Monday, September 28, 2009

To the market, to the market, jiggity gi

So happy that our area has a farmer's market!

Unfortunately I have a tendency to talk shop and my husband begins rolling his eyes because despite liking to talk shop with the other growers, I typically don't purchase most of their generic vegetable wares because, well I grow it already...

Here and there though there are the people who have more time/patience/experience/land than I do to grow special items like these:

When I first saw them I thought they were little plums/prunes, but that would be weird to have this season.

They had a pungent, sweet, even a bit spicy aroma and some were splitting a little so I could see their pale green-white flesh. Flies were landing all over the place on them, most likely attracted to their sweet scent and the vendor had to wave them off.

Inquiring further I was told by the Asian vendor that they were Muscadine grapes, and while waving off another swarm of flies landing on them, she told me to go ahead and sample one.

Hmmm, these grapes were quite possibly not washed and flies have been landing on them. It felt like some sort of Asian person challenge because really, being steeped in Chinese culture, you HAVE to sample the wares if you're REALLY Chinese, and make sure the fruit is gooood.

So, I got my Chinese ON, daintily waved away a few more flies (trying not to remember that I recently read a fly carries 100,000 bacteria on their back alone), fogged up a grape with my breath and wiped it off before popping it in my mouth.

OMIGOSH. The flesh slips right off the thick skin and you get the whole grape in your mouth before even chewing on the actual skin. Flavor Tsunami. It was sweet and a little tangy, but rich and PEPPERY. I was blown away.

It feels like I'm eating something truly wild, like an exotic animal--- except this is legal :P

Muscadines had always been in my mind this Southern old-timey fruit I had heard of and simply poo-poohed as "just a grape." Boy, am I dumb. I bought a little basket of them despite their expensiveness, I had to share with my husband (and gobble more later myself if he didn't like them :)
(as it turns out, his thoughts about the grapes: "I'm not sure, kind of tangy," whatever that means).

Aren't they beautiful? They look like a bunch of little starry bubble galaxies touching.

This is what a garnet would taste like if you could eat it!
I may need to "accidently" toss these somewhere in the garden...
Sadly muscadines are dioecious, meaning that they have separate male and female plants, so it just adds to the toughness of growing these :/

Also at the farmer's market were CHESTNUTS!

(Makes me feel like zombie when eating them, brains! BRAINS!)

If the whole roasted chestnuts thing is only recognizable to you in song, then go out and buy yourself some FRESH ones, because the ones at the grocery store are dry, shriveled, moldy things compared to these babies, and for $3/basket it was a good deal.

Here is a good link to learn how to cook chestnuts.

Just a note, make sure you cut through the shell deeply enough because a 'sploded chestnut is not only not pretty and a mess to clean up, but it's embarrassing to be caught licking roasted chestnut bits and powder off the stove and counter.

1 comment:

A Home Made said...

those grapes look tasty. I've never seen them myself at any store/farmer's market that I've been to but I may have to hunt this out. I am intrigued. If those seeds that ran outside and deposited themselves neatly in your garden ^_^ take, let me know. Maybe I'll coerce a cutting or ask for a few seeds. If it grows in memphis is should grow in DC too.

Those fruits look pretty big from the pictures... any approximation on what kind of diameter those grapes had?