Where can I buy collards and/or okra in San Francisco?
I'm thinking about hosting a southern food-themed dinner party and cooking some of my mom's North Carolina dishes that I grew up with. I'd love to be able to cook a batch of collard greens, or her famous okra soup. When I was growing up in Boston I remember she always had a hard time finding either of these ingredients locally. Does anyone know where I might find them in San Francisco? I live in the Richmond, so the Clement street groceries are close at hand. Thanks in advance for any tips!
They shouldn't be hard to find, especially okra, which is also used in Asian cuisines. Collard greens are in season year-round in the Bay Area. I'd start at an Asian market with a good produce section. If you can't find collards in your neighborhood, I'd try Alemany farmers market or a supermarket that serves an African-American neighborhood.
Green Gulch Farm has collard greens ($2/bunch), and Chue’s Farm has okra ($4/lb.). Both at the Ferry Plaza's Saturday farmers market.
It's possible that the vendors at the Civic Center FM (aka. Heart of the City FM), and Alemany FM might also have them, and maybe for a lower price.
Alemany Farmers' Market
100 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94110
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
One Ferry Building, 200 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
Heart of the City Market
1182 Market St # 415, San Francisco, CA
As others have mentioned collards are also available at Safeway, Wholefoods and pretty much every other supermarket in the city. Also probably all of the farmer's markets (Alemany, Ferry Terminal, Civic Center and the various neighborhood markets, I've seen it at the Castro and Alamo Square markets in the last month).
I've seen Okra in recent weeks at the Alemany market. Given the Asian overlap you might also check New May Wah and the nearby vegetable markets on Clement. I bet if you take a walk down Clement you can find both. If you don't find collards for some reason on Clement, walk over to 4th and Geary to the "Geary Farmer's market" which is more of a vegetable stand.
New May Wah
719 Clement St, San Francisco, CA
I bought some organic collard greens at the Alemany today from stall #26 Miramonte (aka 2 Crazy Ladies, Loopy Lettuce Ladies). I didn't catch the price as I bought it along with a variety of other vegetables, fruits, tomatoes, and herbs from them for only $11 total.
There was also an abundance of fresh black eye peas throughout the market, if that interests you.
You can find a map of the Alemany Farmers Market here: http://www.localforage.com/local_fora...
I got huge cabbage/kale leaves very similar to collards this week from Mariquita. A rec to buy greens at farmers markets or produce markets rather than from grocery stores that may refrigerate them for weeks or months; they get sour over time.
Markets catering to Indians (South Asia being the other South) will stock okra.