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Market Report
Santa Barbara, Calif.
Saturday, Nov. 8, 2003

The Market:
Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara St. at Cota St.
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The Saturday farmers market in Santa Barbara is one of the best farmers markets anywhere (as I've previously asserted). At this time of year, there is virtually nothing that isn't in season in subtropical Santa Barbara, or so it seems on a stroll through this market.  All the summer crops are still here, such as heirloom tomatoes and peppers.  And the winter crops are just coming in, with mandarin oranges leading the way. 

I take the scenic drive up the coast from Los Angeles several times a year for no other reason than to visit this market (while, of course, enjoy the view enroute.)  Today,  I drove through Simi Valley and Moorpark, one of the vast stretches of Southern California that was engulfed in wildfire less than two weeks ago.  I was within sight of blackened hills for a 35 mile stretch along Highway 118 before hitting the coast at Ventura, 20 minutes south of Santa Barbara.  You can see what I bought at this market during previous visits on May 24, 2003  and Nov. 17th, 2001.

Santa Barbara beach on a cool November day

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


What I Bought:

Satsuma mandarin oranges

These are the first satsumas I've seen this year. I'm always very happy to see them because I make school lunches for my two daughters and can be sure they'll eat these (at least until they begin to tire of them in a couple of months at the end of the season). As usual, the first wave of satsumas to hit the market are a bit on the tart side, but I like them better this way -- and so do my daughters.

Price: $2/lb. or $8/5 lb.

Peppers: lipsticks and sweet Italian (top row, left to right); pasilla, ancho, and 10 assorted hot peppers

Late fall this year, as usual, is prime time for chile peppers.

Price: $.25/each for lipstick peppers; $.25/ea. for sweet Italian;
$2/lb. for pasilla and ancho;
$1/10 for hot peppers.

Fuyu (left) and hachiya persimmons

Price: $1.50/lb. for hachiya and giant fuyu; $2/lb. for smaller fuyu


A reader posted a question about where to find quinces on the Seasonal Chef forum, and that got me thinking about this odd fruit.  Which is why I noticed these and bought a couple.  I haven't yet decided what to do with them.  Any suggestions? Please post them in the forum.  (The lady who sold these to me, by the way, explained that they're ideal for jams and preserves because they're loaded with pectin.)

Price: $1.50/lb.

Copyright 2003 Seasonal Chef