It's May, and that means farmer's market season again - yay! The pain of having to get up early on Saturday - in order to get the good stuff before it's gone - is canceled out by the tasty joys of all the good meals you can make with that good stuff. And the farmer's market has encouraged me to eat outside my comfort zone. The friendly vendors tell me about vegetables I've never tried before and give me cooking suggestions. Last year one of the vendors offered a great cookbook that has been a great help, too - Simply in Season. There's a Simply in Season website, too.
This past Saturday at the local farmer's market, I bought Jerusalem artichokes for the first time ever. The vendor gave me a taste of them at the market and I was sold - crispy, crunchy, nutty-flavored. The vendor suggested eating them with a fried egg sandwich, which sounded odd, but turned out to be delicious. They were also great sliced up in a salad along with fresh spring onions, some kind of funky tubular radishes, and some yummy local cheese. Mmmm.
Eat local, if and when you can. It's good for the earth, and it just tastes so, so much better.
I forget which taxonomist wrote it, but it is one of my favorite bits about taxonomy:
"The Jerusalem artichoke is a member of the sunflower family native to North America; thus the name."
Oh, so THAT's what a sunchoke looks like. I've heard of them but I'm not sure I've ever seen them in person with a label of any kind...
ah I love Jerusalem artichokes and they last well in a cold cellar as well
Curse you, Zuska!
I'd almost gotten over the lack of sunchokes around here. Now I'm back to thinking of all those lovely dishes ...
I love eating local! Here in Atlanta, we have farmers' markets year-round. It's almost an embarrassment of fresh produce. The last few years I've been wussing out of going to early-morning markets by joining a CSA. I get a box of local fruit and veggies for $20/week, with the option to add locally farmed honey, dairy, eggs, and meat for an additional fee.
Our Farmers Markets just started up out here in the Pac NW, but right now all we have are radishes and salad greens. Winter ran about a month long, so it looks like everything will be late this year.
It's sad that I couldn't attend such events because of my chronic pain. I'd have to buy ultram and drink some before I can actually go out.