21 Oct2014


These Indigo Rose tomatoes were so stunning they stopped me in my tracks. I doubled back twice to have another look at them. The tomatoes turn a stunning deep dark purple color when fully exposed to sun, but I couldn’t tell you how they taste as I have never tried them. On-line reviews suggest they fall short of expectations in the taste department, but boy, were they stunning to behold! I have decided that one wish on my bucket list would be to have access to a nice apartment with a fully equipped kitchen in cities with fabulous produce markets for roughly 2 weeks at the peak of their respective summer growing seasons… I don’t need to own the apartment, perhaps airbnb it, but to have two weeks in September in New York or San Francisco, August maybe in Paris, January or February in Melbourne or Cape Town, etc. would be a really nice thing to look forward to every single year until I could no longer travel.


Visiting markets like this one is always so inspiring, but it would be nice to be able to buy up all the wonderful varieties of fruits and vegetables and cook and eat them as well. On our last visit to New York, we headed down to the Union Square market to see what was on offer. The tomatoes from several vendors looked absolutely spectacular.


Heirloom tomatoes…


…cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes and dozens of other varieties, many of them literally vine-ripened made me yearn for a really good olive oil, some maldon sea salt and perhaps a good red wine vinegar and bunches of fresh basil.


The flower vendor had the most lush gladiolas I have seen in a riot of colors…


…buckets full of calla lilies in unusual color combinations…


…oddly out of sync a pail of white wispy tuberoses, not something you typically find in New York I would think…


…and at another stall, a STUNNING selection of sunflowers, which I had not realized came in so many varieties!


I don’t think I ever took notice of hyssop flowers and greens before…


…and the live herbs vendor inspired thoughts of a balcony herb garden (not, with a black thumb!).


I wanted to bring at least 3-4 of these fig trees home, but I don’t think they would allow that as checked baggage nor would the quarantine folks in Manila be happy. I wonder if they would grow anywhere in the Philippines without a very cool winter period.


Two types of kohlrabi.


A half dozen types of kale….


…still very “hot” kale is.


Cranberry, green and yellow wax beans…


…and more beans…


…and still more beans, including purple ones. Blanched and tossed with a shallot vinaigrette with herbs, that’s how I would use these. Arrgh, can you see how this is torture if you can’t cook with this kind of produce? Thank goodness Sister purchased two carts full of stuff, and we were stuffing down as much produce as we could in our brief 4 day stay in New York! More photos from the market up next.



  1. KRon says:

    Southern Orchard Farm in Zamboanga City sells and ships rooted cuttings of fig trees locally, along with other fruit plants such as grapes. I think other nurseries in Los Banos and even in Pampanga also have them. From SOF, I think they cost 500php a pot (for a ~1′ established cutting) + shipping fees; not bad in my opinion. Recently, a lot of what was previously considered impossible to grow and produce in a year-round warm/hot climate (such as strawberries) are already being successfully bred and grown in the tropics. :)

    Oct 21, 2014 | 9:51 pm


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  3. sophie says:

    MM, you got me here… wide eye, salivating and jaw dropping for all the fresh produce.

    Oct 22, 2014 | 12:03 am

  4. leah says:

    I grew those purple tomatoes in my Maryland garden this year. I have to agree they are pretty to look at but just so-so to taste. They don’t have the sweetness of cherry or grape tomatoes. They have a lot of juice so you wind up with either watery salad or watery sauce. And the purple color disappears after cooking. But they have a long fruiting season and the birds liked them.

    Oct 22, 2014 | 2:32 am

  5. millet says:


    Oct 22, 2014 | 7:33 am

  6. ami says:

    So that’s what it’s called! I remember my lola buying pink gladiolus from the market every Saturday when I was still a kid. Never knew what the flowers were called.
    Aside from visiting these farmer’s markets, my family and I also make a beeline for the local supermarkets when we travel. We get fascinated with the goods and products on display. My mom makes a point of buying and devouring as much fruit as she can when traveling overseas.

    Oct 22, 2014 | 11:05 am

  7. ginabeans91 says:

    your photos just entice my senses. thanks for sharing.

    Oct 22, 2014 | 11:40 am

  8. Blaise says:

    Unrelated, but the Tuberose, reminds me of Anna Wintour in 73 Questions video by Vogue. In the video, the now late Oscar dela Renta asked Anna (via phone call) what her favorite flowers were, and she said tuberose. The things I remember.

    Oct 22, 2014 | 12:08 pm

  9. Marketman says:

    Blaise, and accckkk!, I would say to that non chi-chi answer of Ms. Wintour. At least in our part of the world, tuberoses are sometimes used at wakes and funerals. Though in Bali they scent the lobbies of the snazziest hotels. I find that in enclosed rooms tuberoses can be way overpowering… :)

    Oct 22, 2014 | 4:45 pm

  10. Connie C says:

    With severe climate change and growing environmental concerns, we usually talk about our carbon imprint but I didn’t realize nor paid attention till now about water imprint or how much water it takes to bring food to our table. With lakes disappearing, river beds drying up and ground water levels on the decline the link below is a waker upper.

    Tomatoes for example ranks in the lower scale of water consumption and so with other healthy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and brussel sprouts among them. Still at 13 gallons per tomato!, it may sound a lot but check out the others from the link below and it may surprise you. Perhaps this may serve as guide to make better food choices to lessen our water imprint.


    I am sure our big time gardener bettyQ can tell us about her water saving methods growing her bountiful crops.

    Oct 22, 2014 | 5:14 pm

  11. Betchay says:


    Oct 22, 2014 | 10:52 pm

  12. Vera says:


    Oct 23, 2014 | 10:53 am

  13. Kasseopeia says:

    I was tortured by the pictures. I can only imagine how tortured you were, MM!

    Oct 23, 2014 | 12:40 pm

  14. kristin says:

    its really exciting to go to markets like these!

    Oct 28, 2014 | 5:16 am


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