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Farmers Market Update: Cherries, Fava Beans & Lamb Bacon

by | Apr 24, 2011
Artichokes

Artichokes

Huge thanks to my wonderful boyfriend today for stepping up and covering this week’s farmers market while I was home sick. But boy am I sad I missed it.

First Cherries

First Cherries

This week two of my favorite spring treats made their appearance: cherries and fava beans.

Fava Beans

Fava Beans

And though I’ve always known spring is the best time for lamb, I never dreamed of discovering lamb bacon. LAMB BACON! Holy crap is this stuff good.

Lamb Bacon

Lamb Bacon

Since I wasn’t there I don’t have much more to report. Check out the rest of Kevin’s photos below.

Leeks

Leeks

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Blood Oranges

Blood Oranges

Daikon

Daikon

Strawberries

Strawberries

Green Garlic

Green Garlic

Sugar Cane

Sugar Cane

Ruby Chard

Ruby Chard

Today’s purchases:

Is your spring market open yet?

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Farmers Market Update: Fleet Week

by | Oct 10, 2010
Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco is a zoo this weekend, but it’s awesome. It’s Fleet Week, which means we have the Blue Angels buzzing over our heads several times a day. And the weather couldn’t be better to hang out on rooftops and watch the action.

Because we are in the middle of changing seasons, the farmers market is a new adventure every week. As summer produce wanes, autumn produce is ramping up. Some of the new items will last all winter, and others are only around a few weeks during the interim.

Pumpkins and Tomatoes

Pumpkins and Tomatoes

White pomegranates are a special treat only around for a couple weeks this time of year. They are sweeter and their pink, translucent seeds are softer than the more typical red pomegranates. Definitely try one if you get the opportunity.

Shin Li Asian Pears

Shin Li Asian Pears

White Pomegranates

White Pomegranates

Asian pears are another temporary item at the market. They’re delicate, watery flesh and subtle flavor make them easy to over look, but it’s fun to bring a few different varietals home and experiment with their unique flavors while you have the chance.

Organic Quince

Organic Quince

Fresh Chestnuts

Fresh Chestnuts

Chestnuts and quince will also be around for a short time and are fun to experiment with. I also saw persimmons for the first time this week.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

First Persimmons

First Persimmons

At this time of year though, my favorite foods are still the late summer produce. I can’t get enough tomatoes and peppers. I adore them. And they pair so beautifully with fresh herbs and almost anything.

Fresh Herbs

Fresh Herbs

Hot Peppers

Hot Peppers

And let’s not forget about vegetables. It’s last call on winter squash and eggplant. But you can also find fall favorites like brussels sprouts and artichokes.

Artichokes

Artichokes

Baby Brussels Sprouts

Baby Brussels Sprouts

Also notable is that Warren pears are now available at Frog Hollow, and you can pick up some fresh whole wheat tortillas at Massa Organics.

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Warren Pears

Warren Pears

I’m leaving for Hawaii early this week so I only picked up some white pomegranates and padron peppers.

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Farmers Market Update (Irvine): Impressive Melons & Caption Contest

by | Sep 13, 2009
Impressive Melons

Impressive Melons

If you follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or Facebook you already know I’ve been down in Orange County the past few days and hit up the Irvine farmers market on Saturday. I’m always impressed by what I find in the OC, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for melons like these!

Huge Watermelons

Huge Watermelons

I also found some pretty spectacularly-sized daikon, or Japanese radish. Seriously, what do you guys put in your water?

Giant Diakon

Giant Diakon

I thought of about a hundred hilarious things to write under these photos, but I’d love to hear your suggestions. So let the games begin!

In the comments tell us your best caption idea for any of the 3 photos above. The funniest caption writer will be proudly dubbed the Summer Tomato commentor of the week. (note: innuendos welcome, but kindly refrain from NSFW language).

Asian Pears

Asian Pears

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Since I am heading back to SF on Sunday, I didn’t buy much this trip. However I did grab a few of these emerald beaut pluots and Asian pears to share with friends and family.

I learned that the emerald beaut season is ending here in the OC, which is interesting since I mentioned last week it is just beginning in SF. In my experience, emerald beauts are the last available pluots at the end of the summer.

Jujubes (Chinese dates) are plentiful now here in Irvine. It is also a great time to get peppers, eggplant and assorted Asian greens and vegetables.

Jalepenos

Jalepenos

Jujubes

Jujubes

Yuchoy

Yuchoy

Chinese Eggplant & Melon

Chinese Eggplant & Melon

Chinese Long Beans

Chinese Long Beans

Don’t forget to tell us what you found at the farmers market this week!

Please visit Food Renegade for more great Fight Back Friday articles about local and sustainable food.

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Farmers Market Update: Late Summer

by | Sep 6, 2009
Asian Pears

Asian Pears

I had to do a double take when I looked at the calendar this week. Is it really September already? Looks like it is, and the farmers market seems content to prove it to me. Not only was there a decent selection of pears, apples, grapes and other fall fruit, the market was completely packed with football fans for the Cal game. Go Bears!

I was particularly impressed with the Asian pears this week at K&J Orchards. I’m not always a big fan of Asian pears, I find they get a fermented taste very quickly if they are too ripe, but this week they blended a perfect mix of sweet and crispy. K&J has about half a dozen varieties, all different and delicious. They are pricey, but worth trying at the height of season.

Warren Pears

Warren Pears

Niitaka Asian Pears

Niitaka Asian Pears

The legendary Warren pears have appeared at Frog Hollow, but I couldn’t bring myself to choose them over the newly arrived emerald beaut pluots and flavor kings. I’m not letting go of summer quite yet.

O Henry Peaches

O Henry Peaches

Emerald Beaut Pluots

Emerald Beaut Pluots

It is definitely time to start buying grapes, however. If you make it to the farmers market, sample them all and find the ones you like best. I like them very crisp and sweet, but not too sweet.

Collard Greens

Collard Greens

Black Grapes

Black Grapes

Finally, don’t forget to try all the wonderful varieties of peppers. I put them in everything these days, but especially love to cook them up with onions, fresh corn, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro.

Pimentos

Peppers

Gypsy Peppers

Gypsy Peppers

Fresh beans and Asian greens and other specialties like bitter melon are also easy to find.

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

Romano Beans

Romano Beans

Today’s Purchases:

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Farmers Market Update: Hints of Fall

by | Aug 30, 2009
Adriatic Figs

Adriatic Figs

Although I finally got my first sun tan of the summer this weekend at the Outside Lands music festival, the produce at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is hinting that summer is winding down.

Okra

Okra

First Winter Squash

First Winter Squash

You can still find all the wonderful summer tomatoes, pluots, peaches and melons, but delicate fruits like berries are becoming tart and more difficult to find.

Likewise, zucchini and crooked neck squash are still around, but I was shocked to find the first thick-skinned winter squash this weekend too.

Assorted Grapes

Assorted Grapes

Niitaka Asian Pears

Niitaka Asian Pears

Other hallmarks of fall are apples, pears and grapes, which are all spectacular right now. This is also a great time to get figs, dates, jujubes (Chinese dates), French plums (prunes), corn, okra, eggplant, melons and chili peppers.

Chantenay Carrots

Chantenay Carrots

Jujubes

Jujubes

I found some gnarly, giant chantenay carrots that I plan to turn into soup using my new hand blender. I also purchased the ingredients to make some delicious Thai food this week, since my lifetime cuisine poll from Wednesday reminded me how much I love it.

My final advice this week as summer winds down is to go to Frog Hollow and get some flavor king pluots while you still can.

Did you find hints of fall at the farmers market this weekend?

Today’s Purchases:

  • Chinese eggplant (Chue’s Farm)
  • Lemongrass (Chue’s Farm)
  • Okra (Chue’s Farm)
  • Thai peppers (Chue’s Farm)
  • Thai basil (Chue’s Farm)
  • Garlic (Chue’s Farm)
  • Chinese long beans (Chue’s Farm)
  • Green onion (Chue’s Farm)
  • Early Girl tomatoes (Dirty Girl Produce)
  • Cippolini onions (Dirty Girl Produce)
  • Chanentay carrots (Tierra Vegetables)
  • Red flame grapes (Capay Canyon Ranch)
  • Flavor king pluots (Frog Hollow Farm)
  • Red flame nectarine (Frog Hollow Farm)
  • Pimento pepper (Happy Quail Farm)
  • Miyogi ginger flower (Happy Quail Farm)
  • Mediterranean Cucumbers (Happy Quail Farm)
  • Arugula (Marin Roots Farm)
  • Purslane (Marin Roots Farm)
  • Lettuces (Marin Roots Farm)
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