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Good Things at the San Mateo Farmers Market

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Good Things at the San Mateo Farmers Market

Pia | Aug 9, 2002 04:39 AM

It's almost that time of the week again, and having received so much good information from my fellow Hounds, I'd like to try to reciprocate with my list of favorites from the San Mateo Farmers Market, where I
prefer to buy my fruits and vegetables, as well as some baked goods. The market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the College of San Mateo parking lot. The SMFM may have less variety than the Ferry Plaza market, but it is less crowded, less expensive, and the quality of the produce is every bit as high.

Kashiwase Farms--simply the best peaches and nectarines around. If Kashiwase has it, I don't bother to look elsewhere. They always have a generous tray of samples, and a taste-test will quickly convince you.

Tecklenburg melons--melons only, but what melons! The ambrosias (a variety of cantaloupe) are so aptly named.

Schletewitz (sp?) Family Farms--usually a good choice for fruit, e.g., grapes and oranges, that the two vendors above don't carry.

Ibarra-Cruz--excellent selection of organic vegetables for Western or Asian cooking. Particularly good baby bok choy, young spinach clusters, assorted mushrooms, etc.

Happy Boy--one of the more popular and expensive vegetable stands. Lovely salad greens, excellent fingerling potatoes, and now a truly scrumptuous melon: a dark green football, no external aroma, but with a honeyed, crunchy interior.

Crepe and Brioche Bakery--Don't be put off by the rather industrial looking shrink-wrapped pastry. The apple tart, a very thin puff pastry crust with a whisper of almond paste just under wafer-thin slices of apple has been popular with everyone who has tried it. The breads are excellent, too: a dense, flavorful walnut levain I love with cheese or just butter, a good brioche, and a disgustingly rich almond croissant oozing butter and sweet almond paste. (Skip the pain au chocolat, though. Not enough chocolate.) And, if you're early enough to market, delicious palmiers.

Happy foraging!

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