I love farmer's markets. The best fruit and vegetables can be found at them. The selection is much better than the typical supermarket. I go to them all the time in my home state of Michigan. While we have a wonderful selection of fruits and vegetables that grow in my state, there is one thing that is missing: citrus. I have been eating a lot of lackluster citrus. That is until I was able to make a trip out to California for a wedding. I took some time to visit a farmer's market in Irvine, California. The market is located at the Historic Park at Irvine Ranch. It happens every Tuesday from 9am-1pm, rain or shine. I made my visit on Tuesday, February 15, 2011. It's not a great large market, but it still has a great deal to offer. I found one vendor selling several varieties of oranges and mandarins, and also Meyer Lemons. I picked up 4 of each variety. The vendor was happy to give out free samples and they were juice dripping good! Most vendors were ready to give you samples of their wares. Several were selling huge, delicious strawberries. When you bite into the center of them, they are mostly red. There is nothing like a fresh strawberry in season.
One of my favorite vendors at the market was the Temecula Valley Honey Company. They sell several different flavors of honey. I have always wanted to try some different honeys, but didn't want to spend the money at the grocery store and find that there was no difference in taste. I sampled several of their honeys and they were all amazing. Each of them did have a distinctive taste. The seller was very knowledgeable about her product. She had tips for use of each honey and how they also could help with allegeries and other ailments. I walked away with two flavors: Avocado and Orange Blossom.
There were also several vendors selling fresh tamales, bread, different flavors of humus, cabbage, broccoli, peas, fresh pasta, and seafood. You could manage to pull together a whole, delicious dinner at this market!
Getting to the market is easy. It is located just off Irvine Blvd (on Old Myford Road), just to the east of Jamboree Road. There are signs to guide you into the market. You can find many parking spaces right next to the market, so you won't have to walk far. Since it's a smaller scale market, it's good for those that can't walk for long distances. And it's easy to pop in and out on the way to work.
Here is a complete list of what I purchased on Tuesday, February 15, 2011:
Flat of strawberries
Cara Cara Naval Oranges
Moro Blood Oranges
Golden Nugget Mandarins
Sugar Snap Peas
Orange Blossom Honey