In cross-section, a ripe eggfruit ($6 per pound, about $2 each) typically reveals a pair of chestnut-brown seeds, set in flesh that's often likened in texture to a hardboiled yolk. Canistel is the common name for varieties that are cultivated (or that grow wild) in Florida and Latin America; these were imported from Thailand, the vendor told me. Whatever their name or provenance, they must be untinged with green, and soft but not mushy, to show off their full flavor. Ultimately, this Christmastime purchase wasn't ready to be "unwrapped" until early in the New Year.
Produce stand Near the southwest corner of Mulberry St. with Canal St., Manhattan
Any excuse is a good excuse for butternut squash (doughnut, $1.50). Rockville's recipe uses the farm's own eggs, too.
Rockville Market Farm Starksboro, Vermont www.RockvilleMarketFarm.com At Smorgasburg, April till mid-November Saturday: 90 Kent Ave. (North 7th-North 8th Sts.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn Sunday: Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 5, Dumbo, Brooklyn
On a dreary spring day when even Greenmarket produce seemed drab, the colors inside the compost bins first caught my eye. Often the food scraps are beautiful in and of themselves; see the slideshow for more from several seasons.
It's not unusual for my local market to collect, twice a week, some 1,500 pounds of household food scraps. Surely some of the food was locally grown, but, by the looks of things, more was remotely sourced, especially during the colder months. These scraps, which otherwise would end up in a landfill — food accounts for about 17 percent of New York City's waste stream, according to GrowNYC, which operates the Greenmarkets — are instead transformed into compost for use in urban farms and gardens. See how easy it is to contribute to the compost stream.
Wasong is a succulent native to rocky soil in China, Korea, and Japan. Adherents of various Asian folk-medicine traditions maintain that wasong fights inflammation, enhances the immune system, even combats cancer. Whatever the truth of those claims, you can imagine how the chopped leaves might add an interesting, crunchy texture to an omelette or a quesadilla, after the fashion of nopales. And if you get your nose right up close, you can detect the faint scent that has earned wasong another common name, rock pine.
Founded in the late 1990s as Yuno's Farm, Lani's has earned a deserved reputation as a consistent purveyor of fresh and varied produce. Shown at bottom, from a market day several years ago: callaloo.
Hatch chile peppers — an umbrella term for several varieties of medium-hot, very flavorful chiles grown near tiny Hatch, New Mexico, and still uncommon in New York — are the namesake attraction. They dress up the Southwestern frybreads called sopapillas (three for $9), for this order stuffed with "hand-pulled" chicken that was duly chunky but otherwise humdrum. Next time, maybe the carne adovada.
Zia Green Chile Company At Smorgasburg, 90 Kent Ave. (North 7th-North 8th Sts.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn Saturdays during the warmer months www.ZiaGreenChileCo.com
On offer: yerba buena, also spelled hierba buena (in the little bucket), a name that denotes various species of mint, and pápalo, a peppery herb that insistently makes its presence known in cemitas. At this moment the vendor and her cart were paused outside a self-service laundromat crowded with likely customers; a nearby nail salon was the likely next stop.
The New Amsterdam Market — which first took root on a brisk, damp day in December 2007 and which has grown more engaging and exciting in the seven years since — will not return to its longtime home, the market's founder announced earlier this week. If another appropriate public space cannot be secured, the loss will be immeasurable. See a slideshow.
Bánh cuốn can be found throughout Vietnam and in Vietnamese restaurants throughout New York, but they are particularly associated with the North, and Hanoi, first home of Tonkin Kitchen's owner. She employs a wooden dowel, I noted with delight, much like the proprietor of the old December 19 Market, with similar silky-textured results.
Tonkin Kitchen specializes in a style called bánh cuốn trứng (about $8 each); "trứng" denotes the addition of an egg, in this case poached. Mine featured sauteed ground pork, with wood ear and shiitake mushrooms; you can also swap in shrimp for pork or enjoy mushrooms alone. The house fish sauce (in the second photo, it's pooled at the bottom) is relatively mild; indeed, it's an essential complement to the bánh cuốn. Don't pass it up.