We got donuts, they got greens and plenty of 'em!
We visited the Green City Market today with Joan. We found no neighbors, but Joan knew half the inhabitants. It was a lot of fun and much different than the Oak Park market even if they both have Nichols Farm.
Here Nichols seemed almost an afterthought, the giant Dominicks to a bunch of mom-and-pop stands. I mean Nichols boasts Illinois produce, but do they grow any right here IN Chicago. 70th street produce, which actually has its "farm" on 73rd brings new meaning to the word local produce. I got some yukon gold taters from them, although I had slight reservations. Do the words superfund mean anything to you?
Everything is supposed to be organic here, but we all know Nichols is just "unsprayed", and I do not think the Michigan fruit was organic either. On the other hand, Joan says that Red Hen bakes special loafs that are organic just for the market. Any chance to get Red Hen's superior baked goods, organic or not is a good chance. Still, there were a lot of stand proclaiming their purity.
Organic means mostly veg. I said to Ms. VI that if the percantages at Oak Park were 50% fruit, 25% veg and 25% flowers; Green City would be 75% veg, 20% fruit and 5% flowers. This was not the place to grab those glads. Plus, having only one Michigan fruit vendor saved the agony of deciding which peaches, plums and berries actually were the best.
It was a place to find things not seen in other markets. I liked best Kinnikinnick Farms with their plethora of Molto Mario goods. Black cabbage (cavola nero), red dandelion, puntarelle, and a bunch of other Italian named greens I never heard of all beckoned one to cook medeteranian. We also grabbed some fresh oregeno oozing with aroma.
Even more herbs were at the place across from Kinnikinnick. I especially liked smelling the fresh lavender even if I no need to buy it. Make what? Another stand had some tired looking zuchini but a wide array of peppers including some thai stingers, serranos and cherry bombs. I meant to get some of the thai's to bring to Yum Thai for them to add next time to my steak salad (I read that cakeage thread, do you think there is a chiliage cost?).
We got a slight disorientation when we saw Herbally's Herb's vinegar stand an Oak Park standard and employer of one of the chowhounditas favorite baby sitters. I almost expected a donut after that. Other non-produce people include the aforementioned Red Hen, two, yes two beef people and a cavier tent. The cavier people were awfully generous with their samples, and it's neat stuff, especially the cajun version. Maybe someone will bring it to the next chowathon.
In an ideal world, I'd make two market stops each week. Regardless, if I could only do one, I'd be plenty happy.
I've linked to a complete listing of the market vendors. Note, not everyone was there today and some, like the smoked trout people, were depleted by the time we arrived (say 10 am).
Maybe see you there next week!