Up and Down Markets

Farmer's markets have always been an interesting alternative to your everyday supermarkets and grocery stores. But they take on very different characters depending on where you are in the world, I've noticed.

chinatownIn Asia (and surely elsewhere), they're where one goes for the most direct produce and goods from local farmers and growers. The local agricultural workers set up stands and sell in volume straight from the farm / orchard. Freshly caught fish and seafood, livestock slaughtered that morning (and still warm), vine- and tree-ripened fruits and vegetables on display. They peddle their wares at the cheapest prices, often in damp, smelly concrete lots covered with a big tent. This is where people know to go for the best and cheapest foods.

fruits at the farmers marketIn North America, farmer markets are where one goes also for the most direct produce and goods from local farmers and growers. But, whoa, they're definitely more expensive than your supermarket variety, because you can get alternatives to the mainstream -- organics, vegan foods, specialty foods, crafts (and other crap). Around here, farmer markets are really more of a luxury. The Los Gatos Farmer's Market is one example where there's a crepe guy who makes 'em like there's no tomorrow. And there's the Farmer's Market in LA, where even celebrities frequent! But, of course, Granville Island is one of my all-time favourites.

Does anyone visit farmer's markets often? Any good ones around here (or there)?

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