The Plumed Horse
14555 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, Calif. 95070
'I think people
An Ode to Grapes With Seeds
1997 -- Patrick
Farjas makes a weekly pilgrimage to a farmers market, rotating among three in Fremont and
Saratoga Village. On one of his recent visits, he was astounded by the price of beans.
"The other day they had beans for $1 and they were little French beans and I was just
shocked," says Farjas, a native of France who has cooked in Northern California for
16 years, currently at The Plumed Horse in Saratoga. "I had beautiful beans at the
restaurant and I found out that I could get them cheaper over there."
Fruits and vegetables are riper in the farmers markets, he adds. And shoppers at farmers
markets can find produce that hasn't been sprayed.
"There's a big difference in the quality when it's truly organic," Farjas
insists. "Sometimes you get a bad crop because there is no spray so the plants get
attacked by some kind of an insect. But at least when you get something nice, it's
Mention farmers markets in the fall to Farjas and his first thought is of grapes and
golden apples. He doesn't favor any particular variety of grape, except that he likes
grapes "when the skin is thin and when they are very sweet." And one other
thing. For some purposes, he insists on grapes with something that most new varieties
don't have -- seeds.
Grapes with seeds will never disappear, he hopes, because "they have a completely
Farjas explains, "I have an old recipe with filet of sole. I peel the grapes and take
the seeds out. You cannot use a seedless grape because it would not give the same
As for the inconvenience, he has this to say. "I come from France, from the Burgundy
area, and there are always seeds in the grapes. Whether it's white or red, there's always
going to be a seed inside. So for me it's not such a big problem."
The fact that seedless varieties are taking markets by storm tells Farjas that
"people are too lazy. They don't want to spit out the seed or they don't want to take
it out." He concludes, "I think people are getting spoiled."