September 12, 2009 12:45 PM
Berkeley Farmers' Market
Are you tired of finding moldy strawberries at Safeway? I am. Yes, I know I sound slightly like a commercial. So, in an attempt to find fresher produce, my sister and I went to one of Berkeley's Farmers' Market today. There are actually three Farmers' Markets in Berkeley: one each on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. If you guys are interested, visit this website for locations and other information:
So the one that my sister and I went to today is located about a block down Center from the Downtown Berkeley Bart Station. We went around 10 am, but there were already quite a few people there. There were a variety of vendors, offering fresh produce, fruit, fresh baked bread, and even beeswax candles! We wandered through the entire farmers' market once to see everything and then turned around to make some purchases. Since most of the fruit and vegetables are certified organic and locally grown, they were a bit on the expensive side. Even thought the produce is extremely fresh, I wasn't sure I'd be able to taste the difference between a $2.00/lb tomato and a $0.67/lb tomato. So instead of buying all our groceries there, we tried to buy stuff that we wouldn't be able to find at Safeway.
We ended up buying some broccolini, which is a cross between regular broccoli and gai-lan (Chinese broccoli). I stir-fried the broccolini with some minced garlic and ginger in a bit of olive oil, plus a dash of salt and black pepper. It was really good! There was a lady at the farmers' market who told us that we'll never go back to regular broccoli once we've tasted broccolini. I'm not sure I'd go to that extreme, especially since the broccolini was about four times the price of regular broccoli.
We also bought some fresh garlic curd cheese from this super friendly, grandfatherly vendor. He was so nice! He offered everyone samples of each type of cheese and even opened a box of the fresh garlic curd for me when I asked to try it. I think the company was called "Spring Hill Jersey Cheese." You guys should definitely try it, perhaps as an alternative to Cheeseboard. My sister and I both loved the garlic curd, so we're probably going to go back next Saturday for more! I really want to try the lemon quark, which is kind of like cream cheese that would go well with fruit as a light dessert.
There were also a few vendors selling vegan and ethnic cooked food. On the way out, we bought some kettle corn! We only stayed to about 10:45 am, but if you guys go to the farmers' market from 11-3 pm today, don't miss the String Band Contest!
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