Wednesday, July 29, 2009

mountain view wins on this one

I've recently become a big fan of the Mountain View farmer's market, which is open every Sunday, all year, only two blocks from my apartment. The downside is that it is only open until 1 p.m., which requires that I wake up and leave the house in time to get there before it closes (which, if you know me, is not that easy). I complained about this a little bit until I remembered that the stores aren't even open on Sundays in Zurich, and that the farmer's market in New York was not within walking distance of my apartment.

One thing I like about the farmer's market is that you can sample most of the produce before you buy it. It's all local stuff, and probably picked only a few hours before you taste it. I'm a big fan of "try before you buy."

The other thing I like is the produce itself. It's all delicious, because it's all in season, and all picked only once it's ripe. They have everything -- lettuce for my BLTs, fresh eggs, blueberries, cheese, bread, pretty much anything that is currently ripe in northern California is laid out on tables, ready to be chosen, taken home, and eaten. The white peaches are amazing, and somehow impossibly sweeter than canned peaches. The strawberries are enticingly red and shiny.

But two things in particular make me love the Mountain View farmer's market more than any old market or supermarket.

Pluots and heirloom tomatoes. Sun-ripened, juicy, and delicious enough to warrant less sleep on Sunday morning.

Sorry, Zurich, you may have my favorite airport, excellent lake access, and the most efficient public transportation system, but you never gave me pluots. New York, I miss your convenient delivery services and infinite possibilities, but heirloom tomatoes never appeared on my doorstep or at a museum or bar while I was there. Do you have any idea what you're missing out on? Maybe it's best if you don't, because it would be pretty hard to know about such things and live without them.


Viv said...

Farmers Markets are so heavenly in the summer. The bigger ones in Santa Monica here are like carnivals, complete with all sorts of misshapen fruits, colors, and weird things. Best of all are all the ready-made foods like crepes, sandwiches, kettle corn, you name it. And then there are the fresh-cut, inexpensive flowers...

I'm sure you have a CSA program near you, too. Although it's not so much "try before you buy" (it's much more like "what the hell is this thing and how in the world will I figure out how to cook it"), it does force you to experiment and try new colors on your plate. Perhaps best of all is that it comes straight to your doorstep in a neat box, every week/month/whatever. So you could sleep in all you want. =)

MW said...

In August of '07 my mom and I went to NYC together. I had managed to score a reservation at Babbo to make our trip really special. There was an heirloom tomato tasting menu that night but we were informed it was going quick. We decided we were spoiled Northern Californians who ate them all the time, so we left the remaining availability to the other diners. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Angela,

Happy Birthday :-)

Have a good one.