Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's a Farmers Market Love!

It is no surprise that I ENJOY cooking and eating. When it comes to getting ingredients there is no better place than the local farmers market, okay maybe the farm itself. When I was younger my mother and I would visit the Winter Park, FL Farmers Market. It was always a fun outing with her, my mother taught kindergarten and would always pick up caterpillars for her class from this market.

In New York City I would stop at Union Square for its farmers market. I thought I was so cool, stopping there and grabbing 'local' produce for the week. However, I would have to say the new york farmers market was not my favorite place to pick up fresh produce. If you have ever been or lived in the city you have seen the street carts full of produce. I can remember I would walk 15 blocks for grapes and watermelon at this one particular cart, always fresh! 

It was not until I moved to Los Angeles area that I felt my week would not be complete without a stop a the farmers market. You can find a market almost everyday of the week sporadically throughout the city. You can find listings here: I have been to a good handful of them, Mar Vista, Santa Monica (Downtown and Main St.), Hollywood, Brentwood, and Malibu. 

I frequent the Brentwood Market because it is close and because of the booths and amount of organic or conventional produce available. My must have produce to pick up is: 
Kale & Red Beets
1. One type of Fruit (if pluots are in season I stock up, love!)
2. Celery
3. Leafy Greens (Kale, Chard, or Dandelion)
4. Cucumbers (because the grocery stores are ridiculously priced and waxed)
5. Squash (usually one type is in season in CA, lucky us!)
6. Garlic, Ginger, Onions, and Herbs
7. New Produce - something I've never tried

Of course, I find more than what I need always. Just this last week I radishes, which are delicious with just salt by the way. The farmers markets are also great places to have some prepared food, tamales, gyros, coffee, baked fresh bread, and various locally packaged food. Go a little hungry because most booths offer samples and mostly everything is a must try!

Every Farmers Market offers something special, whether you are in LA or somewhere else stop by support your local farmers and eat fresh vibrant produce! Do not fret even the LA farmers markets are reasonably priced compared to grocery stores. 

Prepared Market Food
1 of the many produce booths at Brentwood Market