Where to buy fresh sugarcane? (Not juice)
Hello! I'm on a quest for fresh sugarcane. Preferably whole but those vacuum pack ones are... okay.
I've tried Berkeley Bowl, Oakland Chinatown (though if you know of a place here, maybe I missed it!) and a couple Ranch 99s -- to no avail. It seems kind of ridiculous that fresh sugarcane is unavailable in the bay area.
*Note: Ranch 99 sells those vacuum pack deals, but both times I've bought them, they were bad (sour) right away (opened them as soon as I got home).
mari and rw are right about farmers' markets. Specifically, I have seen it at the one of the two vegetable stands at the Wednesday Civic Center market next to the kettle corn stand. They typically sell a lot of Asian vegetables and always have sugar cane if it's in season. You could ask them when that season is.
The only other place I've ever seen whole sugar cane is at the various Vietnamese sandwich shops up and down Larkin. A lot of them sell fresh sugar cane juice (seasonally) so you could ask them what their source is.
The Asian vendors at the top of the Saturday Berkeley FM have had sugarcane in the past. I've bought the peeled chunks in a bag and I think they have whole canes. Their singua, gai lan and Chinese mustard are all excellent.
I was at the Alameny market last Saturday and did not see any. I wasn't looking for it, but I'm pretty sure I would have noticed if there were some. Growing up in New Orleans I remember the French Market vendors would sometimes give us kids a sample now and then. But that was Louisiana and there's not much sugar grown there anymore, and it's too early to expect ripe cane from the continental US anyway. The nearest place it might come from is Hawaii.