Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the Week: Okra
is this week’s Fresh Pick of the Week
from the Certified Farmers’ Markets
. Long a favorite in Southern, Creole and Cajun cooking, Okra
has become increasingly popular in a variety of cuisines throughout the United States, and, indeed, throughout the world. Originally from Africa, Okra
was discovered in the area we now know as Ethiopia sometime around the 12th century B.C. Later, it was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, and soon found its way throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian peninsula. The slave trade brought Okra
to the Caribbean, and later to North America where it quickly became a popular vegetable dish. Okra
’s fuzzy green seedpod is the part of the plant that is typically eaten, although the leaves of the plant are also edible, and can be cooked in much the same way as other forms of greens, or eaten raw in salads. Outside the United States, Okra
is often referred to as Lady’s Finger (referring to its shape) or Gumbo (a variation of its name in Portuguese and Spanish). It can be cooked in a variety of ways, but the most popular, at least in the United States, include stir-frying, frying, and cooking into soups or stews. Immature Okra
pods can also be pickled. Okra
is a good source of vitamin C, is low in calories, and is fat-free. DID YOU KNOW: Okra
is a member of the Mallow family of plants, and is closely related to cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus. Its seeds can also be roasted and ground, and used as a wonderful (and Caffeine-free) Coffee substitute. Price: $3/pound Also in Season, and available now at all locations:
Potatoes, Celery, Green Onions, FRESH and DRIED Herbs, Eggs, Dates, Almonds, Oranges, Grapefruit, Chard, Eggplant, Squash, Onions, Garlic, Apples, Shallots, Beets, Green Beans, Carrots, Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuces, Parsley, Mint, Broccoli, Cabbage, Spinach, Radishes, Leeks, Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cherimoyas, Dates . . . . PLUS, incredible artisan breads, fresh meats, cheese, fresh raw honey, California olives/olive oil/vinegars, and a wide variety of exotic Orchids and flowers. Sidebar:
The Certified Farmers Market is sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center. It operates in three locations, and on three different days of the week, as follows: - On Saturdays in Palm Springs,
from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, adjacent to the Camelot Theatres in the Palm Springs Mall parking lot at 2300 E. Baristo Road at Farrell. - On Saturdays in Coachella (starting October 15th),
from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, adjacent to Coachella City Hall, 1515 6th Street - On Sundays in Old Town La Quinta,
from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at 78100 Main Street, just a few blocks west of La Quinta City Hall off Calle Tampico. - On Wednesdays in Palm Desert,
from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm, at the Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce, 72-599 Highway 111.
Contact the Certified Farmers Market at 760.898.5250, 760-285-2630 (se habla Espanol), or visit us online at www.certifiedfarmersmarket.org.
The Certified Farmers' Markets are presented by the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established to encourage the development of the cultural arts in the Coachella Valley with a specific focus in the areas of film, fine art, live performance, dance, music, and community festivals. The Center is dedicated to advancing education, and to nurturing community-wide participation in the cultural arts.