Blog of an aspiring foodie

Houston has at least one neat farmers' market (BACKPOST)

Posted by beer_chris on 15-July-2004

The farmer's market on Airline in North Houston is a really interesting place. I have vague memories of the flagship store, Canino's, going back many years to many trips I made there with my grandmother and mother. Going back for the first time in many years last summer was something of an emotional experience, but wandering out back for the first time last weekend was definitely a culinary adventure.

It's watermelon season in south Texas, and there were melons as far as we could see. Some stations were manned by groups of men around pallets of different varieties and sizes, and some were simply trucks loaded down with valley melons. We stopped and looked at a seedless, probably the biggest I've ever personally seen, that must have been 25 pounds. It looked like a huge pumpkin, and we were told it was only $4. Amazing, but neither my mother or I wanted to carry a 25 pound round object back to the car, nor did we want to try and navigate our way back to the melon stands in the car. We moved on.

The market is one of the only places where you can buy purple hull and cream peas in the shell, or have them shelled on the spot by this big whirling pea shelling contraption. You can buy veggies in full bushels, or can simply buy one of the small buckets of something. Jaime's favorites are the little sweet baby bananas that are simply everywhere.

One thing that is always true – everybody has just about the same thing. One week it might be pineapple, the next peaches (although not this year – the pea man told us it had been too wet in the Edwards plateau this year – all the Texas peaches were on the ground.). This week it was melon and mangoes – crates of mangoes, at least 20 fruit, were going for 2-4 bucks. Amazing.

It's one of the places I would take a visitor to really experience the culture of Houston.


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