Back from a Saturday trip to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. (Who gets up at 5:30 in the morning to go there?) Today I joined Anna and Howard at 6:00 a.m. at the Lyndale Farmer’s Market. No problem finding parking at that time.
The excitement for the day is that Epicurious.com representatives are there to promote the website and eating local. They had Ghiradelli chocolate.
I talked to nice guy named Baseem from Epicurious.com. Since he worked for them, I asked where he was from – he lives in Minneapolis. (Huh?) My interviewing mode kicked in with the big question. “Well, do you like to cook?
His reply was, “I bet I cook more than you do. How many days a week do you cook? I cook 5 days a week.”
Where do you buy food locally?” asked Anna.
“You’ve heard of Costco?” he said with a smile. I may have looked incredulous and Anna piped up with, “Who do buy from here at the market?” Then he looked confused. He didn’t shop at the Farmer’s Market. (You are standing in the best place to buy food, guy.)
As it turned out, Baseem was born in South Africa and had lived in China for nine months recently. He cooks Chinese and Indian food. He also cooks Persian food, as that is his family background. He told us that his grandmother bought all her herbs from the Farmer’s Market and placed them on the floor in her basement. Her whole house was filled with the scents of all the herbs. She would dry them and freeze them. (Smart.)
Persian food is a whole world of cooking that I have eaten, but never made. (Hmmm. Something to think about.)
The fun part about going with Anna and Howard is that they know so many of the sellers. Their recommendations developed from years of buying (30). Rolfs is one of the growers that they frequent. Dehn’s, who are organic growers of herbs and greens, is another good vendor. They buy cheese from Eichten’s who also are buffalo meat specialist. I really like Buffalo. (Fat free.)
A recent find for me is the guys from Blue Gentian Farm, in booth #434, from Wisconsin. They have the best meats. Grass fed beef – the only kind to eat, if you are into beef. La Croix lamb, which is a rare sheep from the Virgin Islands that has hair instead of wool, is really tasty. Its meat does not have the heavy musky flavor from lanolin that wool sheep have. I tried it for stew. The flavor was lighter and sweeter than anything I have ever had. (Of course, I have to forgo the pleasure of meat for while, darn it. Watching my cholesterol. Boring.) They have turkey and duck – hard to find, I have been told. They have everything.
My eyes were drawn to opal basil from the Hmong farmers. (I buy based on color and fragrance.) It is deep purple and very spicy. In fact, it turned into a purple theme today with purple carrots, peppers, and dahlias. (Okay, the flowers are for a painting. I’ll have to work fast, because Dahlia’s don’t last.) An ancient Hmong lady was selling bouquets with Dahlias. Her hands were worn from working the soil. She talked about her Dahlias. There was a large dinner plate Dahlia in a soft orange color, but I am into the purple today. Her bouquets were a riot of colors. Beautiful.
Minneapolis Farmers Market • 312 East Lyndale Ave North • Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405 • Phone 612-333-1718 • Fax 651-457-331