Monday, October 1, 2012

Farmer's Market Finds

I know it's trendy now to talk about shopping local and going to farmer's markets but farmer's markets are how many immigrant communities operate, how many in the more rural areas shop and before our mega-supermarkets.  This article talks about the indoor public markets where the public used to shop: I recall my trip with college friends years ago to a market in a public hall in Charleston, South Carolina.  I remember antiques, crocodile souvenirs, and food. That was fascinating. In many immigrant neighborhoods, you will find open markets along sidewalks. For example, you can find great deals in Chinatowns in cities around the country.  The Lower East Side of New York's Manhattan has the Essex Street Market - vendors in a big open hall selling fruit, vegetable, meat, bread as well as trinkets. In the Essex Market or Chinatown, it's not about fancy packaging but the food. In fact, sometimes you'll encounter rude vendors but the price will be low, the food fresh and unpackaged.

Of course, not all farmer's markets are created equal.  New York City's Union Square GreenMarket is amazing and extremely popular. It's large, located in an open space.  You may even encounter some nice packaging but not overpackaging.

A gem that a friend recommended to me is the Stockton Farm Market in NJ.  I've been there a few times and have always found unique and fresh produce.  There is an excellent, albeit expensive, fish market.  There is a very reasonably priced vendor, Mighty Quinn's, who sells oh-so-delicious barbecued meats and chicken wings with cilantro lime hot sauce.  Then there is the lovely woman who sells sunflowers. Below are some of pictures I took at the Stockton Farm Market:

maitake mushroom

sweet peppers

An artist who recreated a postcard from an old Bulgarian stamp

duck eggs
If you have suggestions of good ones for me to try in the NY/NJ/Philadelphia region, please let me know.

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