Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two Different Markets in One Day

Right ON! I was just beaming with delight to find so many summery goodies at the farmers' market this weekend: Cherries!! Peaches!! Basil!! Tomatoes!! Strawberries!! Glory hallelujah! Oh yeah, and some lemons, raisins, zucchini, kale, onions, cukes, spinach, and springy-time asparaguys. Yum. I have a fruit addiction, but I refuse to seek help. The cherries are one of my most favorite things in the world, and it's a reasonably short season in these parts, so I feel an ethical obligation to eat as many as possible in that time period. The white peaches were also delicious and that's another fruit stand where I lose many a hard-earned dollar. They were fuzzy and juicy and sweet and summery. This particular vendor has a long season of many different varieties of peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, apricots, apriums... it's so wonderful, I can hardly wait!

That very same day, I was over in Cupertino/San Jose with my dad (going on a little adventure together), when I spotted an "international market" sign. Lured by the potential of exotic ingredients, I talked my dad into going with me. I was SO psyched to find out that it was actually a wonderful Persian market with TONS of stuff! Some of you will know that I am big fan of all things Persian (okay, maybe not ALL things Persian - but just about!), especially their wonderful cuisine. I had a very hard time resisting so many things. In addition to good ol' rose water and orange blossom water, they had bottles of "Egyptian Pussy Willow Water" "Mint Water" "Sweet Briar Water" "Cumin Water" and many more. Whoa! I don't even know what to do with that, but I still wanted to buy it! Instead I took a careful inventory of what they had - knowing that from now on I can read any Persian recipe I can get my paws on, and know where to find all the most obscure ingredients. I sense a Persian cooking binge in my future!

Here's what I did end up with - just a smattering of curios:
Pita Bread (Hey, it was on my grocery list for that day!), Carrot/Rosewater jam, Tamarind Paste, Indian Curry Powder, Vimto (a sickeningly sweet cherry-ish fruit soda - fun to try, but not a new favorite!), 2 different cans of Foul Moudammas, a frozen package of "Sabzi Ghormeh", and some lovely saffron-sugar rock candy swizzle sticks. I'll save these for a special occasion. It was so exciting because a few of these products were actually imported from Iran... which is pretty hard to find these days. The air of authenticity!

14 comments:

  1. Ahh, looks at all that fresh, summer produce!! Sooooo envious right now, haha. Enjoy!! :0)

    Saffron-sugar rock candy?? How intriguing!

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  2. is it a bad thing that I'm totally drooling over the beauteaous produce you managed to find??

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  3. That is a SWEET haul from the farmer's market. It's not quite peach season here in the southeast yet, but I saw the first cherries in the store yesterday! The stuff from the Persian store looks cool too, nice to know of a reliable place to buy specialty goods.

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  4. I actually have that a box of those saffron sugar candies at home, my box looks exactly the same as yours. They're super yummy!

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  5. i love farmers markets... everything is there!... my addiction.avocados... i just finished eaten one.. mmmm

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  6. Your farmers market is certainly teeming with summery produce! I recognized about half of the items you got from your International Market. I feel lucky I can get them at my neighborhood supermarket.

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  7. When I was in San Francisco, I also felt an ethical obligation to buy 2 pounds of fresh cherries and snack on them all weekend at my hotel! I totally encourage your addiction, ha!

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  8. First of all, jealous of your summer produce! Ack, I can't wait any more!

    Second, love the Persian grocery find! I wonder if it existed back when I lived in Cupertino oh so many moons ago...? (Do you remember its name by any chance?). Oh, I think you'll LOVE the carrot jam- it's one of my favorites, and my grandmother makes it all the time. And I wish I had access to frozen ghormeh sabzi, because I have never made it from scratch. I don't even know if I could track down all the greens. Oh, my mom is going to Iran in July- drop me a line if you want anything from there! xo

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  9. How lovely! I've never eaten persian food that I know of, but I'm intrigued now...

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  10. Hi fellow Santa Cruzan!!! I'm from Santa Cruz too and I've been reading your blog off and on until just recently I started a blog of my own. It's great that there's another Santa Cruz foodie like me out there. I actually just posted an entry about Malabar (which I'm sure you are familiar with). My blog will consist of a lot of baking (a lot of vegan baking) and some cooking. I look forward to your posts and great ideas! Santa Cruz is such a great place for food.

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  11. So much persian treasure! That carrot/rosewater jam sounds *amazing*, and all the produce you got besides! Somebody's eating well right now. :D

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  12. Peaches are finally in?! I'm SO excited! All your treasures look awesome!

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  13. So many wonderful products for vegans!

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  14. aw, i'm a little jealous of farmers fresh veggies. yay! for the iranian goodies!

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Happy VeganMoFo! I love comments, they really make my day!