I LOVE L.A. Yes, I do. Say what you will about it — and you will be oh-so right — but living in Southern Cali is like no other for the stunning variety of food one can obtain and locally, reducing your chances of contributing to human exploitation (which is ALL around us). Yes, the Farmers of L.A. are awesome, friendly, and generous.
I often mention that I am “Sooooooo lucky!” and, wow, even I marvel sometimes at my good fortune! To have such excellent food at my leisure…it should be this way for every living being on this planet.
Whether you live in L.A. or are visiting, check out a few — at least — of the some of the best So. California has to offer. If you happen to be cruisin’ down Sunset, step on over to the Sunday morning festival that is (just one of) the Hollywood Farmer’s Market(s).
Okay, SO…What is it? 🙂
Mm, awful purty!
Little fuzzy, aye? 🙂
Any ideas yet?
Ah, hangs out with some friends…on a vine…
C’mon, you green thumbers out there! Ever grown these in yer garden?
Okay, let’s crack ‘er open…
Okay, NO, it’s not my brain…
Though, I bet mine is greeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!
Oh, wait…ANOTHER shell??
Okay, totally nude, you HAVE to know, now…No? 😉
You got it! Fresh, raw incredibly DELICIOUS Garbanzo Beans!!
Got’em at the farmers’ market! Still on the vines WOW! Forget the Lakers‘ slam dunk — this is a SCORE!!!!
Here is a pod holding 2 little ‘peas:
This one was interesting; it had one that was drying out already!
I was kind of expecting it to be more flavorful, more savory; but, instead it had very little flavor at all. What a shame 🙂
Still purty, tho 😉
Where I first learned that they even existed was at a Whole Foods in the refrigerated section, several years ago. I fell in LOVE with them! I recall trying to convince my fellow raw-foodie enthusiasts at the time they existed, but was met with a lot of dismissive resistance! Hmph. Okay, so more for me, Nyahh 😛 Since that first time, I’ve not found them as often as I’d like; especially since I eat mostly raw. Now they are becoming more known as the blogosphere indicates!
Back to my Sunday …
So as the sun was waning, I took my bag O’ magic beans, and out to the patio…
for some chick pea pickin.’
~~~ Ahh, yes, just like back in the old country, I do recall ~~~
Just kidding, lol
So we talked and picked…
Rambled with hands busy…
and reminisced some more…
and the bowl was filling up nicely…
…till my bowl runneth over…
…almost 😉 And while I cannot claim any “old country,” to my memoirs, relaxing, sharing, and picking over fresh legumes is quite enjoyable, and I now know why it’s so customary in some cultures to engage in such activity 🙂 What a wonderful Sunday afternoon!
That evening, as every, I feasted! We feasted on fresh chick peas, fresh, first-of-season’s-sweet tomatoes (OH LORD, watch out!! I’ll be consuming loads of these cherry-sweet tomatoes through October!)
a few other simple foods (I won’t bore you further with the details 🙂 ), all fresh from the farmers’ market.
And All was well with the world. 🙂
~ *** ~
Speaking of the advantages of living in California, I have also the good fortune to have lived in various neighborhoods around Los Angeles, all rich with different ethnicities; ways; and customs. Flourishing and bringing life, culture, and wonderful experiences to us natives, they have contributed so much to Us All 🙂 One such neighborhood had various Peoples from the region of the Middle East — O, the food! The markets! The colors! I recall running past many a group of two or more elderly women, dressed in traditional clothes, obviously brand new to this country, speaking and laughing in their native tongues. Along side them, large, old wooden buckets filled with some vegetable or other… They shelled and trimmed as they socialized, right there in their front yards; no doubt a custom.
SO, my bowl full…
…my heart and soul too :D, and I am grateful — and…
Sooooooooooooooo lucky!!! 😀
So you can’t get these locally, you say? 😦 Well…
I am so excited to see these *FINALLY* catching on. Trader Joe’s had/has them every-so-often, shelled, in frozen bags, then — pOOf! Gone! One of things about TJ’s I don’t like 😡
There is a brand which is making itself more available around the U.S., “CaliFresh.” You can see they are in several chain markets — click here for those — so, “Yay” for that!! Even though not organic, you may want to give them a try. These are also available in Mexican markets, again, not organic, but why not try some? OR, heck, if you’re into gardening, how about trying to grow your own?! I’d love to. I’ve grown green peas and I can only hope fresh garbanzos would be so ridiculously easy! Those peas, by the way, were the BEST EVER, as I imagine your own, home-grown foods are 😉
I found fresh to freeze well too. Some may prefer a quick steam, unless one is accustomed to the taste of, say, raw peas — then the raw chickpeas would be quite enjoyable. Either way, it can hardly be argued that these are not the freshest chickpeas you have ever eaten! They are, to my delight, Greeeeeeeeeeeeen 🙂 And a gorgeous green!
If you can find these at a farmer’s market, grab ’em. The worst that can happen is that you end up blending them into a green smoothie — now how’s that for tipping the odds? But trust me — You will love these whether steamed or raw. Bean salad anyone?
The flavor, by the way, is much milder than any other raw legume. It has a nuttiness to it which is faintly reminscent of the dried cooked you know so well; however, this is just straight out unique tasting — highly enjoyable. Can you tell I like ’em? That familiar “raw” taste is also not dominant like so many raw peas and beans; these are softer than you will probably be expecting. Loads of flavor; no spicing required.
To cook these are also quite enjoyable, as it takes mere minutes to simply steam — Yep, minutes! And so delectable. Much like fava beans — another utterly delicious bean fresh, look for them and GET SOME — the quick cooking is a nice change. I have always loved my summer bean salads with fresh favas. DElicious, I promise you!
These green chick peas can be eaten and served just like you would edamame — either in their pods, or shelled — depending how you find them. I prefer in their pods, but shelled are great too. Just steam them or you can drop them in boiling water for a few minutes, if you like. No salt needed, these are delish on their own; however, spicing them, of course, gives you much more variety and you can prepare delectable little delights with the simplicity and ease of marinating in various spice blends.
Seriously, I’ll say it again: I don’t know anyone who eats better than I do . And you can feel that way too! 😀 The changing of the tastebuds is one of the more dramatic results from eating healthfully and abstaining from salt, and chemically-flavored and processed “stuff” often labeled as “food.” I’ve never eaten better in my life, not only nutritionally but also taste-wise.
I mentioned this before also: When you are willing to give up the foods you (think you) love, crave, “can’t do without forever,” you GAIN so much more! 😀 I promise!
Okay, I’m storing up:
I’m loading up on these babies to take me through the off season — into the fridge, and into the freezer, sealed extra well for long storage. 😀
So look for these! It’s that time of the year — Right Now! Go get some! Eat simply. No need for complicated meals! Try them in recipes or plain — Mmmmm, fresh chick peas! Give ’em a try!