July is my favorite season to go to the Farmer’s Market. It’s like stepping into a wonderland of brightly colored apples and berries – that is also adjacent to Zeke’s Coffee and Ethiopian Cuisine. There’s something for everyone – and I mean, everyone – at the Farmer’s Market.
The farmer’s market is the best place to go for a flavorful soil-grown food fix. Vegetables and fruits often taste particularly flat directly from chain grocery stores, and nothing ruins a good tabbouleh dish like a tomato that doesn’t taste quite like a tomato but a red rubbery reminder of what a tomato might have been. It’s moments like those that I become wistful for the summer Farmer’s Market season.
And if you’re a smart enough shopper, going to the Farmer’s Market can be very cheap. To scoop out the best deals, make sure you walk through the entire market at least once before making a purchase and keep a mental inventory of the different prices different vendors offer. It seems self-defeating for one vendor to offer a quart of vegetables for two dollars more than another down the street – but most vendors actually do differ in prices for roughly the same quality product.
And you certainly don’t have to be a haggling master to get good deals (thank god, because I couldn’t talk a price down in my life). Many vendors keep a few fruits and vegetables with a few brown patches sold in separate quarts for considerably cheaper prices. Thanks to these deals, my grocery bill is drastically reduced every week. Today, I bought a total of 15 flavor-packed peaches for $1 thanks to just a few brown spots. And then a similarly large quantity of apricots for another dollar. I may have just found my favorite fruit vendor of all time.
On an unrelated note, nothing invites questions and conversation more than bringing an over-sized camera to the Farmer’s Market. One Morrocan vendor caught me snapping pictures of his wide array of vegetables and asked me about my ethnic background. When he found out I was also Middle Eastern, he sweetly asked if I needed onions in addition to the zucchini and spinach I was purchasing, and grabbed a few to put in my bag before I even responded. It made my morning!