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Summer 2011 farmers market watch

Any good finds?

I was at Serramonte farmers market this morning and scored gorgeous brown Turkish figs ($4 a pound, but worth it). Excellent raspberries, nameko mushrooms from the Far West people, Persian cucumbers, and thick-skinned but sweet early girls. Also a great pumpkin seed levain from Brioche Bakery ($5).

What are you buying?

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  1. Inspiring descriptions and didn't know about the Serramonte farmers market, thanks! I still can't get over the incredible red color of the tomatoes on sale for a $1 a lb these days. Just cooked up a batch of yellow, purple and green green beans with some garlic and bacon. Giant eggplants on sale for a $1 each and scored a beautiful bunch of radishes. Any ideas for the radishes? I once read about eating them with butter and salt.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mlutsky

      Radishes with butter and salt are fantastic. Good with a good crusty bread as a sandwich also. I had gazpacho tonight for dinner.

      1. re: mlutsky

        Tri colored beans with garlic and bacon sounds great!

        Pick up a baguette at Thorough, slice the long way, butter, and slice the radishes thin. They lose their sharpness with any kind of fat (or cooking). When I get too many in a produce box, I cut them up small and throw them in stir fries. Acme stick baguettes work too.

        Ed Brown has an ode to eating radishes with French butter and salt at long departed Guerrero restaurant Le Trou in his book Tomato Blessings & Radish Dreams.

        The Thursday market at Serramonte (listed as Daly City) is bigger than Saturdays because there's less competition for farmers'. It's very friendly and manageable. About 1/4 organic, great prices, and decent prepared options (Roli Roti, Dalek, the bolani stand, oysters). And plenty of parking. It's behind Target.

        Sunday Stonestown is another newish market for me. Alemany's gotten so huge and crowded, but is still my favorite.

      2. I'm a SF Bay noob from the northeast, so any time I can buy delicious strawberries and heirloom tomatoes AT THE SAME TIME thrills me to no end. That said, I was ecstatic to see blueberries at the Upper Haight market on Wednesday. One whole stand with nothing but blueberries. I moved away from Boston JUST as the season started, so this was a VERY exciting find.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Spenbald

          vendor was likely rainbow orchards, im assuming. their season ends in probably 3 weeks. after that, probably wont find blueberries in the market. so, enjoy these next few weeks! Im planning on making a lot of blueberry related concoctions to get my fill.

          1. re: majordanby

            Rainbow is up in the Sierras so sometimes their blueberry season runs late. The lemon quark from Spring Hill farms is amazing w blueberries.

            1. re: Windy

              Rainbow is fantastic. I was really surprised the first time we had their blueberries, thinking that I had given up really good blueberries by moving out here from Boston. The 3 week prediction matches what they were saying last week at the Mountain View farmer's market.

              Michael

              1. re: mdg

                Really? I'm not a fan. I'm from Boston and spent lots of time in Maine. I want to like blubes here, but I don't. They're too big, and almost mealy in texture for me.

                1. re: zunzie

                  I'm not talking about any blueberries here, most of which are mediocre at best, but about Rainbow Orchards in particular. They're not wild blueberries, but they're no bigger than cultivated blueberries from New England, and they're just as tasty. If you don't like them, fine, but I wanted to be sure you've tried Rainbow in particular, not one of the mediocre Central Valley growers.

                  Michael

                2. re: mdg

                  They had two different blueberries in Marin on Thursday. One was big, sweet but not a lot of flavor. The other was smaller, tarter and had a lot of flavor. I bought some of the tarter berry and asked if they would be back on Sunday. Yes. Went back today, mixture of berries. the lowest common denominator never works well.

                  1. re: wally

                    Rainbow had two sizes of berries at Daly City too (not sure if they were different kinds or not). I bought the cheaper ones, and they're perfectly delicious.

                    1. re: Windy

                      As far as I remember, they were all the same price.

                3. re: Windy

                  I'm having a hard time finding it on the peninsula...
                  I thought Spring Hill was supposed to be at the the San Mateo CSM FM, but I've went twice now, and they have not been there.
                  Other than at the Ferry building Sat. market, has anyone spotted Spring Hill at any other markets lately?

                  1. re: lrealml

                    They've always been at Alemany on Saturdays when I've been there.

                4. re: majordanby

                  Just to confirm, it was indeed Rainbow. They were there again today with LOTS of blueberries and some really nice looking blackberries. Didn't ask about how much was left. Bought 2 quarts of blueberries for $18.

              2. This time of year at the Berkeley FM, I'm buying whatever white nectarines/peaches taste best at Kashiwase, sweet white corn, avocados and Chinese vegetables. Eating wild blackberries from my backyard, the sweetest plumpest figs (of an unidentified variety) from my stylist's patio and waiting for my Yellow Brandywines and Black Krim tomatoes to ripen.

                1. last week at alemany FM, saw the first batch of dry farmed early girl tomatoes. always excited to see these - wonderful to eat as is.

                  grape season is getting started. not too many vendors in alemany, but checked out JLS FM and several vendors had them at $1.50 a pound.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: majordanby

                    Please post if you see any muscat grapes at Alemany. I think they're later in the season.

                  2. Hit the Sebastopol FM this Sunday -- bought several different varieties of garlic, some really fabulous cheese from Weirauch Farms, Lemon cucumbers everywhere. I like the Costata Romanesco zucchini (lighter green with darker green ribs). And of course, Gravenstein apples.

                    -----
                    Weirauch Farm
                    Petaluma, Petaluma, CA

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      Stone fruit from Viva Bella orchard at Alemany,heirloom tomatoes and grapes from a farmer in Watsonville at the Belmont Farmers Market on Sundays, Strawberries from Marys (I think) at San Mateo CSM Market, blueberries at Ferry Plaza, and stone fruit from Frog Hollow at FPFM too.