5/16/08

"Tasting the Bounty"

The New York Times wrote about San Francisco's farmer's markets today:
Nearly every day year-round, there is a farmers’ market to check out, offering not only plenty to taste and buy, but sights, sounds and people-watching. Even if it’s not practical to construct a perfect salad back at the hotel room or tote heirloom tomatoes home on an airplane, the markets of San Francisco are worth visiting as a spectacle in themselves.

The markets come into their full glory starting in May, with the arrival of stone fruits like cherries, peaches and pluots — a juicy cross between a plum and an apricot — adding to seasonal vegetables and the year-round fare of olive oil, organic honey, goat and cow’s milk cheese, greens, walnuts, beef and more.
Did you not know what a pluot is?

I find the nicest farmer's markets to be a little too crowded for me, and the not-so-nice ones to be a inferior to my corner market. But they really are all over town--including the one downtown (mentioned later in the article), where my friend Emma's son sells artisan bread. And I just learned my current employer, UC San Francisco, has a farmer's market on campus every Wednesday. So I will have to check that out for for you. I mean me. I mean us.

I was esp. gratified to see farmer's market in my neighborhood mentioned--where, as the article leaves unmentioned, you can buy live chickens for your own home slaughtering:
At 7:30 a.m. on a spring Saturday, clusters of Chinese shoppers were already jostling for the freshest bok choy and choy sum at the market on Alemany Boulevard. Others headed for Maria del Carmen Flores’s grilled pupusas, a tasty El Salvadoran corn cake filled with beans and cheese. Danny Grossman, a shopper, discussed his morning finds — a bouquet of rainbow-stemmed chard for $1, organic strawberries for $3 a pint.

If the Ferry Plaza is the prince of the city’s markets, displaying its produce like buffed jewels, Alemany is its down-home uncle — a place where a panoply of fresh food and flowers are sold in a bustling parking lot. “No porcini ravioli here,” Mr. Grossman said. “There’s still dirt on the leaves.”

The scene is San Francisco eclectic. As sweatpants-clad shoppers mingled, the Prairie Rose Band, its lead singer dressed in cow-pattered fake fur chaps, twanged bluegrass tunes on a banjo and fiddle. Patrons in knit caps joined impromptu drum circles. Asian grandmothers stared at a tattooed man with a giant iguana on his bicycle handlebars. Hand-painted murals of produce, flowers and the Buddha adorned the selling stalls.
As much as I enjoy reading about San Francisco--and Bernal Heights--in the New York Times, I want to say the most amazing farmer's market that I have ever been to was not in San Francisco, but in Portland, Oregon at the state university. What a sight that was!

3 comments:

Frances, said...

I would love to join in a drum circle! I have a knit hat.
Frances

chuck b. said...

You do? That is very San Francisco of you.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

I have 4 different pluots and an aprium in my back yard.