Art Food

I don't think anyone has left on vacation this month. The farmers' markets are jammed. And with good reason. Forget carbon bites or food miles, forget taste and local economies; the markets this month are a visual destination.

I stopped on Sunday before I left the market to consider if I'd bought any food at all or if it was all impulsive food for my eyes.

I had handfuls of candy pears, three in each one. "Have a taste," the vendor insisted. I didn't care what they tasted like. They were miniature sculptures, Rodin's with a stem.

There were french prunes in my bag that inspired a vision of pheasant feathers, the whole bagged bird, burgundy roses, falling petals, hydrangeas and grapes so heavy on a table it sagged.

I had one pink lady apple, the first, chosen in a scented cloud of lavender. The basket of figs I'd filled myself was already almost gone. I'd bite into one, study it, the maroon and purple of it, and because it was prefect, picked before it was too soft, but only moments before, I'd stand in the center aisle, people coursing on either side and I'd practically pour the rest of those colors, their winey sweetness into my mouth. I should have bought more.

There were the tomatoes; sungold tomatoes, beads of sugary sun, a rope of summer jewels. And a musky red Russian tomato with deep green cheeks, "Paul Robeson, it's called. He was an opera singer," the grower sang. I wanted them all.

There were Gravenstein apples I couldn't resist for their freckles, eggplants purchased for their purpleness. I carried a rainbow of radishes, blue potatoes, orange cauliflower, raku stained Asian pears, elephant heads of garlic bursting from their seams. And three hand held squash blossoms. Three twisted, concubine orange squash blossoms.

All of it art but only temporarily so. We're eating it all way too fast.

What's beautiful on your table this month today?


Kelly said...

oh god, that was almost orgasmic that read was! phew!. ohhh for summer and of for a californian farmers markets! like no others i have ever experienced. you really are living in the worlds food bowl!

Anonymous said...

Katrina, PLEASE tell me what gear you're using to produce these beautiful, wonderful photos!


Doyu Shonin said...

I have been on a two day fast so they could look at my insides ... first thing I read when I woke up was this post -- ready to eat now!

Oh ... what's on the table? Well if I were to print this out it would be the best thing on the table, that's for sure!

We'll have home-grown garden-fresh sliced tomatoes and basil, for starters, which is of course, as my daughter says, very! With your fig description on the side, it will be very very.

Lucy said...

Those are just what I needed this grey old morning.

Temporary art, but no less spectacular (or memorable).

Loving my parsley, chard and endive at the moment. Feels as though I've a farmer's market in my bach yard!

Kale for Sale said...

Kel - I love your enthusiasm. It's only occasionally that I remember or even really see for that matter that there's a prison and oil refinery down the road. The water, mountain and farms somehow obscure their very presence. How we all coexist as good as we do is some sort of miracle.

doughgirl - I have a nikon 50 that's nearly five years old, scratched and worn. I believe it works better than when I first got it because I've dropped it so many times. Poor thing. (I do love it to pieces though.)

risa - I hope you insides were shining bright after your long fast! And that the tomatoes were as very as you anticipated. The figs certainly were. I sometimes don't want to eat the tomatoes after slicing into them they are so pretty in there. It's another world. But I always do eat them in the end.

Lucy - I'm so happy to share the orange blossoms with you. They made my day too. And then of course we ate them. Minced a top a bowl of ruby red salsa.

Green Bean said...

Oh it is SO beautiful. All of it. We're enjoying watermelon, berries, swiss chard, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, oh and more tomatoes, and some cucumber. Love the photos and the descriptions.

Emily said...


Kale for Sale said...

Green Bean - I picked our first tomato tonight! We'll likely only get two dozen and they're cherries but hey, they're from the backyard. Don't you wonder how we manage in the winter without all those fresh tomatoes? They are my desert island food if I could only choose one. Lucky you with so many. Enjoy.

Emily - No one can say amazing like you. Thank you.