In these final days before the return of school, I have put a fair number of miles on my old but patient car. It turns out that having a cousin from Korea stay with you for a week is a strong incentive to overcome one's fear of driving. This has been a week of firsts: First time visiting the Hollywood sign, first time touring Los Angeles by car, first time eating at Gjelina, and today, my first time visiting the Santa Monica Farmers Market.
Farmers markets in Los Angeles look the same as markets in San Francisco, for the most part. But they feel different. I can't put my finger on it yet. It's something about seeing a table seating well-dressed, well-coiffed men and women, next to a sign packed with words strung together. Celebrities Meeting Celebrity Chefs. Or mohawks and mullets atop white chef coats roaming the market like characters at an amusement park. Everything iconic, everything available for consumption.
Still. Food is food. There were so many things I've never seen in person, and things I had never even heard of, like sweet Persian lemons that taste like sugar water. I am eager to return, with an empty tote bag and hopeful dreams of dinner gatherings.
Slender asparagus look like some sort of gentle ocean foliage
Baby artichokes resemble flowers in a Northern Renaissance painting
Dragonfruit that's red, not white, inside
And oh, the berries!
Golden raspberries with a slightly tropical flavor
Nature's colors, man's composition
An afternoon snack