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Noteworthy items at the Boston area farmers' markets

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This week had an appearance of okra at the Prudential Center Farmers' Market. And strawberries were back at the Cambridge Center (Kendall Square) Market. Anybody else find some unique or noteworthy items at the markets this week?

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Prudential Center Farmers' Market
800 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

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  1. Mamadou's Bakery had some amazing whole wheat-walnut bread at the Belmont Farmer's market. This was the first week they had it. Delicious!

    Also, Red Apple Farm had a hitherto unknown to me variety of apple, William's Pride (I think) at the Lexington Farmer's Market. It is an eating apple with huge flavor. It is crunchy, with a nice balance of sweet and tart, and a flavor that is quite redolent of rose. The flesh is a bit on the yellow side and near the skin it is blushed red. Quite distinctive and something I will definitely seek out again.

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    Red Apple Farm
    455 Highland Ave, Athol, MA 01331

    1. Everybody has peaches and nectarines right now but I nominate Keown Orchards' saturn peaches as the best of the best. Tiny, sweet little white peaches - tasty even when quite firm. Gourmet-priced at 4 bucks/pound (their regular peaches are less, and good as well) but worth it. Keown goes to Central Square, Cambridge on mondays and Copley on tuesdays and fridays (and maybe to other markets as well).

      Also, they haven't shown up yet but I asked at Kimball about greengage plums and they said they might have them next week. I had some last year and they were some of the best plums I've ever had - succulent and sweet, with real plum flavor. mmm.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MichaelB

        Thought I had posted this but I seem to be having computer glitches tonight. I also love the Saturn peaches. They are among my favorite photo subjects. I love photographing them as much as eating them.

        We also had some fantastic Mirai corn from Stillman's last night. It's fantastic. Husband and I both took a bite of the raw corn and decided to barely cook it. we gave it a scant 3 minutes in an already steaming pot and feasted.

        Stillman's also had a nice melon selection. We had one of the little French melons for dessert.

        Penny
        http://www.bostonzest.com/

      2. I saw figs today...has anyone else seen them? How long have they been/will they be around?

        5 Replies
        1. re: yanz

          Where did you see figs?

          1. re: MaggieCat

            Copley. Can't remember the name of the stand, but it's the only one that sells gooseberries during the summer. Anyway, they had one container of figs and were selling them 50 cents per fig. I bought one and it was great, but didn't have time to ask about them.

            1. re: yanz

              Hamilton Orchards sells gooseberries. I'll have to ask Barbara Hamilton about the figs and report back.

              Penny
              http://www.bostonzest.com/

              1. re: BostonZest

                there were no figs yesterday at the hamilton orchards stand at the copley square farmers market

                1. re: galangatron

                  you are braver than I was...I didn't even venture out in the awful weather.

        2. Not exactly a typical farmer's market find, but there was a vendor at the Cambridgeport farmers' market named something like "Lion's Share Foods" that was selling truly kick-ass kimchee a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure my kimchee experience qualifies me as an expert, but I have had it at most of the good Korean restaurants in this area, as well as some bottled kinds from various supermarkets, and this beat the pants of all of them.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ruprecht

            I just did a rainy run through of the Cambridge Center (Kendall Square) market. Nothing too surprising this week. Strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries are still around. The good news about the rain and cooler weather is that lettuce is back. Both Dick's Market Garden and Herb Lycaeum have amazing deep red lettuce.

            Dwayne
            http://www.todayatthemarket.com

            1. re: Ruprecht

              They were at SoWa several weeks ago with a fantastic pre-made salad of bulgur wheat, olive oil, celery, scallions and onion with some nice spices involved. The guy at the stand told me that they were hoping to roll out kimchee and kombucha within the next few weeks, so it sounds like they succeeded!

            2. Not a 'find' just yet - but in a few hours I hope ;) Wanted to let folks know that the fish guy is returning to the Revere farmer's market today (12-6 at beach, Shirley Ave. cross-street). I know there were discussions about when he would return so hoping for some good stuff later today. This is a small market (Hereford Valley, Farmer Dave's, Big Sky Bread and couple other vendors) but has been growing each week. Next week is 'Taste of Revere Beach' with local restaurants like Kelly's providing samples at the market. Hoping next week's find is fried clams ;)

              1. At Arlington's farmers market yesterday, Grateful Farm had the first of the season sweet potatoes. Their sweet potatoes are hands down the best I've ever had and they didn't have them last year because the deer got them all! So guess what I had for dinner last night and man, were they good. They are also at Kendall Thursdays, Franklin Fridays, Cambridgeport Saturdays and Charles Square Sundays. Their greens are always great too.

                1. Two weeks ago I got squash blossoms at the back-left vendor at the Davis Farmer's Market (sorry don't remember the name, but they have a lot of Asian stuff - bok choy, lemongrass). A little earlier in the month they had purslane - really good to just to eat raw.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nurit

                    Also, the first vendor on the left (probably Enterprise?) had yellow cucumbers. Shaped like an oversized egg, crispy, and really good with hummus.

                  2. I got an email that Cook's Orchard will be selling beefalo and chevon at the Copely Square Farmers' Market. I am wondering if anyone has tried them and which cuts to go for?

                    1. Got some Magic (that's a variety) garlic at the Allandale Farms farmstand this weekend: it makes me never want to buy supermarket garlic ever again. Extraordinary stuff, moist and flavorful. Good radishes, corn and tomatoes, too.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        I stock up on farmer's market garlic every fall. So much better than the supermarket junk. If you get a pound or so it will last months in the fridge as long as you keep it dry.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          I just bought fresh ginger at the organic flower stand (forget their name) at the copley farmers market. pretty pricy @ $9 a pound but i'm excited to taste the difference from the dried out stuff at the supermarket. Siena also had shiso, a japanese herb, which i have never heard of before. really interesting smell and taste.

                          1. re: pamplemouse

                            I just love this thread! makes me want to head out now and chow down on veggies, bread, herbs and the like...too bad its 10 at night!

                      2. I bought a bag of popcorn from Enterprise Farms at the Brookline Farmer's Market yesterday - wow! Really good.

                        It pops up smaller than the commercial product, and there were rather a lot of unpopped kernels (boo!) and half-popped ones (actually yay! And it turns out that Barmy and I both love those.)

                        The lack of volume, though, is a little deceptive - it's much more filling than we expected - and it has a much more pronounced corn flavor than commercial popcorn, reminiscent of tortilla chips or Fritos. Barmy and I demolished a big bowlful last night.

                        If I can, I'm planning on picking up another couple of bags next week - I want more for us, and it'll make a great Christmas present.

                        1. I bought a huge batch of amaranth at the West Acton farmers' market yesterday. Used some of it as a topping on a pizza I made last night, and I hope to use some more in a chicken and noodle casserole dish tonight.