Ferry Building, May 29 | Farmer’s Market Report

30 May

Heaven in a brown paper bag: Old-fashioned cherries from K&J Orchards. May 29, 2010.

One of my favorite recurring items on Marco Flavio’s blog, Cook Here and Now, were his farmers market reports. Every week, he’d visit the Alemeny Farmers Market and report on not only what was in season, but what looked good and what to make out of what he’d found. And his photography was amazing.

Since I go to the farmers market pretty much every week, I thought I’d start keeping track of what I find. This Saturday, I ventured beyond my super-convenient local farmers market in Noe Valley and headed to the Ferry Building. I’ve been dying to make a cherry pie, my favorite kind of pie, as a sort of penance for completely missing cherry season last year.

A friend had mentioned that there should be sour cherries there this week, but alas, none to be found. I asked at one stall, and they shook their heads: “No one carries them because there isn’t much of a demand.” K&J Orchards had the widest selection of cherries that I saw: Brooks, Rainier, and deep, dark red “old-fashioned” cherries. I asked the woman there about the last kind, and she said, “They taste like a cherry.” And they do. They bring me back to the cherry pies I ate as a kid. I bought an enormous quantity for the cherry pie (at $7/lb.) and put in a request for sour cherries. If K&J has enough, then they call to let you know when they’ll bring them to the Ferry Building and you can pick them up.

There have been more and more stone fruits every week, and K&J had some delicious samples of apricot, peach, and nectarine. I still had pie on the brain, so I bought some peaches to make ginger-peach pie, which I last tried with white peaches in a batch of pie pops. (It was delicious.) I’m looking forward to breaking in my new Williams-Sonoma pie plates tomorrow and trying Bittman’s flaky pie crust. The cherry pie and pie crust will be my new recipes of the week.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been far more interested in fruit than vegetables at the farmers markets lately. I need to get some veggie variety. I picked up two bunches of unremarkable-looking arugula for $3 total. My friend Laurie Twittered that it was the last day of asparagus season. I almost picked some up, but I’ve kind of overdone it on asparagus the past few weeks.

I did stop by my favorite apple vendor, Hidden Star Orchards, and was helped by (I think) Johann, the owner, himself. The guy who works at the Noe Valley stall (or, as I like to call him, the hot apple guy) must be related to him. They have the same smile: warm and friendly. I stuck to Fujis this time. Though this year’s crop aren’t quite as crisp as Hidden Star’s usually near-perfect apples, the flavor is still really yummy. I hope their New York Special variety returns this year.

A few other observations:

  • Heirloom tomatoes are $4.25/lb.! I remember when they were $3/lb. and I thought that was expensive. I’ll have to keep an eye on the price to see if it changes over the season.
  • I almost picked up strawberries from Swanton, but I figured my fruit haul was already a bit too much.
  • Almost all of the Noe vendors also have stalls at the Ferry Building. This made me feel better about going to Noe almost every week rather than venturing down to the Ferry Building more often.

One Response to “Ferry Building, May 29 | Farmer’s Market Report”

  1. Gillian May 31, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    Gah, spring in California. This is the hardest time of year to be in the Southern Hemisphere.

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