It's been a while since I visited the Green City Market, but as we were davaning last saturday, we needed some produce.
Green City constricts its vendors to a tight line (with Nichols oozing a bit down Lincoln). Packing the vendors together gives the impression that the market is limited. Plus, there is only one fruit vendor and no flower stalls, also making the volume seem small. Yet, the place is actually packed.
Yesterday was a good a day as ever to market, and if you have been reading farmer's market reports all year, and have yet to visit one, this IS the time. A couple of Green City vendors, Green Acres and Nichols, appear at other places at other days. Both feature an amazing variety of variety. Green Acres is especially strong on hot peppers and Asian things. Nichols has potatoes in every color and size. The rest of the vendors, I believe are unique to Green City. These guys provide more specialized products, italian greens here, herbs there, some heady tomatoes at heady tomato prices at one place.
While this Ben and Jerry looking guy sold his tomatoes at an ungodly price $4/lb, others had just as nice looking tomatoes at lesser prices. I especially liked the fact that Green Acres actually listed the tomatoes by varietal instead of making you guess like Nichols. Green Acres also had this interesting looking hierloom from Poland, opalaka or something like that. Totally ugly, but purportedly the best around for sauce (so they claim).
Moving into September, Green Acrese had several kinds of squashes including some Asian varieties. Nichols had some mushrooms, based on a sign, but they were all gone by the time I dropped by. They also had wax beans, lima beans, soy beans and pretty pink shelly beans. Radishes were also sprouting up at different places. I got these long red Japanese ones at a vendor I forget, that were really zesty.
OK, I saved the best for last. September is a great fruit month. The one Green City fruit seller brimmed with things, mutliple kinds of apples and pears, the last of the peach varieties, a new crop of raspberries, remaining blueberries, useless dansom plums and...
grapes! Concords and Niagras and even a California-ish green seedless variety, for the grape wimps. I have to report the Concords were well worth the wait. Perhaps because of the wait, they tasted even better than ever. Put them in your mouth, pop the real, firm skin. The first taste is intense sugar, followed by that only in America concord musk and then completed with a good deal of tart as your tounge struggles with the mucousy pulp and tries to avoid the seeds. Total pleasure!
Anyone else see the Tribune food section picking up on the VI grape obsession? No attribution however.
See you next week at some farmer's market.