Jackson Heights Greenmarket
- Jim Leff Jul 1, 2007 10:35 PM
I keep forgetting to hit the JH Greenmarket, which is crazy as I trek 1 to 2x/week to Brooklyn fairway for my produce!
Can anyone bring me up to date on stuff not to be missed (with emphasis, if possible, on what was especially good today)?
Also, what's a good time to arrive (when all vendors are selling)?
this may be off topic, but what exactly do you especially like about the produce at fairway? I live near the redhook fairway and regularly trek to JH for indian products. I'm always delighted by both the quality of the produce I find in the indian stores and trade fair and by the prices, which seem better than fairway's to me.
Fairway does have some exotic stuff. Is that what you are after? Or am I missing something? I can see going out of my way for greenmarket produce, which IMHO is noticeably fresher and better tasting, but fairway produce doesn't seem so special to me. What's your take on this?
I find that the produce in JH Indian grocers is sort of like the food in JH Indian restaurants: cheap and not very good (hey, we can agree to disagree, no?). The nabe is very much about price point, and entrepreneurs very quickly learn that quality's hardly any factor at all. I've lived in the nabe for ten years, and seen the problem worsen (it wasn't always quite this severe). Also, you find very few organics. I find Fairway much higher quality, much better selection, though far from great (any lousy produce place in NoCal would put it to shame).
We do agree that Greenmarket makes more sense...hence this thread! :)
re: Jim Leff
Jim, are you having Jackson Heights cheapness fatigue? I am. I wish there was just one place in the neighborhood with high-quality something. (The new bakery is a good start!) Or maybe we should start a federal chicken quality improvement program -- to supply the restaurants with an upgrade. That said, it's my only complaint about an otherwise wonderfully cosmopolitan area with surprises galore.
Yesterday was my first day buying a fair amount of stuff - all standard fresh produce good but nothing seemed outstanding. I got lettuce, string beans, radishes, carrots, cuke, green pepper, zuke, summer squash. Not much fruit in sight. I got there mid-morning (10:30-ish) and it seemed like earlier might be better.
Anyone tried Tello's eggs? Fresh eggs are almost always worth it, but I've never had Tello's. I got rye bread from the rugelach people, but was surprised by the variety of baked goods they sell; anyone have recs there?
re: The Turtle Bay Dove
Tello's are the best you can get in the city. They aren't as good as what you can get upstate - but I think that has to do with the types of chickens they raise (no heritage breeds).
I only buy eggs from her and I think they're great - and significantly more delicious, firmer, and certainly more humane than anything in a store (they actually get to range free). You can also see a big difference in the yolk as the seasons change and those little buggers change their diet.
Can you offer some tips as to egg farms upstate with heritage breeds? I agree that breed is the problem. I've had eggs from literally under the chicken and found them as bland as any other, whereas stupid convenience store eggs in places like Spain are unbelievably rich and delicious. So I'd LOVE to try some other breeds...
it's on 34th avenue between 77/78 -- along the perimeter of travers park. and, yes, earlier is better at this greenmarket -- picked up some very nice zucchini blossoms yesterday (both of the regular mexican vendors have 'em, and both sell out pretty early) as well as some delicious radishes. as far as fruit? well, there isn't much ripe fruit in this part of the country this time of year -- one of the vendors yesterday had some berries, but that was about it.
the just rugelach guy-- who was due to close up shop after last season, but opted to stay a little while longer due to his wife not wanting to move while pregnant -- has a great selection of stuff. surprisingly enough, his pork buns are really REALLY tasty (although the filling is a little finer-ground than the authentic version), as are his croissants and slovak nut/poppy rolls. savories are hit/miss. i like the pot pies, but not the "stuffed pockets" of eggplant, etc (those are too doughy for me).
the Tello's lady is a doll -- she sometimes brings one of her hens along for company --- and i always like her eggs. she has honey as well, in several varieties.
see you at the market sometime, perhaps!
I tend to go early (8-10), and it seems that all the vendors are there...I bought berdolaga and some zucchini flowers....the latter were a little wilty, but tasted fine. Red Scallions were a potent treat. Little carrots were a sweet snack today! Basil was over the hill, but I needed it.... I buy the eggs, but they are pretty bland. I get some f'd up intellectual satisfaction, rather than any visceral enjoyment from them....whatever. I didn't see any berries; did get some amazing strawberries and hot house tomato (from Jersey, I think) two weeks prior....
I supplement with Fresh Direct (herb salad, campari tomato, arugula and they had chanterelle on sale this week.) I also hit fairway quasi-regularly and will sometimes breeze through H-mart. The latter is light on organics and usually pretty sad, but I go there often for (supposedly Saudi) shrimp and have nailed some really tasty cantaloupe.....
The first produce guy on the corner of 78 street had garlic scapes, the green top of early garlic plants. Pretty tasty, sauteed with veggies or eggs, also good used like other herbs, in salads etc.
I'm a reporter with the NY Daily News working on a story about the Jackson Heights greenmarket becoming a year-round event. I was hoping to get a few frequent shoppers to give me a call at (718) 793-3328 as the story has to be turned in before this Sunday's market.
Thanks for your help!