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Aug 11, 2011 07:52 AM

ISO peppers and zucchini flowers

I will be in TO in a couple of weeks, later this month. Along with some good meat based on recs on this board, I would like to pick up a basket or two of the following:
1. Zucchini flowers and
2. Small, green frying peppers (friariello - Italian, or the pimientos del Padron like in tapas bar)
Any chance? Will have a car and willing to travel in GTA

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  1. Not sure where to get Zucchini flowers, I've never seen them. My impression of them is that they have a very short shelf life, they have to be cooked up within 24hrs of being picked, so it may be difficult to locate them without going to a farm and picking your own.

    4 Replies
    1. re: trane

      I did see some at the city hall farmer's market, one vendor had a few baskets. But that was back in July about a month ago.. would they still be in season a few weeks from now, I think the actual zuchini are coming in?

      1. re: julesrules

        Ah, I misunderstood how they work. I believed that the flower is still on the plant when the fruit is picked, not that it predates the fruit. Good to know!

        1. re: trane

          The fruit grows at the base of the female flower. Sometimes I can harvest both a healthy fruit and healthy flower, but usually I just harvest the fruit when the flower dies off. Plants are still producing plenty of flowers (since that's what leads to fruit), but commercial farmers probably can't really be bothered to keep harvesting flowers and stunting the fruit. I suppose I could harvest more male flowers, but I don't want that to stunt fruit growth either!

          Earlier in the season, I had an overabundance of male flowers, so I imagine that's why they're sold commercially.

          1. re: trane

            Actually I had no idea how they grow and apparently was wrong in my assumptions! I did have it in my head that they were seasonally an early summer thing, but apparently they are still to be found. I think OP's best bet is the St Lawrence market since the other markets we have mentionned are weekly only, but it sounds like ms cliquot saw them at the daily south market.

      2. You're too late for zucchini flowers--it's almost mid-August. You'll be here for pepper primetime, though. Peppers are where you find them, variety-wise. The upscale, fussier markets around TO may have some, though I'd check around Woodbridge and/or the Italian-oriented supermarkets for varietal peppers.

        1. Doggone zucchini flowers! I will be happy if I can get the peppers.

          1 Reply
          1. re: itryalot

            I wouldn't give up yet! My zucchini plants in my garden are full of flowers, both male and female. As long as the actual zucchinis are picked before getting huge, the plants will keep producing more. Keep searching.

          2. I saw zucchini flowers today at the East Lynn Farmers' Market and yesterday at St. Lawrence Market (lower level). I've also gotten them this summer at Meat on the Beach and Harvest Wagon but I don't know if they're still carrying them.

            I have never seen padron peppers in Toronto but I'm hoping someone here might be able to point us in the right direction. I love them!

            St. Lawrence Market
            92 Front St E, Toronto, ON M5E, CA

            Harvest Wagon
            1103 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W, CA

            Meat on the Beach
            1860 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: ms. clicquot

              Ms. - Of all the places you mention, I have only been to SLM. Are these places open during the week as well?

              1. re: itryalot

                Yes, they should be. The East Lynn Farmers' Market is on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 7 at East Lynn Park on the Danforth, just west of Woodbine. I'm sure other farmers' markets have them as well. Here are a few links that might be helpful:


                Good luck in your search!