Berkeley Farmer’s Market

by janet on September 24th, 2009

Before Shimi and I went to Cafe Gratitude, she gave me a tour of the Gourmet Ghetto; i.e. Shattuck Ave in Berkeley.  We ooohed and aaahed at the hallowed gates of Chez Panisse (post forthcoming~ goody! goody!), shook our heads in wonder at the long-ass line at Cheeseboard, and got the skinny on the amazingness that is Gregoire.

We also ran smack into a farmer’s market!  You know how grocery shopping when you’re hungry is bad news bears?  So is farmer’s market wandering.  Just cuz that shit’s organic and foofy does not mean your brain can distinguish such nuances.

My low blood sugar caused me to do strange things.  Like: get ICE CREAM???  Ice cream, mine mortal enemy; my most hated of foods (I conquered okra earlier this summer so this is a true statement now)?  It also caused me to not take note of the names of any of the establishments were that I was nibbling from (sorry).  But listen up, this ice cream was ACE!  The flavor is what spurred me to proffer my paw containing three crumpled dollars in the first place  – corn and spicy chili.  Both Shimi and I marveled at how INTENSELY corn-ey this tasted!  Like they ran corn through a china cap over and over and over again, fed the resulting liquid to baby angels who peed out concentrated miracle corn extract, mixed with heavy cream from…baby cow angel udders? and made ice cream outta it.  Then Satan was all, “Hey now!” and threw in some spicy chili.

Ignoring Shimi, who was scolding me for ruining my appetite before dinner, I meandered over to the fresh oyster bar.  In some ways, I’m a bad foodie.  For example, I haven’t had a raw oyster since I was 7.  Perhaps the fact that I was shoving raw oysters in my maw at the punk-ass age of 7 makes me an exceedingly good foodie?  Anyway, I paid $1.50 for one oyster (refraining from the 3-for-5 deal to excape Shimi’s motherly wrath), and the bearded, burly Santa behind the table deftly cracked open a lone oyster, which I doused with all three of their homemade condiments and a squeeze o’ lemon.  Umam-alicious, eyes a-flutter.  The texture is awesome – NEVER be one of those people who just swallows it [OYSTERS!!!] whole.  Give it a chew.  Just two will do.  A chew-chew.  And relish the lingering, lovely aftertaste [OF THE OYSTERS!!!] at the back of your tongue.

I took a picture first, which when I downloaded it from my cammie gave me pause.  I have never really stopped to LOOK at an oyster.

Is it beautiful?  Is it horrifying?  A little of both, perhaps?

Berkeley Farmer’s Market, @ Shattuck, on Thursdays

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