I’ve been lucky enough to have a friend who was willing to drive me to the farmer’s market every week this summer. Since I’m moving in two days and I’ve hurt my back, all of today’s haul was stuff that could be eaten as is. Luckily, there’s plenty of that to be had. I was a little extravagant–for me, this will be the last market of the year. . . then back to the dining hall. Highlights?
(1) Ginger gold apples
Today there was a table out with samples of six or eight kinds that you could mix and match for 1.85$ a pound, and these were a clear stand-out. Wikipedia says they’re the best thing that ripens before Galas, and I tend to agree. They’re sweet and crispy (not hard), with a tangy finish. Research tells me that flavor had nothing to do with the “ginger” moniker, but I’ve found it adds a nice psycho-somatic hint of spice to the mix as well. 🙂
This year’s market has really taught me the value of yellow apples. Apparently those mealy, bland things they call golden delicious in the grocery store are tender, sweet, and a bit floral when you eat them fresh.
(2) Heirloom tomatoes
Dozens of varieties for 3$/lb. 🙂 Running low on funds, I tried four of the smaller ones, including Tigerella:
and Purple Cherokee:
The other two looked something like this:
and my favorite, this:
You can’t tell, but the parts that look almost burned black are a deep purple, like eggplant.
It’s difficult to describe the flavor of heirloom tomatoes, other than to say there’s more of it, with more layers. Often they taste as though they’ve been properly salted when you’re eating them straight off the vine.
I suppose I should have looked them up before eating them so I could give you a variety-by variety review. Next time, I promise.
(3) Whole wheat walnut bread
I told you I was extravagant. It was 3.25$ for the half loaf, but with one of those apples it made a glorious–and I’m guessing pretty healthy–lunch. Somehow the bitterness of the walnuts set off the nuttiness of the wheat. Those same walnuts were succulent as well, set against a medium-dense crumb. The crust crust every bit as chewy and dark as you’d want it. This was a loaf that really brought out the pleasure potential of bitterness; the flavors were balanced so that you’d really notice the bitterness, but it was never too much.
Sorry I couldn’t find a picture for you guys–I guess most people don’t use an egg finish on their artisinal whole-wheat. Their loss. It would have been amazing with a little bit of slightly sweet, slightly sour cream-cheese spread. . . but then, it was amazing already. Seriously made me want to get a job in a bakery.
Anybody else got a favorite farmer’s market extravagance?