Every Saturday morning is the same. I wake up, pull on my jeans and sweater and brace the morning fog that blankets over Northern California in the summer. I have one goal in mind: the farmer’s market.
I’m lucky enough to live in a place that has a fabulous year-round market. Growing up in South Florida, outdoor markets usually consisted of local farmers selling fresh peppers, citrus and dried black beans in dusty open-air stands. Scents of café con leche permeated the air and the humidity was thick enough to slice with a butter knife.
When I moved to California, I found the exact opposite: men and women layered in sweaters sipping their French press coffees and pushing buggies full of the season’s most vibrant and freshest produce.
Here, plump fresh figs taste nothing like the Newtons I grew up on and tomatoes make rainbows with all of their different colors and patterns.
Creamy avocado flesh is scooped out with plastic spoons and layered onto sizzling hot tacos and tamales. And though I miss the plates of fried plantains, rice and beans of my past, I start to become accustomed to these tiny corn tortillas that are the size of my palm and piled high with carnitas, cilantro and onions.
When both my recyclable bag and stomach is stuffed full, I make my way back through the crowds, home, where I start on my second favorite activity of the week: planning what to make with all of it.
Jenna Weber is half of the Fresh Tastes blog team. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and, since then, has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and freelance food editor. Currently, Jenna blogs full-time on EatLiveRun.com where her delicious daily recipes and quirky culinary musings appeal to thousands. She lives in Northern California and, when not in the kitchen, can usually be found on her yoga mat.
Want to learn more about farmer’s markets? PBS Food has compiled a “Farmer’s Markets Resource Page” with national listings and local area listings of farmer’s markets across America. Be sure to head over to find farmer’s markets near you!