June at the market

Summer has arrived and the market has revved up. Most of the produce farmers have returned after the trials of the unusual spring weeks.

Learn how to utilize this fresh produce in cool summer recipes. Chef Stephanie Bergeman joins the market this week at 10:00 for the second Market to Kitchen Chef Demonstration of this growing season. Observe the preparation of three salad dressing recipes to accent market offerings like vegetables and pasta for a fresh taste on the home table. Attendees receive copies of the recipes, cooking tips, tasting samples, and a cooking utensil.

With the return of most of the produce vendors, varieties of produce also expand. Two months ago only hothouse green and red tomatoes were sold. A few weeks ago field raised green tomatoes returned. By mid-June farmers are bringing more different kinds than might be found in a grocery store: red and green large hybrid tomatoes, many different kinds of bite size tomatoes, and even a unique heirloom variety. The Cherokee purple heirloom tomato, described by Rare Seeds as “An old Cherokee Indian heirloom, pre-1890 variety; beautiful deep dusky purple-pink color…a classic tomato.” The Seed Savers Exchange further mentions the “Unique dusty rose color. Flavor rivals Brandywine, extremely sweet.” A market customer agreed with the very sweet, full tomato flavor of this variety.

The golden zucchini is relativity new. It has a lower water content compared to green common zucchini. Because of the lower water content it is meatier and holds a better shape when cooked.

Cross Pecans have introduced “crispy” pecans. These pecans are “sprouted and dehydrated”, meaning they are soaked in water with a little salt for about eight hours and then bathed in low heat for dehydration. Kathy Johnston says these pecans are easier to digest and deliver more vitamins and nutrients than non-sprouted, non-dehydrated pecans. She further explains, “Sprouting pecans removes anti-nutrients like phytates and tannins. It helps to neutralize enzyme inhibitors, increases the potency of nutrients such as Vitamin B, makes proteins more readily available and improves mineral absorption. Low-temperature dehydrating returns the nuts to crispy, extends their shelf life, and improves their flavor profile. Pecans should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.”

Besides expanded variety, Coppell FM produce stays fresh longer in the home because it was picked ready to eat, probably the day before the market and less than 150 miles away so didn’t have to be picked early to allow for days of travel and probably more than 1000 miles from farm to wholesaler to a warehouse then finally, to the grocery store. Coppell FM vendors bring ripe produce, not necessarily the most perfect in shape as is found in the grocery stores. Customers are learning the flavor isn’t affected by the shape and are willing to purchase.

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