San Francisco, To Buy / To Try

Mountain View Farmers’ Market

I’m happy to report that my first visit to a California Farmers Market was fantastic. A few weeks ago, CK and I took a Zipcar to Mountain View to check out their Sunday market. We arrived at 9:30 AM, only 30 minutes after they opened and it was already jamming. I shudder to think about the crowd size if you sleep in and wait until noon.

I have to say, the markets in Boston seem rather quaint when faced with a behemoth such as this. It was absolutely huge in comparison. According to the website they have more than 80 vendors and producers. Honestly it can be a bit overwhelming. I made a point to walk completely through before making any purchases but by the time I arrived at the end I had no idea if I wanted the tomatoes on the right side or the left or where the eggs from the Araucana hens had disappeared to.

In the meantime I fell in love with the bright colors and festive atmosphere. I let the euphoria go to my head a bit though when I purchased a huge bag of greens and edible flowers. They were too pretty to resist but not quite as tasty as I hoped when I sampled them back home with dinner. Maybe I need a new dressing?

Flowers, potatoes, bright berries, numerous mushrooms, and juicy cherries all caught my attention and many made their way into my floral pastel sack (thanks Sabina!). I even managed to hunt down the elusive eggs, which were delicious but did not have yolks quite as bright as my Grammy’s eggs.

The produce may have been the star but the man staffing the Bolani Booth became my hero. This high energy gentleman eagerly handed out samples hand over fist. After I gobbled mine up I promptly purchased some Spinach Bolani and a Garlic Mint Cheese spread. If you ever get the chance to try this treat definitely do so! I actually just used the last of the spread in a dish of mashed cauliflower tonight and I’m on the hunt for more.

Below you’ll see my first market picks. I’m looking forward to trying a more daring assortment soon. Do you have experience with California Farmers’ Markets? Regardless of location what are your favorite items to bring home from your favorite hometown spots?