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July 31, 2010

Waverly Market report

Black eyed peasAlan Morstein of Regi's sends this report from the Waverly Farmers' Market. He also tells me he's soon heading for the Jersey Shore, so he won't be able to check out the market next Saturday. Any volunteers out there? Here's Alan. LV

The black-eye peas are at Waverly this morning. Not the group that will be in town in two weeks; we're talking the original black-eyed peas from the "Bean Man." Guaranteed to be a line in front of his stall today.

In addition, some beautiful heirloom tomatoes of all varieties, including heirloom Romas that the vendor has nicknamed Tony Romas. The first red peppers of the season made their debut.

Plenty of beautiful ripe vegetables and produce available on this beautiful Saturday morning.

For lima bean aficionados, you can expect them in the next few weeks.

Black-eyed pea salad. Photo by Ralph Lauer, my former colleague at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. (Howdy, Ralph!)

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 11:53 AM | | Comments (10)
        

Comments

That is one gorgeous photo!

Are the fresh black eyed peas better than the dried? Ordinarily I would think of course, but I've tried them and I like (love) the dried ones just fine. And the fresh beans are now running about three times the dried.

Any favorite corn varieties or venders please? Thank you.

The tomatoes were EVERYWHERE...and beautiful. There was also great okra to match with them and the black eyed peas.

The fruit choices were plums, plums, plums, peaches, nectarines, and blackberries, plus some late blueberries.

I'm there every saturday bright and early if you'd like my report.

And YES the fresh peas are better. They take no time to cook and the flavor is amazing.

Even more exciting than the black eyed peas- Crowder peas are in! My favorite.

You're hired, baltimoregal!

I am in need of farmers'-market counseling.

For the past two or three summers, I have been a nearly-ever-Saturday-morning customer of the Highlandtown Farmers' Market. I have enjoyed its small size (only three or four vendors -- aside from the non-food guys, but I seldom am there looking for window-screen painting or dubious candles) and its relative proximity to my home. I liked being recognized by the folks behind the counter. And ... I got excellent summer produce!

However ... two of my favorite vendors have disappeared. First, the peach-and-apple guy left last year, apparently disgruntled at what he saw as an influx of sellers of non-food items. Those screens and candles....

The last straw was this past Saturday, when I was told, in hushed tones while my cucumbers were being bagged up, that my favorite produce source had been "asked to leave"! Yikes. I'm too old to be a partisan in any farmers'-market wars.

I've decided to take my trade to the Waverly Market.

But ... I have found the WM a bit overwhelming. Perhaps it's just the unfamiliarity. So many vendors, so many choices, so many people. It's jsut a bit too much for this country boy transplanted to the Big City.

I'm not looking for the exotic squash, the boutique lettuce, the heritage tomato, even the especially "organic" anything. Just good corn, zuke, melon, and the occasional potato. Oh ... and apples in the fall.

Can any one give me some help here? Specific vendors to seek out, with location? Stategy pointers? Parking tips?

Sorry to sound so pathetically provincial, but I am out of my comfort zone here....

And ... if anyone has any insights as to what the h*ll is going on at the Highlandtown Market, I'm all ears!

Thanks

BankStreet- I'd be glad to clue you in.
http://www.32ndstreetmarket.org/vendors.html#

Hollow Farms is the bean/pea place. I always go there first and avoid lines. Next I go to One Straw Farm- they have a great selection of seasonal vegetables, and a great CSA program which I belong to & want to get my share asap! I also like Thanksgiving Farms and Mr. Martin's Farm.

I prefer Atwater & Chez G breads. South Mountain Creamery has great milk, butter, yogurt (and bologna if you like that). Gunpowder bison is great of course. Broom's Bloom Cheese / Woolsey Farm Lamb/ Andy’s Eggs/ Cybee’s Honey for, well, those things! Plus pork.

For the fruit, I prefer Reid's. It ain't cheap but the quality is second to none. Black Rock is also good.

For prepared food- I highly recommend Thai Iced drinks and food from Asian Food Delights, Max's Empanadas. And take home spreads and bean salads Ethiopian Delights and some goat cheese and smoked fish or andouille from Neopol Smokery.

Laura- What time do you need said report in? I have to volunteer at BARCS after the market from 9-noon. Will a quick email after my 7am market trip suffice?

You can do it whenever you like. LV

baltimoregal,

Thanks! That was exactly the sort of help I was looking for!

I've had the fresh black eyed peas and I've had the dried and I found the fresh to be no better. And on top of that I was somewhat disappointed at that. Of course they cook quicker than the dried ( if you don't soak them). Wow!

Get to the Waverly market early and you won't be overwhelmed. 6:30 is good. 7:30 is already pretty crowded. It's actually a pretty small market.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
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