I hate hot weather. What do I consider hot? Anything above 75 degrees F. I do not belong in Southern California– the weather in the Spring through Fall do not jive well with me. So why do I stay here? Because of everything else about Southern California. But whether it’s fall, winter, spring, or summer, one of the things I love to wake up bright and early in the morning for is the farmers markets. There’s something about being surrounded by all the fresh produce and plants grown by local farmers that really gets you going and excited to cook something up.
I haven’t been to many farmers markets, I mostly frequent the small one in my hometown that has maybe 30 or so stalls with many selling the same items. So, when my parents decided to visit me this past weekend I took advantage of it. They typically spend the weekend– the first day is used for doing work around the house and the second is used wandering around the area with my dad tagging along (my dad NEVER goes out with us when I go to their house to visit). He tags along the second day because 1) he gets the important work done on day one of their visit and 2) he tends to only bring one clean change of clothes so he hasn’t got any spare clothes to get dirty from working again.
Sorry, this was the only picture I managed to take while we were there. I got too caught up in enjoying the sights, the smells, and all the people that I didn’t snap more pictures.
My explore-something-new pick for this past weekend was a farmers market. Initially, the plan was to take them to one close by my daughter’s school but after reading reviews for the CORRECT market, I decided against it and to Yelp I went looking for others around the area. My search turned up the Hollywood farmers market and, on my, almonst 300 reviews with an overal 4.5 out of 5 stars?! Yelpers have yet to steer me wrong so we made the approximately 15-20 minute drive over the hill down to Hollywood.
I hate looking for parking and I like to be early for everything to beat the crowds so we had no trouble finding parking. As we walked down the street and entered the farmers market, we were welcomed by the smell of fresh cooked culinary deliciousness wafting through the air. It smelled AH-mazing. We browsed through all the produce and plants before entering the cooked food area.
Vegetables and fruits (with many organic) galore! The first stand that caught my eye was one that had their fruits displayed quite gorgeously and, more specifically, these cherriums “spilling” out of baskets. What the heck is a cherrium, I thought. I’ve never seen those at Ralphs or Food 4 Less. No sh*t, Sherlock. (You guys ever say that as kids? I sure did.) A cherrium is a “cherry & plum combination” that will “tickle your taste buds.” When I saw the fruit before reading the sign I thought they were rainier cherries (my fave). I felt a little deceived by their appearance when I finally did read the sign. I’ll admit, I was a little disappointed about that. But the friendly farmers had samples of the cut fruit and, ohhhmahgod, all the disappointment washed away. They are gorgeous fruits in terms of appearance, that’s a given. Some of them were the size of regular cherries and some the size of cherries on steroids.
One of the larger cherriums next to a bing cherry.
They aren’t on steriods, don’t worry. Biting into the fruit for me is most reminiscent of biting into a fresh plum. The taste and texture resembled the green plums that my parents used to grow in their backyards– slightly sour but oh so sweet.
Here is some of the other loot that I brought home:
Lamb hass avocados, $1/each. Cherriums, $3.50/lb. Eggplant, $3/lb.
My daughter came along for the trip as well. Her favorite parts? The strawberries and all the dogs (they were all on leashes so no worries there).
The crowd picked up about an hour into it so if you’re like me, it’s best to get there when it first opens. Most, if not all, of the produce stands were already set up as were many of the cooked food stands. Overall, a very successful trip to the Hollywood Farmers Market. I will definitely be going back and if you see me there, don’t forget to say hi. I’ve either eaten or (unselfishly) given most of my cherriums away for others to try so my next visit may be sooner than I thought.