As I started down School Street, I was surrounded by happy chatter, a live band, and of course food. My intention was to be inspired to make a dish for my blog. I found that the beautiful displays of food were too much for me to handle. As I navigated the happy chattering crowds of locals, I quickly realized that I couldn’t bring everything home. I wanted to cook everything. Crunchy kale, giant carrots, sweet smelling strawberries, plump apricots, and beautiful peaches. Oh the peaches! I could smell those the moment I entered the market.
Farmers markets are everywhere, but this one is special. The Lodi Farmers Market has been tempting locals on Thursday nights for 20 years. It reminds me of where I grew up. It supports the local agricultural community and allows people to gather and enjoy each other’s company. It’s sort of like sitting at the family dinner table: Warm, inviting, and full of stories.
Lodi has long been a destination for wine tasting but it is slowly becoming known for its olive oil. Groves of olive trees have appeared in the last ten years or so in the surrounding Lodi area. The olive oils at the farmers market were plentiful, but I had to narrow my focus. The food court behind me was tempting with its savory sweet aromas but I was on a mission. I settled on a bunch of Swiss chard, some adorable summer squash, a half a dozen peaches, and two ambrosia melons. While I was working my way toward the yellow peaches, the vendor began passing out samples of fruit. The yellow peach slice was absolutely amazing – sweet, juicy, dripping with flavor that surpassed even the scent that had drawn me here in the first place. I knew that I had to make a recipe with it.
I have managed to not eat the peaches yet. I already cut open the melon this morning. It was sticky sweet and satisfying. If you haven’t had an ambrosia melon, it has a slight floral aroma and when ripe it is candy sweet. I enjoy it room temperature but it makes a welcomed summer treat when chilled.
I hope to create a recipe in the next few days to share with you. It will include peaches and maybe some spice and a little bit of summer heaven.