Every week Good Food visits the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers’ Market and brings the latest news from farmers and chefs.
This week market manager Laura Avery and pomologist David Karp discuss the prized Gravenstein apple, a variety emblematic of top-quality. He explains that the Gravensteins do not store well, so they are best eaten right away or preserved in pies or cider.
Karp says the best Gravensteins are grown in Sebastopol, home to Nana Mae Organics who will make a one-day appearance on August 2nd at the Mar Vista Farmers’ Market.
Plus, Jessica Koslow, chef-owner of Sqirl, talks about her yearly visit to Walker Apples in Sebastopol, where she loads up her car with as many Gravenstein apples as can fit. She boils the Gravensteins low and slow for her apple butter.
What You Should Buy This Weekend At the Farmers’ Market:
– Emerald Beauty pluots and Bella Royal peacotums from Murray Family Farms in Bakersfield. The peacotum is a three way cross between the peach, apricot and plum. I could taste the sweetness of a peach and the tartness of a plum, but not much apricot. Try a sample at Murray’s stand and let me know in the comments below if you can taste all three flavors.
– Watermelon daikon, purple daikon, and Brown Turkey Figs from JF Organic Farms. Not sure what to do with your bagful of daikon? Here is some advice from Evan Kleiman.
– The abundance of white, purple, red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers gave the market a majestic glow. Look for them from Peacock, Weiser, Gloria’s and Beylik.
– Who’s ready to make some homemade dill pickles? Get the ball rolling and head over to the Fairview Gardens stand for some fresh dill flowers and cucumbers. Here is a little inspiration for you advanced picklers.
– Farmer David West of Clearwater Farms grows his shiitake mushrooms on oak wood, which produces three independent fruitings. The first bears the large sized shiitakes, but by the third fruiting, the oak is almost zapped of nutrients and can only bear the baby-sized ones.
Recipes for your Market Haul: