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Jul 29, 2011 09:21 AM

Bland Produce JFX Farmer's Market

I have been underwhelmed with the quality of the produce here. All of it looks fresh and great but tastes bland. I love going for the eggs, pickles, and bacon. But as far as corn, tomatoes, cantalope, broccoli, etc, forget it. No flavor. Doesn't seem to matter which vendor I go to. Maybe they need to rotate there crops better. Something ain't working. Anyway, Eddies in Roland Park always has consistently awesome local produce so it can be done. The local corn and peaches they have right now are fantastic.

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  1. Last weekend I found some great things at the Sunday Catonsville farmers market. One of the stands selling corn was allowing people to taste his raw corn. It was probably the best corn I ever had! Another stand had some delicious chocolate cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. The Catonsville farmers market is small, but there are some great stands there.

    1. We've only just started trying the JFX farmers market produce, but I've had similar thoughts.My husband found a farm stand/truck near Ruxton and Falls rd that's got very good produce, especially corn, and we are also fans of eddies and Whole Foods. To be fair though, we've only tried the JFX twice, and it seems there's enough purveyors to warrant a couple more tries. Anyone have specific places they prefer?

      1. Perhaps your tastebuds? It is an awfully general statement to say that all of the produce from 20-30 farms happens to be bland. It hasn't been my experience- of course there is lots of variations with produce, particularly if you are buying towards the end of the growing season. I have no idea what you mean by rotate their crops better. My bet is when the peaches and corn are good at Eddies or wherever are good, they generally will be good at many of the vendors at JFX, and when the blueberries or tomatoes are bland or blah at Eddies they will also be blah at most places growing local...

        1. I am treating it like an assortment of food retailers with no expectation of it being a real farmer's market. Take their baby spinach. I bet they got it from wholesalers put it in a farm look-alike bin and charge twice Whole Foods price. Anything different there costs a lot and after a few weeks, I stopped going. It's just another venue for vendors to make tons of money off "tourist food shoppers."

          2 Replies
          1. re: cfoodie

            You can treat it that way if you wish, but you would be wrong. All vendors there are required to produce what they sell, and it is enforced, your libelous statements notwithstanding

            1. re: cfoodie

              I think your attitude is the problem. I have no doubt that some of the produce does come from either the farms of others or wholesalers, but the vast majority is very fresh, very local and in season very tasty.

            2. OP, if you're going to the market for bacon and such, maybe you're interested in trying again to find some good produce. Not sure exactly when you bought all this stuff, but peaches seem to get better as the season goes on. In my experience, early peaches are often not very sweet. The grocery store may have a different definition of local than the people who have to drive to the market by 6 am, and may have better stuff in June or whatever. The main issue with corn is getting it into your mouth as quickly as possible after being picked. So, if you ate the corn from Eddies the day you bought it and left the farmer's market corn sitting in the fridge for a few days, it wasn't a fair fight. Cantaloupe should smell good and not have any visible green. With tomatoes, you might give some thought to the type. Black tomatoes are my favorite (any variety will do); they are dusty pink on the bottom with green shoulders. I don't think I've ever had a flavorless one. Rainfall also makes a significant difference, and tomatoes picked after days and days of rain will have a higher concentration of water and therefore less flavor. Tomatoes also seem to get better as the season goes on. Broccoli is a cool weather crop, so that means buying it in the Spring and Fall, making sure the stuff you're buying wasn't kept in cold storage, and making sure that it doesn't look bolted. With everything, asking when it was picked is a good idea. Talking to the person behind the table for a few seconds often gives you an idea of whether the produce is going to be any good. If they've got no idea, I usually move on.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jvanderh

                My post was a general statement about the produce I've tried so far. About a dozen different vendors over the last couple of years. Not saying there isn't some good produce out there. I just haven't had anything yet that was above average. I will say that I stopped at a roadside stand I like in N.J. last weekend and got great blueberries,corn peaches, tomatoes, etc. I guess it all depends on finding the farmer's doing quality work.