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Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


Market Report
Santa Monica, Calif.
Jan. 15, 2002

The Market:
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Santa Monica, Calif.
Arizona & 3rd Street

Market Notes:  Winter has finally arrived at the Santa Monica farmers markets.  There are no more fresh tomatoes -- at least none that I'd care to buy. The tomatoes that are on display are either grown in greenhouse -- and I've never had a greenhouse tomato that was worth my money -- or fraudulently purchased at a wholesale market, trucked in from deep in Mexico, but sold as if it were California-grown.  There some interesting-looking dried tomatoes, which I'll try before the winter is over.  There are quite a few strawberries, which are available year-round in California but begin to be worth buying, in my opinion, in late winter.  I'll wait a couple more months before I'll give strawberries a try.  Today I zero in on those harbingers of California winter -- cherimoyas and blood oranges.

Market-Goer: Mark Thompson, publisher of this Web site


What I Bought:


Never heard of cherimoyas?  You're missing a real treat.  They're originally from Peru but have been grown in subtropical pockets in southern California for more than century.  By some accounts, cherimoyas are the best fruit on earth.  I don't know that I'd go quite that far, but I would agree that anyone who tastes them would agree that they're delicious. Their only drawback:  lots and lots of large, rock-hard seeds, as in four or five per spoonful of pulp (see below).

Price: $2.50/lb.

Blood Oranges

I buy them for the juice, which I extract and then boil down, with a few springs of rosemary and sage, producing a thick syrup that makes an excellent vinaigrette.

Price: $1.50/lb or 5 lbs. for $6

Bok Choy (left) and Yu Choy

Price: $1/bunch

Copyright 2001-2002 In Season