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East Coast vs. West Coast Produce


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I bought eggplant that looked like tomatillos. I believe it was this variety, yet mine were green. Is this, in fact, Turkish eggplant? I was told that they are denser than purple eggplant and the best way to prepare them is to flour and fry them in hot oil. Any other suggestions?

clickity for Petits Aubergine Farcis / Feta-stuffed Mini-Eggplants

by the way, you linked to Tana Butler's wonderful I Heart Farms blog. Tana is a member of this board and her blog, and its photography are gorgeous!!!

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I bought eggplant that looked like tomatillos. I believe it was this variety, yet mine were green. Is this, in fact, Turkish eggplant? I was told that they are denser than purple eggplant and the best way to prepare them is to flour and fry them in hot oil. Any other suggestions?

Sounds like you might have found yourself some Thai eggplant. Perhaps a som tam salad? 180px-Thai_eggplant.jpg

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Those are Thai, or apple eggplants. Cut into sixths, salt and rinse. Make a paste of chilies, galangal, lemongrass, lime zest, shallot, garlic, and shrimp paste. Fry the paste for a few minutes, then add eggplant and cook until done. Add fish sauce, more chilies and sugar to taste, garnish with shredded lime leaf. Deeeeeelicious.

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We took the kids to the La Jolla farmer's market yesterday - it's Sundays from 9-1 in the parking lot of La Jolla Elementary School. It's big, with a large contingent of people selling various crafts and prepared foods. The peaches and tomatoes are not as good as we get at any of the FreshFarm markets back home. We did score a basket of fabulous little organic strawberries, and squash blossoms with the tiny zucchini still attached, but on the whole the produce was very disappointing. La Jolla market does have this guy though:f_Tritipsandwm_14d9ea3.jpg

That's Clarence Jackson, of Jackson & Sons smoked meats, showing off a gigantic tri-tip sandwich. Good God y'all, that is a fine sandwich.

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Heather,

It surprises me that the produce from Ca. isn't at least as good as here on the east coast. I've always read about people relocating from the left to the right coast being doubtful that our markets can compete. With the corn, tomatoes, peaches etc. this season it's hard to imagine better. :angry:

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Heather,

It surprises me that the produce from Ca. isn't at least as good as here on the east coast. I've always read about people relocating from the left to the right coast being doubtful that our markets can compete. With the corn, tomatoes, peaches etc. this season it's hard to imagine better. B)

We have got nothing to be ashamed of back on the East coast, at least during July and August. :angry: We have better bread and meat, too.
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We have got nothing to be ashamed of back on the East coast, at least during July and August. :angry: We have better bread and meat, too.

Yeah, but no citrus, avocados or obscure varieties of fresh dates here... And no field grown tomatoes and other veggies in the winter...

I was struck, last time I went to the mother of all farmers' markets in Santa Monica, that there was no meat and very little cheese. Although, it is possible to get really good Santa Barbara shrimp and the freshest salmon I've ever tasted, among other fish. One explanation that has been floated is that the market was started and is still dominated by vegetarians. Another is that agricultural land in proximity to Los Angeles is too expensive for raising meat animals. I don't know the answer. I'm going to be in L.A. for a few days later this week, but I'll miss the Wednesday S.M. market. The smaller Saturday Ocean Park market will have to suffice. But I will definitely be making room in the suitcase for a trip to Surfas, the gourmet chef supply store. Gotta stock up on fennel pollen, Tahitian vanilla beans, cheap French lavender flowers, etc. etc. etc.

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Yeah, but no citrus, avocados or obscure varieties of fresh dates here... And no field grown tomatoes and other veggies in the winter...
I hear ya, sister. In January 2004, I was in SD for a conference. I flew in on Sunday morning beforehand. My Sunday consisted of--changing to a T-shirt and shorts, going to the Solana Beach farmers market, tasting a freshly-picked orange for the first time, and chugging excellent Pizza Port saison and pale ale. Oh, and buying chocolates from Chuao (excellent-to-awe-inspiring chocolates based on El Rey extra-bitter).
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I loathe dates in any form

Have you ever had a really fresh Barhi? They are so delicate and tender that they can't be shipped. You almost have to get them out in the desert at a date farm. Occasionally a date farmer will bring some to the market. They literally melt in your mouth and the flavor is ambrosial.

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It surprises me that the produce from Ca. isn't at least as good as here on the east coast. I've always read about people relocating from the left to the right coast being doubtful that our markets can compete.

Well, the selection in CA is terrific and does tend to spoil you, but that doesn't always translate to quality. We had some absolutely gorgeous blueberries with dessert at Chez Panisse two weeks ago - as perfect in color, size and texture as I've ever seen - but they were quite bland compared to what grows in Poolesville. Wherever you are, it's not a competition to enjoy what grows well locally, especially fresh off the plant.

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