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Sep 3, 2008 11:02 AM

Farmer's Mkts, CSAs, & Farm Stands September

Topic to continue what Bostonzest started for August:

Arlington today was very busy and very nice. Favorite stand overall was Hmong. Noticed 2-3 stands selling commercial tomatoes (with the boxes in the truck, included some of the more busy stands), but there was a large selection of heirloom tomatoes at Grateful Farms and one other. Dick's had white corn (maybe silver queen??) in addition to butter & sugar which all had. Hmong had some nice maxixe, looked like some flat chives, lots of beautiful squash blossoms, and plenty of other beautiful greens, but very little traffic. Fish stand was very busy, but people in line quite rude.

No jilo, but in addition to the Lowell market where graygarious saw it, I have locally grown jilo at some Brazilian markets. And I didn't see any taioba.

Does anyone know if Hmong is attending Medford this year (I didn't see them, but haven't been recently)? Union on Saturdays? Definitely need to buy more from them!

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  1. The Hmong are my favorite as well. They do attend Belmont on Thursdays. Their pea tendrils are beautiful. And they often have those very unusual Brazilian cucumbers that are small, round, and prickly looking.

    3 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      Those are maxixe, which I mentioned above, and I think the link above has some vague ideas about cooking them but as life permits I may document some experiments/translations on the home cooking board. You can also search for various variations on "maxixada" but I don't know of any online english recipes. They are also available at a number of Market Baskets and Seabro Markets, both locally grown, as well as other more local stores. I posted some information as I know it about Umass supporting local farming of ethnic vegetables, and maxixe and taioba were part of the second round of their work on Brazilian vegetables. My plan is to try an unusual recipe for feijoada pernambucana which includes maxixe and chayote, but its used a lot in the Northeast and also in Minas/Espirito Santo, etc.

      BTW, I got a chance to experiment some of the Dick's white corn vs the butter & sugar. I wanted to see if by any chance the white was a bit less sweet (and would love suggestions of less sweet corns at markets) to get better balance making mingaus and things like pastel de choclo. The white was less sweet (still not certain if its silver queen), but not as nice overall as the butter & sugar. For my purposes I'll go with the white for now, but the other was nice for eating.

      1. re: itaunas

        I got six ears of corn with my Stillman's half-share last Sunday. I pulled ears at random from the bin, and got one ear of butter & sugar, one ear of white, and four enormous ears of a plain yellow variety that was notably less sweet than butter & sugar. Sounds like the sort of thing you're looking for - if Stillman's has a stand at a market that you visit, ask them about it.

        1. re: Allstonian

          I tried that special Japanese Hybrid corn that Stillman's was pushing hard at the JP market and City Hall. Actually, it was really tasty as they had said. So sweet and juicy. It really beat the heck out of anything else I've had recently.

    2. I finally hit the smaller Harvard Square Farmers' Market last night and was pleasantly surprised at the variety from one of the stands in particular from Dartmouth, MA, as well as honey, maple products, flowers, and the rest of the ubiquitous offerings. The strawberry tomatoes were especially outstanding.

      1. I went to the City Hall market for the first time yesterday. I saw Noquochoke Orchards and Stillman's. I got some carrots from Keown Orchards and a colorful mix of cute little potatoes at Silverbrook.

        1. Ah, thanks for stepping in itaunas-- I'm down in Provincetown and not spending much time on the laptop.

          We did shop the local farmers market but will report on that and other food related topics on the New England Board when I get back to work. Three of the vendors also do Boston Markets so I felt right at home.


          1. I think the Hmong are at Davis Square on Wednesdays, though on the other hand I don't recall seeing maxixe (not that I"m sure I'd know what I was looking at).

            At Davis, Kimball Fruit Farms has some prime heirloom tomatoes in their usual cornucopia of colors and shapes, and the peaches are fat, round and juicy. They also had silver queen corn this week and their Armenian cukes appear to be shrinking down to a more conventional size.

            Wilson Farms also has a ridiculous riot of tomatoes and corn, all amazingly good. They were also serving up a homemade heirloom tomato gazpacho on Saturday. I took a copy of the recipe and futzed with it a little, and the result (with shaved corn in it) was a monster hit at a neighborhood cookout. So I'll be making lots of corn-and-tomato gazpacho while the sun shines!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dr.Jimbob

              Photos of maxixe here, including one that also shows jilo:
              (from a super-cool website, BTW.)