15 Jul2009

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Turgid green and white asparagus were still abundant at the end of May at the Rue Raspail market in Paris. This is one of my favorite markets in Paris, very convenient for tourists and surrounded by a neighborhood you could leave me in for weeks. Located just steps away from a Metro exit, the market seemed like the perfect place to start a day’s exploration of the 6th arrondisement on foot. There were five of us that day, my sister and her daughter, Mrs. MM, The Teen and myself. The Raspail street market is completely organic (and thus pricier) on Sundays, but offers a mixture of goods on Tuesdays and Fridays.

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Parisians seem to shop for their food quite often, hitting a market or grocery 3-4 times a week, ensuring the freshest ingredients for what often look like small (1-2 person) meals. Maybe this habit is partially a result of small kitchens and refrigerators at home, but whatever the reason, eating seasonally like this is one of the best ways to eat superbly and economically to boot! It also seems so natural to revel in a bunch of freshly steamed asparagus when it is only hours away from the field it was harvested from. In addition to produce, these street markets often carry baked goods, meats, seafood, desserts, dried fruit and nuts, cheese, etc… essentially, the fixings of the ultimate fast meal.

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It was still late Spring, so I suspect quite a few of the vegetables on offer at the market were “imported” from the South of France or even the sunnier coasts of Spain, but everything looked terrific nonetheless… Some 40+ stalls had a wonderful array of produce and other goods that could stir up anyone’s appetite despite a huge buffet breakfast back at the hotel…

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Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, the gnarlier the better, signal a return to older varieties, and a move away from the picture perfect spherical supermarket specimens.

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Enormous artichokes and crisp bulbs of fennel…

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…swiss chard and stalks of rhubarb…

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…broccolli so fresh it was tinged with blue, along with cauliflower, cucumbers and beets.

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Little mountains of luscious strawberries had this lady, most likely a local, picking out a kilo or so of the finest berries while the vendor rolled his eyes… If I tried to pick my berries, he would have likely smacked my hand!

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I am always stunned by the seafood on offer at these street markets, and though I know these have travelled far over ice to get here, they still look pretty fresh and appealing…

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…some skate, octopus and trout over beds of crushed ice…

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…two small turbot, a fish I only seem to come across in Europe…

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…and surprisingly for me, seashells and their meats for sale in a basket, at some Euro8 or so per kilo, a whopping PHP600+ for something that many Filipinos who live on the sea costs just collect for free in shallow waters off the nearest rocky beach!

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The incredible aromas wafting from this open roaster were just too much to bear. Plump who chickes, chicken parts, and other goodies were roasting away, basted in their own fat and liberally seasoned with dried herbs of all sorts. YUM.

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Artisanal butter from a small home producer…

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…a cheesemonger with a small but wonderful selection of cheeses…

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15+ types of olives to go with your cheese, and several types of greek and Italian olive oils to cook with or dress your salads with…

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Dried fruit and nuts galore, not to mention turkish delight, that sweetish squarish gelatine like dessert that the Teen loves…

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Golden raisens and black raisens in the background.

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And finally, a vendor with some pain d’epice, spiced bread that is perfect with tea. Every time I visit a market like this, my spirits improve dramatically, and it reminds me why I was tempted to set up marketmanila.com in the first place! Enjoy the photo tour of the market! :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. dizzy says:

    thanks for sharing, Mr. MM!
    just wondering, if you had access to a kitchen, what would you have cooked? :)

    Jul 15, 2009 | 3:42 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    dizzy, you are getting ahead of my posts… up next. :)

    Jul 15, 2009 | 3:43 pm

     
  3. Sam says:

    As I scroll through this post, I am conjuring images of a wonderful meal just looking at your photos, MM! Starting with the shellfish sauteed in simple garlic, olive oil and white wine, steamed artichokes with aioli, a quick salad of heirloom tomatoes and basil, then on to the roasted chicken paired with fennel and orange relish, to the skate in butter and capers, then on to the fresh strawberries, rhubarb jam and awesomely ripe, pungent cheeses!! Foodie heaven. I did not miss the photo of the signage, implicitly announcing that this is a serious produce market, indeed! Great post, you had me salivating again after the bug post, LOL!!!!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 3:47 pm

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Sam, you are so right. I was conjuring up menus in my mind while strolling through the market. Paris and New York are definitely two cities I could spend some serious time in foodwise and artwise…

    Jul 15, 2009 | 4:01 pm

     
  5. Fredo says:

    I wish our local public markets were more like this. Open and airy.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 4:16 pm

     
  6. Jun b says:

    Next time MM just put a table beside the market and start cooking :) …seriously I wouldn’t stay in a hotel in Europe but instead find a service apartment nearby a market where I can cook.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 4:46 pm

     
  7. greengrapecake says:

    wow MM everything looks so fresh, if my vegetables were like these I wouldn’t mind eating them everyday and be a vegetarian convert.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 5:30 pm

     
  8. Vanessa says:

    Very, very nice! I’ve been to this market a few times, once to pick up ingredients for the lemony risotto (Gourmet magazine recipe) that you blogged about, and always to get that “little town, quiet village” ala Belle feeling.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 5:51 pm

     
  9. Gina says:

    I’ve read about the famous Charentais or Cavaillon melons from the south of France, are those the ones in your photo, MM?

    Jul 15, 2009 | 6:03 pm

     
  10. paolo says:

    makes me want to eat asparagus with garlic butter!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 6:26 pm

     
  11. bearhug0127 says:

    MM, your photographs are incredible!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 7:15 pm

     
  12. Beth says:

    I wish our markets will display their seafoods so artistically and appealing like the photos above!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 7:32 pm

     
  13. faith says:

    It was a bad idea to go through this post without having had dinner yet! It’s making me even hungrier. My poor tummy. Hahaha.

    I’m drooling over the idea of the crunchy vegetables, roasted chicken, and all the cheese (I love cheese!^___^). I want to try all of that.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 7:59 pm

     
  14. Emily says:

    Gina, MM will probably provide more details but that’s what they look like from a distance. A Cavaillon melon is actually a smooth-skinned type of Charentais melon and is grown in a strictly-defined geographical area. Cavaillon melon growers have their own website here.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 8:12 pm

     
  15. Emily says:

    And to complete that information, there are two types of Charentais melons – the ones with green flesh, that keep longer, and the ones with orange flesh, more similar to our melons in the Philippines. Cavaillon melons always have orange flesh, and the skin can be either smooth or wrinkled – a list of varieties that can call themselves “Cavaillon” melons is actually approved by committees every year!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 8:17 pm

     
  16. Marketfan says:

    for prosciutto with melon?

    Jul 15, 2009 | 8:31 pm

     
  17. Marketman says:

    Gina, not sure if those particular melons are cavaillons… for late May, I doubt they are the famous ones from the South of France… more likely from Spain or even Northern Africa. However, as Emily says, the cavaillons are just SUPERB. So intense in flavor and very juicy and sweet. I had some melons in Italy a couple of years ago, probably cavaillons or close relatives and they were out of this world. And it doesn’t surprise me to find some sites/experts claim the cavaillon came to the South of France from Northern Italy hundreds of years ago. They tend to reach their peak in late June and into July and early August. And yes, Marketfan, they are the ideal partner for good prosciutto!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 8:35 pm

     
  18. Mila says:

    The fennel looks so jolly, round, their fronds lopped off (do they ever sell the entire vegetable with the lacy leaves?). And everytime I see roast chicken in a blog about Paris, I always think of Amelie, that fellow who removes the tender meat from the back, the sweetest bit.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 8:53 pm

     
  19. Mila says:

    oops, sorry: I meant the movie Amelie. One of the minor characters buys a roast chicken every Sunday and the first thing he eats is the little bit of sweet, juicy meat from the back.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 8:55 pm

     
  20. Vicky Go says:

    Mila – the meat fr the back of chicken, in 2 pockets along the backbone, just above the tail – aren’t those sometimes called the “oysters”?
    MM – thanks again for “food porno” of the best kind! I’m in ecstasy!!!!!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 9:29 pm

     
  21. NYCMama says:

    my favorite part of roasted chicken in paris, lies at the very bottom rear part of the rotisserie: the roasting potatoes that catches all the drippings of the chickens above it!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 9:34 pm

     
  22. jtan says:

    besides all the lovely produce and meats etc, i love the handwritten little names and price tags written with calligraphic flourish. i’m a graphic designer and it’s refreshing to see everyday calligraphy, not computer typeset signs. organic all the way! love these day markets in paris.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 9:40 pm

     
  23. Vicky Go says:

    MM: I’ve seen turbot in the fish section of better supermarkets & fish stores here in NJ, NYC & New England.
    BTW – catch the piece in the Jul 20 issue of The New Yorker – Fish Tales/Clupeophilia by Oliver Sacks – annual herring festival Lower East Side version of a feast celebrated world wide.
    Also – yesterday was Bastille Day – & I’m picking at Emile Zola’s “The Belly of Paris” – where the construction of Les Halles is featured, about a “bourgeois society whose devotion to food is inseparable from its devotion to the government. Les Halles, apocalyptic & destructive, play an active role in Zola’s picture of a world in which food & the injustice of society are inextricably linked.”
    It won’t change my mind about French food a la “Babette’s Feast”, but it’s just the other side of the story which I feel one should be at least aware of.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 9:54 pm

     
  24. silly lolo says:

    The roast chickens reminds of a “scam” an old friend of mine used to run in the local open/farmers’ markets.
    He would go to Chinatown and order “un-seasoned” or “un-spiced” roast chicken from the wholesale roasters. He would then go to the open market, set up a rotisserie so he looks like he’s roasting chickens. He proceeds to sell the chickens he got from Chinatown for $2 each and would get $5.50
    per bird! He was the darling of the yuppie/soccer Moms! He used to sell out his stock in a few hours and he laughed all the way to the bank!

    Jul 15, 2009 | 10:23 pm

     
  25. Nina says:

    I still remember a melon I ate that came from a Sat. market in Arles……small but fragrant, very sweet and dripping with juice. We had that for dessert and with paella as the main course. Why is it that even food coming from an open market in France, they’re still utterly delicious? I remember buying the paella and faced with the problem of how to eat it, the vendor nonchalantly demonstrated eating it using a mussel shell…..problem solved.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 10:28 pm

     
  26. ariel says:

    No Pechay or Baby Bak Choy. Our farmer’s market in California is better, we have saluyot, ampalaya and everything you need for pinakbet or dinengdeng. Just kidding, nice pictures. Summer is the best time for open air markets.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 11:05 pm

     
  27. fortuitous faery says:

    what a sensory delight it must be to march into these markets! that monstrous tomato looks more like a gourd! never seen tomatoes like that! :)

    Jul 16, 2009 | 12:17 am

     
  28. homebuddy says:

    You’re so right there about the rolling of the eyes if one touches the merchandise! Had the very same experience…
    I wonder why that is over there, we can’t pick what we like?

    Jul 16, 2009 | 12:30 am

     
  29. Vicky Go says:

    Touching merchandise is also a No-No in Japan fruit stands. You can’t pinch the fruit to see if it’s ripe. They actually tell you censoriously NOT TO DO SO!!! Ay, ya, yay!

    We were in afarmer’s market in Santa Fe NM & they’re even selling live goats!

    Jul 16, 2009 | 1:25 am

     
  30. Mila says:

    Yes, oysters! Thanks Vicky!

    Jul 16, 2009 | 11:10 am

     
  31. kurzhaar says:

    Actually, to correct a common misconception, pleating in tomatoes is not a sign of any more “distinguished pedigree”. The wild-type fruit is in fact essentially spherical. There are many heirlooms dating back to at least the early 20th c. which are basically round fruit. The term “heirloom” does not necessarily mean better flavour, since that varies with other factors such as where a particular plant is grown, weather, and so on. It simply means an open-pollinated variety that has a documented provenance (usually a variety that is typical of a restricted area, or even a strain handed down through a family).

    I grow a number of heirloom tomatoes (I am guessing something like 70+ varieties over the last 5 years), among other vegetables. Some are outstanding performers (reliable growth, flavourful fruit)…and some have become “standards” that I grow every year. Others are not much more than curiosities that I grow perhaps once or twice; they may have interesting fruit shapes/color but in blind tastings they can lose out to other (also heirloom) varieties. At this point in my gardening career I would not necessarily disparage a hybrid tomato if it is treated properly, i. e., harvested when truly ripe. That said, I grow heirlooms exclusively because of the added entertainment factor. :)

    Now the sea snails in the photo, those are “bulots” (Atlantic whelks). If fresh and prepared properly, they are absolutely delicious!!!

    Jul 16, 2009 | 2:15 pm

     
  32. Marketman says:

    kurzhaar, thanks for that, learned something today. I tend to associate the odder, wilder, more variegated and knobier tomatoes with heirloom as opposed to the nearly perfectly round greenhouse tomatoes that had nearly taken over our tomato consciousness in the 1980’s or thereabouts… I would love to have a garden with 70 types of tomatoes, the SALADS, the SALADS! Thanks.

    Jul 16, 2009 | 2:39 pm

     
  33. diday says:

    I can relate, MM. Visiting food street markets is a thrill and adventure. My children couldn’t understand why I have to stop by every stall. My husband does, he is the same with computers, mobile phones, gadgets and electronics.

    Jul 16, 2009 | 3:01 pm

     
  34. kurzhaar says:

    Ah, but only 70+ (and that over 5 years) out of something like twelve thousand plus tomato varieties!!! I have a LONG way to go! :)

    This year I am growing only 8 varieties in order to rotate my garden. Last year I grew 32! Yes, the salads were spectacular, and at the height of the season I probably ate literally 1-2 pounds of tomatoes a day.

    Keys to a good tomato…start with seed of a decent variety suited to your growing conditions (some tomatoes need a long growing season), prepare the soil (loosen well as tomato roots are “lazy”, amend generously with compost and a calcium source if needed), plant seedlings properly by burying most of the stem (tomatoes will put out adventitious roots all along the buried stem), keep soil evenly moist but not soggy, and of course harvest preferably when ripened on the plant. That and decent sunny weather is pretty much all that it takes.

    Tomatoes picked before fully ripe generally do ripen satisfactorily if left on the kitchen counter. NEVER chill a tomato…remember it is a tropical fruit! That is THE major reason that supermarket tomatoes lack flavor, not because they are necessarily an “inferior” hybrid, or even because they were picked underripe, but because they are forced to ripen with ethylene gas and/or are chilled. I guarantee that you can take the most beautiful heirloom, stick it in the fridge for a couple of days, and completely ruin its flavour.

    I would think that you should be able to grow equally good tomatoes in the Philippines as it is a tropical climate, and the tomato is (originally) a tropical plant.

    Jul 16, 2009 | 3:09 pm

     
  35. Marketman says:

    kurzhaar, there are some good “native” or localized varieties, but highly acidic. Several attempts to grow romas (for spaghetti sauce), beefsteaks, heirlooms of various sorts have all failed so far. We manage to get seedlings, which then manage to get totally feasted on by bugs or whatever likes to eat them!

    Jul 16, 2009 | 3:20 pm

     
  36. MrsS says:

    Hi MM. So should fresh broccolli be tinged in blue? I always thought it should be greenish and the blue tinge ones are the “mature” ones. Thanks for the tips and wonderful pictures.

    Jul 16, 2009 | 4:45 pm

     
  37. Marketman says:

    Mrs. S, for me, the freshest broccoli has a very crisp, vibrant stalk. The florets should be tightly closed and a full tight head that is dark green, though some places have them sort of blue tinged, almost a reaction to the sunlight exposure, I think. But more important than the blue is the tightness of the buds and the firmness of the stalk. A limpish, broccoli, as some local ones sometimes are, is less appealing for me.

    Jul 16, 2009 | 7:32 pm

     
  38. kurzhaar says:

    Marketman…interesting comment on tomatoes. High acid tomatoes are desirable for some dishes, and I do know many tomato aficionados who bemoan the excessive sweetness of some varieties and the loss of the “old-fashioned” taste of high acid tomatoes. Each to their own, I guess. I like a variety especially for salads. The texture, degree of sweetness/acidity, savory or fruity character, etc. can vary greatly. Tomatoes are susceptible to viruses and fungus infections, to a lesser extent (in my experience anyway) insect pests. Where I live it is the tomato hornworm that can devastate a crop if you are not paying attention, but that is such an easy pest to deal with (hand pick the little caterpillars) that if you lose a crop to hornworms, you were just not paying enough attention to your plants. Viruses and fungi are more difficult to deal with. Good watering practices, crop rotation, and plastic mulch help immensely.

    Broccoli…look for tight heads with crisp leaves (if attached) and no limpness. Colour and shape can vary dramatically in broccoli and aren’t a good test. I have grown broccoli that is plain bright green, blue-green, and nearly golden in color. Some varieties vary even according to whether the head is a “first harvest cut” or secondary heads. Same applies to cauliflower, which varies in shape and colour (anywhere from greenish to bright yellow to pure white).

    I find that markets in Italy have a considerably more interesting variety of leafy greens than those in France.

    Jul 17, 2009 | 1:22 am

     
  39. Gina says:

    Emily and MM, thanks for the info on Cavaillon /Charentais melons.

    Jul 17, 2009 | 2:57 am

     
  40. sister says:

    My favorite food market in Paris. The only place to be on Sunday morning. You can just imagine making spectacular meals as you peruse to offerings at each stall.
    NYC’s Union Square farmers market improves every year, and even if it’s 20 plus years old Paris markets are ahead by several centuries. No need to go to Long Island to get produce or fish. Took my Aussie cousin there yesterday and she saw the take go into last night’s meal- artichokes (yes, NY state grown), wonderful tender lettuces and heirloom tomatoes, whole 2 ft. 10 lb. striped bass, corn pudding, and rhubarb and strawbery, as well as blueberry pies for dessert!

    Jul 17, 2009 | 9:30 am

     
  41. betty q, says:

    MM…if you wish to try again and manage to get seedlings…I’ll tell you what! I will bring with me tomato seeds…the longest roma you have ever set your eyes on..given to me by my dear old italian gardener friend (I must be on his good graces for he gives those seeds to a VERY SELECT FEW!!!) Then I will get those seeds started …in 8 weeks they should be ready to be transplanted outside. Do you have fish fertilizer. I feed the sedlings with a weak solution of fish fertilizer and water until they are ready to be put outside. If you don’t have fish fertilizer, a weak compost tea would suffice.

    Now..to protect those seedlngs…make a foil collar and wrap it around the stem of the seedling….tomatoes, eggplant, etc. DO NOT REMOVE IT until the tomato plant is well underway and healthy. Somehow, the shiny aluminum repels the cutworm, hornworm. For fungus and blight esp. those maturing later, I have my plants in thse great huge barrels with WHEELS!!! So when it rains, I can roll; them in the patio away from the rain! and yeah…DO NOT GIVE YOUR TOMATO PLANTS A SHOWER!!!! …watering the base of the plants is the best way to go. For tomatoes, guard plant: garlic and marigolds!

    NOw for brassicas like broccoli, cauliflower…they are attractive to this white butterfly (no, they are not cute! They are the pesky ones that lay their eggs and eat the broccoli and cauliflower. Here is what I have proven last year and it works…INTERPLANT cauliflower or broccoli with CELERY! Those white butterflies will LEAVE YOUR BRASSICAS ALONE! GUARANTEED!!!

    Hey Suzana! so how is your garden? Did you plant all the seeds I sent you? You must be harvesting by now…

    Jul 17, 2009 | 10:18 am

     
  42. thelma says:

    i love growing tomatoes and enjoying them the whole summer. i am growing five varieties, two of which are heirloom. i enjoy sharing them with our friends and patients. i have one tomato plant from last year that grew up to 6 feet tall! it’s so loaded with bell-shaped yellow tomatoes which are the size of the cherry tomatoes. how i wish that i could buy the seeds of those tomatoes that are in your picture, mm…..

    Jul 17, 2009 | 9:32 pm

     
  43. betty q. says:

    Thelma: if you go to TOMATO GROWERS SUPPLY and BAKER CREEK sites, I think you will find that tomato. I just woke up and will check it later. Another one that I buy seeds from is SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE! Those are the thhree seed companies that I buy my seeds from and are heirloom ones. This year, I have 5 different colored cherry tomatoes that I have narrowed down through the years and are reaaly good snacking even just from the vine: GREEN GRAPE (Lime green when ripe), SWEET GOLD (round, yellow), SUN GOLD (orange), BLACK CHERRY(chocolate brown), STRAWBERRY ( red and strawbery shaped).

    I also have a really long roma and ox heart shaped given by the dear old Italian gardener friend.

    Jul 17, 2009 | 10:24 pm

     
  44. thelma says:

    thanks for the information, bettyq! i will surely check them out, and hopefully, i would be able to buy the tomato seed from them. the ox heart shaped tomatoes are one of my favorites…thin skin and so much full of flavor! i still have some in the freezer from last year’s harvest. they’re so good for making tomato sauce…

    Jul 17, 2009 | 11:24 pm

     
  45. betty q. says:

    Thelma: just found another source on line….I think waaaaaaaay better. You have to check it out!!!! GARY IBSEN’S TOMATOFEST. He grows 600 varieties of heirloom ones all certified organic! I think he will be my new tomato seed source! I was literally “duling” going through all the tomato pictures!

    Good thing…he is in CALIFORNIA..Little River? Is that close to you?

    Jul 17, 2009 | 11:29 pm

     
  46. kurzhaar says:

    If you REALLY get into tomatoes (as I did), join the Seed Savers Exchange–you will get more than what is in the catalogue that way.

    I particularly like the black tomatoes. In fact I rarely grow any that are red. Some of my favourites:

    Pink Brandywine, Sudduth’s strain (pink)

    Ananas noir (a.k.a. Black Pineapple…recent green/yellow/red tricolor from Belgium)

    Paul Robeson (black)

    Black from Tula (black)

    Isis Candy (gorgeous red and gold marbled cherries, very sweet)

    Jaune flamme (large apricot-colored cherry, intense flavour, very heavy yielder and relatively cold tolerant)

    Earl of Edgecombe (orange)

    Jul 17, 2009 | 11:59 pm

     
  47. thelma says:

    bettyq, thanks form the additional information. i will check them out as well. i will have to find out where little river is. kurzhaar, i will have to try to buy seeds of your favorite tomatoes. i am sure that they are one of the best heirloom varieties. i love serving simple tomato salad in different colors…

    Jul 18, 2009 | 2:46 am

     
  48. kurzhaar says:

    thelma, where do you live? You will have to experiment and hopefully my favourites will do well for you where you are. Hard to say that they are the “best” but in my hands at least they have been successful in at least 3 growing seasons. Part of the fun is growing different varieties, so I try several new varieties each year.

    bettyq gave lots of good suggestions for growing. I’ll add: feed the tomato plants well (lots of compost and a calcium source like lime), follow good watering practice (not too much at first, more when plants are setting fruit but NEVER overwater), rotate your crops, and you should have success.

    Jul 18, 2009 | 3:02 am

     
  49. Good Life says:

    Japan, France and Italy doesn’t want you to touch their fruits because it’s at their peak of ripeness.Not like at home when fruits ay kinalburo. That’s my take on that.
    Love open markets!!!

    Jul 18, 2009 | 6:06 am

     
  50. thelma says:

    kurzhaar, i live inland in san diego county where we get lots and lots of sun. summer here can be really hot and it doesn’t get really cold in winter. the climate all year round is just great where we are. i will try to plant your favorites because you’ve tried them already and you know that they’re good. yes, you’re right…it’s so much fun planting different varieties and seeing all kinds of colors on the table. i am so curious about the paul robeson variety which is black in color… are they sweet when fully ripe?

    between you and bettyq’s suggestions, i won’t go wrong when i plant my next batch of tomato plants. i won’t waste any time so i will order the seeds right away. thanks to both of you…

    i have chinese long bean plants that are climbing on my bamboo trellis. they are loaded with flowers now and look forward to harvesting a good crop. as i was watering them early this morning, i saw a lot of ants crawling on the plants and on the bamboo trellis. do you think these ants will destroy my plants and how do i get rid of them?

    Jul 18, 2009 | 8:25 am

     
  51. betty q. says:

    Thelma. I now the ants got Connie C’s friends honey she awas waiting to get her hands on but the ants beat her to it! There are also ants in teh community garden. One person told me they at the bugs. Do you mint growing in your garden? If you do, bruise a lot of mint and place it strategically near the trail. You will not get rid of them unless you get rid of QUEENIE ANT!!! Now, to get rid of QUEENIE…do you have mint jelly? if not, go buy one or make your own using crushed mint leaves, steep in sugar water, strain and add pectin. When it is set, mix the jelly with some boric acid and scatter a few tsp. near the trail where they will feed on it. It takes a while maybe two weeks and then do it again weekly unitl you find them disappearing.

    You want to hear a horror story about ants? I heard it from a lady at HOME DEPOT! Initally, I thought she was talking about termites. But she said, they were ants…soooooooooo many that they practically ATE a portion of the foundation of someone’s house!

    If you want to protect your plants, scatter CAYENNE PEPPER OR HOT CURRY POWDER near the base of the plant. They will not cross it!

    Jul 18, 2009 | 9:33 am

     
  52. thelma says:

    it works! betty, thanks for your very good advice. i watered my vegetable plants very early this morning. i scattered cayenne pepper around the base of my chinese long bean plants. surely, the cayenne pepper scares the ants away.salamat, bettyq!

    Jul 18, 2009 | 10:26 pm

     
  53. betty q. says:

    OK, thelma…now, gently scrape the surface of the soil where you scattered the cayenne and lift it or remove it. You don’t want to scare all the ants. As I have said, they EAT the bad bugs!

    OR…Go buy a tiny pot of mint. Bury the container for it can be invasive…this is the guard plant …ants don’t like MINT!

    Jul 19, 2009 | 12:16 am

     
  54. thelma says:

    i really don’t use mint but if this will help get rid of the ants, i wouldn’t mind planting some…
    thanks, bettyq. you’ve always been so helpful…

    Jul 19, 2009 | 3:51 am

     
  55. betty q. says:

    I know, Thelma…there is only so much mint that one can use. But I planted this year GINGER MINT. If I am compelled to plant mint, I might as well plant something I can use…I was thinking more in lines of MOJITOS….esp. in this really hot weather!…I thought to myself…kill 2 birds with one stone…to shoo away the ants yet have something to quench the thirst!

    A word of advice…If the pot is too small, transplant to a slightly bigger pot. Do not remove from the pot and plant straight in the ground for the MINT IS AN INVASIVE PLANT…it will take over your garden in no time at all! So keep the root system contained.

    Jul 19, 2009 | 6:58 am

     
  56. kurzhaar says:

    thelma–lucky you, coastal San Diego is home to me (lived most of my life there) and you should have TONS of sunshine for good tomatoes!!!

    Paul Robeson is a black tomato with a very deep flavour, some say it has a slightly “salty” taste, almost savoury…in San Diego I got very dark fruit, beautiful when mixed with other tomatoes.

    Jul 20, 2009 | 6:46 am

     
  57. Marketfan says:

    bettyq, I’m amazed you can still garden with all the things that you do in the kitchen. You really are a superwoman.
    kurzhaar, I’m equally impressed with your gardening skills. You must be the tomato expert in this group. Do you grow the them commercially? How do you get to taste all 70 varieties?

    Jul 20, 2009 | 12:24 pm

     
  58. kurzhaar says:

    Marketfan,

    No, not commercially, just for my own enjoyment. I grow them because I find gardening therapeutic, and because I am a unabashed foodie who can’t stand flavourless supermarket produce. I am forever spoiled because I know what good tomatoes should taste like. It takes some effort, but you are amply rewarded when you are plating a salad with eight or ten different kinds of tomatoes still warm from your vines, with buffalo mozzarella, basil (also from your own garden), and freshly pressed olive oil from trees of friends in California. THAT is a pleasure that no money can buy.

    I don’t grow 70+ at a time, that is what I have grown over the past 5 years. Usually I grow only one or two plants of a variety, and try to do that over 2-3 years at least. Last year I had 38 plants (~24 varieties). This year because of crop rotation I have only 10 plants and 6 varieties–the fewest in 5 years. I have a better feeling now for what does well in my own little ecosystem.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 12:41 am

     
  59. thelma says:

    bettyq, mint only goes in my mojito. i don’t use it for cooking. however, i did plant mint, per your advice, hopefully to get rid of those ants. thanks, again…

    kurzhaar, i am indeed lucky to live here in san diego and enjoy the climate all year round. it’s the best place to grow tomatoes and other vegetables. this is the reason my tomato plants and other vegetables thrive so well. i could surely send you and bettyq a bucketful of sunshine should you need more…hahaha!

    i know what you mean, kurzhaar, about enjoying homegrown tomatoes from your backyard. the ones that are bought from the store are like rubber and don’t have that smell of newly harvested ripe tomatoes. i also serve them sliced with
    basil and mozarella with a drizzle of salt, pepper and good olive oil.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 1:46 am

     
  60. betty q. says:

    Marketfan: Join the club! Yup, Kurzhaar, Thelma and I won’t have it any other way when it comes to tomatoes. There is so much rewarding feeling when you see your “babies” grow from a tiny seed to one that is way taller than me now and each day, I thank them for not getting “sick” and giving me such wonderful, sweet, sun-kissed flavour of a tomato.

    Thelma…do you make them into sun-dried tomatoes for your surplus? I think MM has a post on it! Try them this year and then make them into PESTO RUSSO! A friend went to Italy and gave hubby a tiny jar. I am not touching it hoping to use it as a basis of comparison come this fall after I have turned the surplus tomato into sundried tomatoes to turn them into Pesto Russo.

    Oh, I just typed the recipe you were asking for, amost nearly done …down to the last few sentences and then somehow my brain was going on overdrive while typing it, then to my horror….it was gone!!!!!!!!!!! I almost cried! So, give me time to recover and I shall write it on word format this time and send it to you. You are not in a hurry to make it, are you?

    Jul 21, 2009 | 10:55 am

     
  61. betty q. says:

    Marketfan: Join the club! Yup, Kurzhaar, Thelma and I won’t have it any other way when it comes to tomatoes. There is so much rewarding feeling when you see your “babies” grow from a tiny seed to one that is way taller than me now and each day, I thank them for not getting “sick” and giving me such wonderful, sweet, sun-kissed flavour of a tomato.

    Thelma…do you make them into sun-dried tomatoes for your surplus? I think MM has a post on it! Try them this year and then make them into PESTO RUSSO! A friend went to Italy and gave hubby a tiny jar. I am not touching it hoping to use it as a basis of comparison come this fall after I have turned the surplus tomato into sundried tomatoes to turn them into Pesto Russo.

    Oh, I just typed the recipe you were asking for, amost nearly done …down to the last few sentences and then somehow my brain was going on overdrive while typing it, then to my horror….it was gone!!!!!!!!!!! I almost cried! So, give me time to recover and I shall write it on word format this time and send it to you. You are not in a hurry to make it, are you?

    Jul 21, 2009 | 10:55 am

     
  62. kurzhaar says:

    bettyq and thelma and anyone with an abundance of good tomatoes, you should try this EASY recipe for putting away a tomato surplus for later use…this is Amy Giaquinta’s Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce which was published in the SF Chronicle a few years ago. Foolproof, easy, and GREAT flavour. If you grow different varieties, you can make up separate batches. Yellow tomatoes give a gorgeous deep-gold sauce. I use the roasted tomato sauce for pasta, pizza, tomato bisque, etc.

    Amy Giaquinta’s Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

    Giaquinta uses this method for all the tomatoes she grows, both slicing types and the thick-walled sauce types. Sauce tomatoes, being meatier, will produce a thicker result. Oven roasting yields a sauce with a concentrated, caramelized taste.

    INGREDIENTS:
    3 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    Sea salt

    INSTRUCTIONS:
    Preheat oven to 300º. Put the tomatoes in a large glass baking dish. It is OK if they are more than a single layer deep. Add the olive oil and some salt and stir to coat. Bake, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are very soft and beginning to caramelize, about 3 hours.

    Puree the tomatoes through a food mill fitted with the fine disk. Season to taste with salt.

    Divide the tomato sauce among freezer containers, cool, cover and freeze. Or divide among sterilized canning jars and process in a pressure canner according to manufacturer’s directions. Store in a cool pantry for up to a year.

    Yields about 3 cups (yield may vary depending on meatiness of tomatoes)

    PER 1/2 CUP: 160 calories, 2 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 0 cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 11:57 am

     
  63. Marketfan says:

    Bettyq, thelma and kurzhaar, do you guys have a multiply site somewhere where we could see pictures of your gardens and tomatoes? That would be a real treat. We join your club in spirit. We’re good cheerleaders!

    Jul 21, 2009 | 12:55 pm

     
  64. betty q. says:

    Thanks for the recipe, Kurzhaar. I do this kind of sauce as well. it is a lifesaver!

    Thelma…have you tried the Tuscan Tomato Soup from Safeway? Last year since I was ill, I missed out on my tomatoes since I couldn’t do much gardening. So I had to content myself on Safeway’s Tuscan Toamato Soup. But not this year! I have ttomatoes now coming out of my ears and most of them will go and be Cream of Tomato Soup. Try this as well:

    1 stick butter
    about 1 pound onions, sliced thinly
    4 pounds, sun ripened tomatoes, skinned …DO NOT DEGLOP!
    3 pinches of dried basil leaves
    1 pinch thyme
    a pinch of cayenne or more pinches if you want zip
    1 pint heavy cream (or more if yoou want creamy)
    1/3 cup brandy.
    salt and pepper
    Pinches of sugar…NOTE: if tomatoes are sweet, omit the sugar

    Saute the onions inmelted butter until caramelized.Add the coarsely chopped tomatoes and the herbs. Cook uncovered for bout 1/2 hour on medium heat. Then puree . pulsing only in food processor. Return to non-aluminum pot and heat gently. In separate pot, scald only the cream and put in tomato pot. Do not let it come to a boil. Then stir the booze and season.

    First, I have to learn how to take real nice picture, MarketFan. Afriend of mine who is an accomplished and famous photograher here volunteered to give me lessons.

    Jul 21, 2009 | 2:09 pm

     
  65. marissewalangkaparis says:

    Ha ha ha…I go carried away with your tomato stories bettyq ec…. As a kid we used to have plots (my dad’s order) and we would grow tomatoes,eggplants.Ahh..your exchanges opened up memory lane..wish I could garden again.

    Loved your photos MM. When I used to travel a lot–everyone would go to the dept. stores while I hit the markets.The real wet ones and the Sunday markets!!The ones in the Middle East and Emirates were really interesting. But the ones in Paris are wonderful. Am not so keen on France (pardon) but their small markets are great. Feels homey and safe and clean. I liked your tomato,nuts,fennel and olives shots best!!

    To me part of travelling is seeing the market. You then see a part of how the people eat and live…Ahhhh….am grateful for walking with you thru those markets again….

    Jul 21, 2009 | 2:33 pm

     
  66. kurzhaar says:

    marketfan, I have some photos of tomatoes and chiles from previous seasons on a hard drive somewhere, will search for them and try to figure out where/how to post publicly

    Jul 22, 2009 | 3:59 am

     
  67. Pia Mac says:

    I have never tried an heirloom tomato. It looks delicious from the pix.

    Jul 22, 2009 | 2:49 pm

     
  68. thelma says:

    kurzhaar, i just picked some very ripe tomatoes from my garden so i can use them for your oven roasted tomato sauce recipe. this recipe sounds sooo good and i must make it right away. the same with your cream of tomato soup recipe, bettyq.
    boy, i will be very busy in the kitchen tonight….

    Jul 23, 2009 | 3:01 am

     
  69. betty q. says:

    Hey Aching Thelma:I tweaked Kurzhaar’s roasted tomato sauce (walang magawa!). …it turned out well. It is plain and simple but really good! I just added sauteed onions till caramelized and then added the garlic and sangkotcha for just a minute…then spooned over each half roasted tomato and added a pinch of sugar over each cookie sheet and pinch of chili flakes (I like zip!). …roast until tomatoes are softened and then skin them. iT TOOK AT LEAST 3 HOURS, REALLY! So, I was smoking salmon while doing this!

    Meanwhile cook pasta and toss with this tomato sauce. Adjust seasoning and Add crumbled bacon…THE MORE, THE MERRIER…(BACON RULES!!!!). parmesan cheese, basil…chiffonade! Then sit outside, glass of white wine and dine al fresco!

    Jul 23, 2009 | 4:50 am

     
  70. thelma says:

    okay, acheng bettyq, you made me hungry because of these yummy recipes that you’re throwing at me. i think i know what to prepare tonight for dinner…pasta using this homemade tomato sauce! i have all the ingredients especially the sun ripe tomatoes and basil from the garden.a friend just dropped off a big basket of ripe peaches from her garden so i am going to bake a simple peach cobbler and to be served with ice cream or whipped cream.

    thanks to you and khurzaar for these great recipes….

    Jul 23, 2009 | 7:15 am

     
  71. Marketfan says:

    We look forward to those garden photos. Timely now since MM is doing a series of garden posts also.

    Jul 23, 2009 | 12:06 pm

     
  72. ananyah says:

    i believe it is spelled as raisins
    sorry for being a
    spelling nazi :)

    Sep 1, 2009 | 12:54 am

     
 

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