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Fun at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market PDF Print E-mail
Written by Cris   
Sunday, 05 November 2006
 In Madison, Wisconsin, the Capitol Farmer's Market only happened in the summer, and for a good reason:  it was deathly cold in the winters- especially in the mornings!  This must be why I am continually surprised to find the Farmer's Markets open in LA even when the days turn short and the air starts to chill. 

However this weekend at the Santa Monica Farmers Market I got 2 more pleasant suprises!  Not only have I found the Best Olives I have had on this continent, I also found a new old favorite that I have not had since leaving the Badger State.  Fresh cheese curds!

The Santa Monica Market happens every Saturday From 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM and various other days of the week, but I get the feeling that the Saturday one is the big one.  They have the usual assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables and also a section devoted entirely to 100% Organic foods.

But what first caught my eye were the Olives from Adams' Olive Ranch.

I spent some time talking with Gary who's father was best friends with the original grower and owner of the Orchards.  They have a nice assortment to choose from, but what intrigued me were the ones called "Home Cured". 


the best olives

A few Years ago when Kim and I were in Rome, we had a few minutes at the lookout over the top of the city to visit a little olive stand in a truck in the parking lot.  I didn't know what to order or to expect, but I got a "medium" sized order of green olives and they were served to me in a little white paper cone.

I have to say that these olives were the best I had ever tasted in the whole world!  They were so flavorful- but not because of a strong flavorful brine.  They were very mildly brined, just a hint of salt.  All of that olivy goodness came through loud and clear with no sour acids, and no heavy salt.  Oh to be back in Rome!

I had cured my own olives a while back to attempt re-creating this flavor with some fresh olives that had been given to me by a friend with an olive tree.  Since it was my first try, they were not the greatest- but pretty awesome nonetheless.   (By the way- if you have never eaten an olive right off the tree- DON'T FALL FOR THIS!  They are nasty nasty.  How anyone discovered that they could be edible is beyond me- but I'm glad they did Smiley )

Anyway- flash forward to last Saturday.  Gary gave me a sample of the Home Cured olives and low and behold I was back in Rome!  They were truly awesome, and the "Italian" style with garlic and pepper were even better!  I had to have them....  and then about an hour later I was back buying more.

These olives do not keep long, so they are only available for a few weeks a year.  If you happen to be in Santa Monica on a Saturday, drop by the market and see if they have any left.  You will not regret it Smiley

After visiting with Gary at the olive stand I wandered around the market some more and stopped when a nice French woman offered me a sample of cheese. 

This is the second time in the last month that I have met a French person at a local market.  It must be the love of food- there are so many open air markets in Paris.  Anyway- apart from the opportunity to speak a little Francais, I also noticed something I have not seen in a long time.  Fresh Cheese Curds!  They had Garlic, Spicy and Natural.  Cheese curds are the fresh cheddar cheese nuggets that have not been pressed and aged.  In a state like California, that produces more Cheese than any other state in the USA, you'd think we'd have them in every grocer.  Sadly though, we do not.  If you've never tried them, they have very fresh taste and have a unique "squeaky" texture that is to die for.

Unfortunately I was stuck in Santa Monica for the day and they only had the one size, so I spent the rest of the morning feeling like a pig having eaten the whole container so that it would not spoil in the car.  I did at least walk about a mile to the Pier and back twice, so there was some minor consolation that my diet was not completely sabotaged at the end of the day! Smiley

Santa Monica Farmer's Market
Arizona Ave & 3rd St.
Santa Monica California

-cris {moscomment}

Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 November 2006 )
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