Saturday, May 29, 2010
Growing up in Pennsylvania, I remember that the dairy herds usually had a handful of Jersey or Guernsey cows in them to give flavor and butterfat to the bland Holstein milk. But nowadays, you hardly ever see those cinnamon brown, long-lashed cows. So when the dairyman at the farmers market listed all the breeds mixed in with his Holsteins, I bought a half gallon for the boys -- just to see. Nico, who's picky about his ice cream, gave the free sample of vanilla two thumbs up. Under another awning an old man was explaining to some customers the virtues of flint corn -- and I had to wonder what kind of arepas the honey-colored corn meal would make. Two hippies were selling salsa, a girl was selling Portuguese sweet bread, a band was playing. Another man broke off his story to thrust a spoonful of sprouted wheatberries at me. "These'll connect you to your food and your season," he said cryptically as I chewed them up. I bought a bag of spinach and scallions that smelled like spring. I asked the fishmonger about the flounder and she gestured behind her to a green boat moored among the others. "The shrimp come in on the Jewel, but this flounder came in on the Josephine." And I told her to give me whatever I could get with my last $9, and she bagged up all four fillets of flounder.