Finding and using 
locally produced food
Visit our Bookstore

Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator

more kitchen wares

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


Market Report
Los Angeles, Calif.
Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2002

The Market:
Westchester Farmers Market
W. 87th Street and Sepulveda Eastway
Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Market Notes:  Today, the Los Angeles Times food section has a feature about figs and about how the best place to buy them is at farmers markets.  (They're so fragile, they don't hold up well in supermarkets.) It occurs to me that I haven't had figs in a year, having unaccountably missed the spring crop, so I head off for a quick trip to the market.  Departing from my usual routine of driving eight miles to the fabulous market in Santa Monica, I go instead to the Westchester market just three miles from my home. What a revelation!  I haven't been here in years, since shortly after it first opened.  It has grown into a very nice medium-sized market with nearly 20 farm tables and a few craft and prepared food vendors to help draw a  good crowd.

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


What I Bought:

Adriatic and Mission Figs

According the David Karp, writing in today's Los Angeles Times, Adriatic figs (the green ones) are the best variety for eating fresh.  He's right. They're excellent.  Interestingly, it was a revelation to the farmer who sold these to me that they are called Adriatic figs.  He called them "homeys."  Explaining the origin of that name, he said it is a variety that a while back someone smuggled into the Fresno area from Armenia.  It's illegal to do that without sending the import through a long quarantine process.  So when the agriculture inspector asked what variety they were, the farmer, thinking quick, said "homeys."  I don't particularly like figs fresh, but these are good enough for that, though I still prefer preparing them in various ways. What do I do with them?  I follow Robert Wemischner's advice for what to do with figs.  My favorite of his suggestions: scooping out the pulp, mixing it with yogurt, and filling the frozen fig shells with the mixture (or filling the shells and freezing the whole thing for a frozen fig-yogurt snack).

Price: $2.50/basket

Gala Apples

California's apple season has just begun. These are "new crop" Royal Galas.  

Price: $1.50

Thai Peppers and Basil

I buy a bunch or two of basil every time I go to the market all summer long.  I make pesto and freeze whatever we don't eat right away.  I bet this much basil in any supermarket would set you back ten bucks.  I'll never use all of these fiery hot Thai chilis.  But if I get around to making peach chutney, I'll need a few.  I'll dry any that I can't use in the next few weeks.

Price: each $1/bunch

Red Flame (left) and Thompson-Raisin Grapes

California's grape season is underway and will last until nearly Christmas.  

Price: $1.25/lb.

Anaheim (top) and Red Bell Peppers

Price: $1/small bag

Copyright 2001-2002 In Season