Friday afternoon my friend Erik asked me if I wanted to meet him at the Cape Coral farmers market the next morning. Most Saturday’s I have four or five clients in the morning which creates a problem for me since the farmers markets typically close up around noon. But I had decided to take this Saturday off from work, so I agreed to meet him.
In this area, farmers markets are sprouting up all over the place, and while I’ve been to quite a few, I have never been to the Cape Coral farmers market at Cape Harbour. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and the farmers market was easy to find. And when I arrived at the Cape Coral farmers market, I found parking was going to be a bit of a problem.
Now I know there are cities where parking is horrible, and it can take an hour or more to find a spot. But here in Cape Coral, I am not used to having to wait that long to find a parking spot. So it took me about 10 minutes of driving around before someone backed out and I was able to park.
I hopped out of the car, and made my way towards the market.
It’s never too difficult to spot Erik, he is tall, and boisterous, and since the Cape Coral farmers market is not that big, I saw him right away.
I went up to him, said hello, and we were off to start our tour of the Cape Coral farmers market.
Fresh organic tomatoes from Ohio. I love tomatoes, but had plenty at home. Erik decided to buy a bag and get a selfie with the woman manning the stand (did I mention he was outgoing).
We made our way around the different tables and stands; home made soap, local raw honey… wait, what’s this? I see a sign “The Best Guacamole In The World”, I’m in! I am already impressed when someone says they are the best in the world at something, because hey, it takes guts to put yourself out there like that. Even better, I love guacamole, so I walk up and see a guy handing chips with guacamole on them. So I take a chip and eat it. It was pretty good, not the best that I have ever had, so clearly not the best in the world, but it was tasty, so I grabbed a card and told him I would be back to get some before I left.
So we continued around the market and I couldn’t help but notice a lot of people gathered around one stand. Erik mentioned that this was the best stand at the market. So we made our way over to a large produce stand filled with fruit and vegetables.
There was a short Asian woman running around helping everyone, and I noticed the stand was comprised of Asian fruits, vegetables, and spices. Bok choy, bitter mellon, longans, rambutans, and all kinds of fun fruits and vegetables that are hard to find unless you are at an Asian market.Cape Coral Farmers Market
I had never had a bitter melon so Irene, the owner and the person I saw helping everyone, ran in back and brought me a bite of some prepared in an omelet. It was very bitter and still very delicious.
Irene went on to show me all of the produce that she grows right on her property. What an awesome feeling that the food I am about to consume was grown down the street and the woman telling me about it, put her time and energy into producing it. That is what makes farmers markets so great!
We continued walking around and then I saw it, a fruit the size of a large pumpkin, it was a jackfruit.
When I was growing up, my Dad grew a lot of tropical fruit trees, but never a jackfruit, it is one fruit that I always wanted to have.
I knew right away that I was going to leave the market with that fruit in my hand.
I really wasn’t planning on spending very much so I only brought $20, fortunately Erik was more prepared and loaned me $15 to cover the cost.
Walking back to the car I couldn’t wait to get home and show Tasha my find. I knew that she would be just as excited about preparing it as I was.
Jackfruit is used for many different food applications and is often a staple for vegans due to it’s versatility, you can just eat it raw, slow cook it, roast it, and grill it. All of the different methods present a different result. And while I have eaten jackfruit many times, I have never started with the whole fruit.
If you do go to the Cape Coral farmers market, make sure to check out Irene’s produce stand and try something new, you will be happy that you did!
Check out my next post to see how to cut up and store your massive jackfruit. Thankfully it stores really nicely if you prepare it correctly so you don’t need to eat all 40 pounds in one sitting.