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Gnoshin’ at New Orleans Farmers’ Market

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Ooh…it was a hot and sunny day, the heat blasting off the blacktop as intrepid shoppers made the rounds through one of New Orleans’ great recent institutions — the Crescent City Farmers’ Market.

My friend Julie and I got there around 10:30 or so and already the heat was up, must’ve been in the 90’s or thereabouts, and the sweat started cascading into limpid pools on face and body, relief given only by brief respites under the flimsy white food tents.

Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it certainly was hot. So hot, in fact, that one of the vendors, a heavy set black woman with a beautiful face and silky smooth skin, actually said, “Is it hot enough for you?” To which Julie replied, “Actually, no, I’m from Florida and we like it like this” or something thereabouts.

tomatoes-new-orleans I was thinking as I spied the vendors behind their booths we would probably be roaming the food aisles there for maybe at the most a half hour while the vendors are there for about four hours. Where were the solar-powered fans? That would’ve certainly made it a little more pleasant.

Oh, but what the heck, it’s summer in New Orleans, the heat is just there, we accept it and live with it. Proof of this? The market was probably the most packed I have even seen that Tuesday in Uptown Square.

There were several booths chock full of just picked produce, tons of beautiful and luscious creole tomatoes, shiny and bulbous zucchini and and other squashes, some strange looking. My favorite booth was of the rare and bizarre heirloom tomatoes with a gargantuan white tomato the size of a squashed softball!

We got a mess of jumbo shrimp for hors d’oeuvres for our evening front porch sit, and a bag of squash and tomatoes.

Tastes and treats abounded: middle eastern food, canned goods, natural syrup snowballs, breads, milk from grass fed cows, meats and prepared foods all in the offing.

This is the picture of a success story: a small experiment started by Loyola University several years ago has blossomed into several Crescent City farmers markets in other parts of town, is now an independent organization that can stand on its own two feet and a model for other burgeoning open air markets around the country.

Who says the best things start in California? Our New Orleans Farmers’ Markets are the cream of the crop. Here they run as smooth as buttah maybe even like melted buttah on a hot and sunny day.

Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Food, New Orleans Life.



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