A tribute to Monterey Market

I was in Berkeley last week, visiting my son, Zak, and his wife, Tara.  Cathy drove down from Healdsburg, and after we went to breakfast at Saul’s Deli (the Meal Ticket was closed for vacation), we all went to visit what this produce-lover considers one of California’s greatest places: Monterey Market.

Actually, every time I go to Berkeley, I go to Monterey Market, because, friends, it is spectacular! There’s such a wealth and variety of fruits and vegetables here that it makes my head spin and my mouth water.

The market was started by Tom and Mary Fujimoto in 1961, and their sons Bill and Ken have continued the tradition of supplying fresh seasonal produce, mostly from local farmers.

The outside part is like the best fruit stand you’ve ever seen — and fruit stand prices too.

Like these tangerines, with stems and leaves (that’s how you know they are really fresh) for only 79 cents a pound.

Zak has tested most of the apple varieties here

Naturally, I’m drawn to the fabulous array of fruits…..

….including some I’ve never seen before.

And then there are the vegetables….

Where else will you find organic dandelion greens and fennel?

and a great pile of Romanesco cauliflowers…

and other vegetables I don’t recognize…..

and some other-worldly mushrooms

Tara and Zak bought a big bag of wild mushrooms for $1.50 a pound

They later became a savory topping for homemade ravioli filled with butternut squash (also from Monterey Market). Delicious!

I bought some of these yellow kumquats and they were excellent

I keep coming back to the citrus.

After all, it is one of the great marvels of California.

The pomelos–an ancestor of the grapefruit– are the size of bowling balls.

Monterey Market, I love you!

 

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2 Comments

Filed under fruit, Uncategorized, vegetables, winter

2 responses to “A tribute to Monterey Market

  1. Rick

    Wild mushrooms in winter for $1.50 a pound? That’s insane!!

    • Tara

      This was for a bag of scrappy-looking, end-of-the-bin mushrooms that still had plenty of life in them. There were hedgehogs, chanterelles and black trumpets, along with some shitakes, portabellas, criminis and buttons. After I cleaned out the pine needles, manzanita leaves and those ‘shrooms that were just a bit too slimy, there were still enough for the pasta and a big pot of delicious mushroom soup a day or two later…
      I always like it when MM gets a new shipment of mushrooms in and have to make space!

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