Monday, July 1, 2013

Field Trip LA! - Farmers Market in Santa Monica

series of posts from visiting interesting little (and large) cafes, food-related establishments and other places of inspiration.

If you are in LA on Wednesday mornings this Santa Monica farmers market at Arizona Avenue and 2nd street is the place to be. Larger than the market that opens on Saturday mornings in roughly the same spot, Wednesdays are more of a trade day, with restaurant staff from the area coming to stock up on what's in season.

The colours were amazing

I'm used to farmers markets in Japan like the one outside the UN University with comparatively small amounts of produce arranged very neatly, and much of it processed into jams, juices and pickles already. In California the mountains of herbs, root vegetables, corn and brassicas roughly piled up in their raw state was quite a sight to behold. I fear I may have been a bit snap-happy but everywhere I looked was beautiful or interesting, or both!

Kale chips ahoy!

There was quite a variety of interesting businesses selling at the market - from raw milk, freshly squeezed juice, to famous sourdough, Japanese vegetables, hair relaxers, lavender and sprouted beans.

Many of the stalls had samples to try, so you could compare the different olive oils and nuts etc. These strawberries from Harry's Berries were so good that I ended up buying some despite having no intention to when I took the sample.

Even better than Japanese strawberries!

The fact it was a thriving trade market lent something to the atmosphere. It wasn't as passive and strolling as the Saturday version (I went back!), people were very actively hunting for the best stuff, stock was shifting off the shelves at a pace and being topped up before eventually selling out. There was quite a community feeling about it as well, people from the nearby restaurants catching up and passing on tips on what was good that day. It all came full circle when we ate at a local restaurant on our last night in LA and “Farmers Market” was used as an adjective on the menu to sell the fresh tomato tart.

I left the market with a huge bunch of sunflowers, Belgians bread, some Californian olive oil and 3 packs of Harry’s Berries strawberries. My advice – take a big bag with you when you go!

No comments:

Post a Comment