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


Market Report Santa Monica, Calif.
Saturday, Aug. 10, 2002

The Market:
Santa Monica Farmers Market
Santa Monica, Calif.
Arizona & 3rd Street
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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


What I Bought:

Sweet Italian Peppers Encircle Hungarian and Jalapeno Peppers

Peppers are always at their peak in California farmers markets from late summer running well into October and even November, as long as the hot weather holds.  The flood of interesting varieties is just beginning. Stay tuned for more..

Price: $2.50/lb. for Italians; $1/basket for Hungarians and jalapenos (total cost of those pictured above: $2.70)

Pineapple, Persimmon and Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

I'm overwhelmed with red tomatoes from my own garden.  But I've usually had very poor luck with heirlooms.  So I buy these to mix with my own in my favorite tomato salad:

a colorful stack of slices of multiple varieties sprinkled with chopped basil and flat-leaf parsley, salt pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Price: $1.50/each (small)

Charlyn melon and Sweet Ambrosia canteloupe

I'm not sure which one of these was the culprit, but while they sat on the kitchen counter for a couple of days to ripe, the room was filled with a powerful, wonderful, musky aroma. 

Price: $1.50/each (small)

Ambrosia and Charlyn

Flavor Queen (back) and Dapple Dandy Pluots

This fruit is a technically challenging cross between a  plum and an apricot. Pluots "have the look and taste of a plum with a firmer, mostly apricot texture," as one expert puts it.  The Flavor Queens are from Honeycrisp Farm, which has usually superior fruit for a premium price.

Price: $2.25/lb. for Dapple Dandies; $4/lb. for Flavor Queens

Heirloom potatoes

I bought these from the table of Weiser Farm, the heirloom potato specialist that sells in many southern California farmers markets.  These are, clockwise from upper left, a purple Peruvian, a variety called LaRatte (which the Weiser man said is rare and tastes like hazelnut), another LaRatte, a Rose Finn Apple and a Russian fingerling.

Price: $2.50/lb.

Copyright 2001-2002 In Season