biochemical assay, but I know many people have questions about probiotics and this article is a great place to start. (New York Times)
  • Krispy Kreme bacon cheddar cheeseburgers <<Is this not the grossest thing you’ve ever seen? Yarg. via @benhamill (ccaviness on Flickr)
  • Dropbox for iPhone Makes a Great Kitchen Aid <<I love this iPhone app already (Dropbox is online document storage that syncs across all your computers), but had never thought to use it this way for recipes. Bye bye cookbooks and recipe binders. (Lifehacker)
  • 9 Ways to Cook Lazily and Still Get Rave Reviews <<Simple and useful cooking tips from Dumb Little Man.

What are you reading?

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