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After a busy stretch when I was unable to blog, I went to Kaua’i for vacation in late September. The video below shows the Waipa Farmers Market held in a field just outside the village of Hanalei on the Northshore of Kaua’i.

The nearby Foodland supermarket in Princeville is convenient but like most supermarkets, the fruit is harvested long before it is ripe. A mango bought at Foodland took one week to ripen before it was ready to eat!

At the Waipa Farmers market, the fruit and vegetable are plucked at their peak, ready for consumption soon after purchase. Some of the produce is expensive as costs are high on this remote island but items abundant in season are usually cheap. This September I discovered the bland but crispy rose apple, and the luscious heart-shaped egg fruit. The mild hard-boiled egg yolk flavor and texture made me wonder if it could be made into a vegan substitute for the Spanish candy, yemas de Santa Teresa.

One stand sold a Mayan-style spiced chocolate drink made from local cacao. It is a concoction that reminds me of chai and expresso, and which will perk anyone up on a hot, lazy afternoon!

The produce in France is quite different from what we get in California. For example, organic (biologique in French) produce is relatively rare and expensive, and for some reason, white asparagus seems much more popular with the French than the green.

White asparagus at farmer's market on Boulevard de Strasbourg, Toulouse

White asparagus at farmer's market on Boulevard de Strasbourg, Toulouse

Toulouse, one of France’s smaller but vibrant cities has several farmer’s markets which are fun to visit when traveling. On Tuesdays, the city’s elegant main square, Place du Capitole, is the venue for a market that does offer organic produce. When I was there last year, a bakery demonstrated their artisanal breadmaking. Also on Tuesday mornings, a mile or so away on the Boulevard de Strasbourg where it passes Place Jeanne d’Arc, a smaller market lines one side of the block.

If you are staying at a hotel and have no cooking facilities to make a meal out of market produce, then stop for lunch at L’Os à Moëlle, at 14 Rue  Roquelaine, just around the corner from the Boulevard de Strasbourg market . At L’Os, you can create your own first course from the buffet cart, charmingly called the chariot. This salad buffet is laden with typical items like shredded carrots, beets, potato salad, hard-boiled eggs, cold seafood including pickled herring, and olives. For the main course, the chef offers regional specialties like cassoulet with confit of duck. You can’t go wrong if you pick the region’s famous red wine, Madiran, to sip with your meal.

July 2020