Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A friend of mine likes to buy produce at Haymarket, mainly, she says, for the "experience." I've lived in the Boston area for close to a decade, but until this past Friday, I never got around to going to Haymarket. It's open Fridays and Saturdays only, which doesn't quite fit my routine (usually involving shopping and cooking for Shabbat Thursday night and then eating leftovers for several days).

Classes are over, though, and the weather has been nice, so I decided to make the trek. But first, of course, I had to Google "Haymarket Boston" to find out what to expect. The general consensus seemed to be that the market is characterized by crowds, rude vendors, and lousy produce, but with prices low enough to make it worthwhile.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the produce. Most of it was as good or better than what I usually find at the supermarket, and the crowds and vendors weren't too bad, either. I attribute this mainly to my having gone Friday morning. The prices were, as advertised, ridiculously low. (This is apparently due to the low overhead cost of running a booth at an outdoor market as opposed to a store.)

I spent exactly $20. Here's what I got:


  • 3 lbs. rhubarb

  • 2 lbs. strawberries

  • 1 lb blueberries

  • 1 lb raspberries

  • 1/2 lb blackberries

  • 2 heads Boston lettuce

  • 1 bunch spinach

  • 1 bunch radishes

  • 1 bunch scallions

  • 1 bunch parsley

  • 4 red peppers

  • 6 large lemons

  • 7 tomatoes on the vine

  • 1 Vidalia onion

  • 1 ginger root

Two of the peppers turned out to be rotten inside, some of the berries were sour, and the tomatoes got smooshed on the T, but for what I paid, it hardly mattered. We've had many salads since then, and there are mixed berry sorbet and Moroccan preserved lemons in the works.

In conclusion, I highly recommend not having a real job if you live in the Boston area and want good quality, dirt-cheap produce. If that's not an option, consider taking a Friday off at some point, for the experience.

(Cross-posted to the Kosher Blog)


elf's lil sis said...

If you like that, try Mahane Yehuda!

elf said...

Unfortunately, Haymarket isn't anything like Mahane Yehudah. But it's a lot closer to home.