On Saturday morning we went to the Bayou City Farmers Market to do some shopping. The parking lot was already full at 8:00 a.m. and people were standing in lines looking to score fresh produce, breads, cheeses, meats and more.
Our first purchase was some fresh goat cheese from Blue Heron Farm. Usually we get to the Farmers Market too late for anything but their feta and cajeta, but this time we made it before anything was sold out. We bought the “Perfectly Plain” cheese (“Fresh chevre with only salt added. Pure. Unadulterated. Delicious.”).
After that we spotted a cooler full of squash blossoms and decided to come up with a way to use them. We’ve had them on the Squash Blossom Menu at Hugo’s before and loved them so we were pretty psyched! While standing in line we saw some beautiful, red homegrown tomatoes so we added those to our bags as well.
As we continued to walk around the market we added more to our bags: an eggplant, an oversized zucchini, some lemon cucumbers, purple hull peas, a few cayenne peppers, a gorgeous habanero and a yellow pepper I’ve never tried before. We also purchased maiden eggs, which are the first eggs that a hen lays. They are supposed to be higher in antioxidants, beta carotene and other nutrients than a typical egg. Who knows?
At one stand we saw an unusual eggplant variety and asked what it was called. We were rewarded with a wonderful story regarding the origin (Tahiti and Fiji) along with the history of how it was used (to make a sauce for a Cannibal’s meal). Can you say yum?! The natives called this a tomato and it’s now known as the Cannibal Tomato, even though it’s actually an eggplant. Whatever it is, if I find myself eating human flesh one day I’ll know how to prepare it.
I think that story alone was worth walking around in the Texas heat and I felt as though we made out like bandits. Better yet, Pirates! Right before we left we came across some Gulf Shrimp and bought a pound of extra large shrimp tails for grilling. Now … I’ve never been a huge fan of Gulf Shrimp. When I see them at the grocery store they always look gray and dull next to the other shrimp. These, however, were pink and looked totally scrumptious!
After a weekend of cooking some amazing food, I’m looking forward to making my taste buds happy while cooking with more local ingredients in the future.