Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Ann Arbor Farmer's Market

The last post highlighted the wonderful meal we shared with Alan and Susan; many vegetables that were in that meal were picked up from the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. I remember as a kid, following my mom around the market to pick up our favorite market items. Since my extended family lives in Hawaii, we would always stock up on Michigan specialities at the market to bring as gifts.

Although Washington has some fabulous Farmer's Markets, I think the Ann Arbor one might be one of the best in the whole country. Although my nostalgia and bias for my hometown could be coming into play here!

The flowers at Washington farmer's markets are unrivaled. However, these were the flowers that my mom used to get for our house, so I had to include this photo for my own personal nostalgic reasons.

Beautiful herbs like basil and the Japanese plant, shiso, are sold by the bunch for $1.

I'm a tomato freak. I love them. Anna and Kyle were so embarrassed because I pounced on the woman selling these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and practically had a hyperventilation moment because I was so excited by the vibrant colors and shapes of these beauties.

'C mon, I know you would freak out, too, if you saw these.

Check out the tomatoes that look like bananas in the left corner. And, they also had mini heirlooms, which are super sweet and great to pop in your mouth as a quick snack!

My mom used to buy peaches at the market and cut them up for me as a summer dessert. We also had a peach tree in our back yard that produced huge, sugar sweet peaches in the summer. There are definitely some up sides to the hot, humid Midwest summers.

P.S. I also talked these vendors' ears off and told them a more long winded version of the above story.

Michigan has the best maple syrup in the world. My Canadian friend Jamie will probably dispute this, but just like the Red Wings, Michigan is slightly better than all things Canadian!

Kyle and I don't eat much pancakes at home, but I bought a little bottle of grade B maple syrup which is darker and has a more intense flavor than the typical grade A. I am making prosciutto wrapped maple prawns for my book club tomorrow using the maple syrup and will have to post that recipe soon.

This woman makes the best pies. 20+ years ago, we used to go to this woman every Saturday (and sometimes Wednesdays, too!) and get her delicious sweet potato pie, which wins state championships almost every year. She is still around and I think I may have offended her when I told her I've enjoyed her pies since I was 5. She said, "I've been around a long time."

She used to sell the pies at Delong's BBQ, which was the best BBQ in town (and I have never found an equal, even with my travels to Dallas). They closed down before I moved to Seattle and were replaced by a vegan restaurant (does anyone else see the irony here??). That closed pretty quickly and now it is a teriyaki shop. I'm on the hunt for BBQ that is as sweet, savory and plate licking good as Delongs.

We got her mini pie bites for the road. I also have to add that her big pies were only $12 a pop! What a deal!

Believe it or not, we still have 2 more posts to go on our Ann Arbor food extravaganza!

Happy Eating,


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