Tuesday, March 10, 2009

C & D Produce Outlet

If you've never been to a Latin American country, this little market on Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens is a good way to get a feel for one of those places without spending on a ticket or getting sick.* I mean, aside from all of the strange (and run of the mill) cheap fruits and vegetables fresh off the farm truck (pictured damn near everywhere on this post), C&D sells PINATAS (!!!), my favorite foreign soda, Inca Kola (Peru's delicious, bubble-gum flavored national soft drink) along with a rainbow of sodas from Costa Rica and Colombia, coconut water, votary candles with every Santeria saint, soft cheeses from Honduras, cleaning detergents that will burn a hole in any white woman's hand, and basil plants with leaves bigger than my fist. That's a small sample of their selection, and you get English speaking people and clean air!

As you can see, I went camera-mad with the colorful and weird fruits and veggies available. Like these fuzzy green things to the right, and those green stalks with white flowers on them in the first photo. I clearly don't know all of the names for the vegetables (fruits?) but I went ahead and bought a bit of everything with the abandon of someone who does not know how to use them in recipes. It's a refreshing approach, and affordable at this place. I wouldn't have gotten away with paying so little for the same amount of produce at Whole Foods.

All sorts of cars are parked in front of this little shed: AMG Mercedes, Toyotas, Dodges, Mustangs. I crossed a small German woman rooting through the cherry pepper basket. She commanded me to buy them now ("Zey are $1.29 a pound this week! Sixty cents cheaper!) and gave me her recipe for pickled peppers: vinegar, water, and salt . Simple enough, right?
An Indian woman carrying a basket full of ginger, cinnamon, bags of habanero and thai chili peppers agreed with her. I'm not arguing with her.

I bought my first tomatillos here and I'm very excited. I also bought fennel for a light salad, anjou pears, bananas, strawberries, tiny eggplants, ancho chiles, quinoa, cherry peppers, and zucchini. I bought two weeks' worth of vegetables and goods for under $22.00.

I wish I'd known about this place when I was making my chili last October. I didn't have the right source of heat for it, and it came out very bland. There's a whole section at C&D for dried poblano, chipotle, ancho, and serrano chili peppers.

I'm moving to Ohio in June if everything works out with my boyfriend. I wonder if I'll find anythiing up there that's neat in this way: a mish mash of goodies from around the world in one spot. My boyfriend says all places are the same, especially by major interstates. Usually that would be a turn off, but having found quite a few great little food places here I find myself hoping he's right.

You can visit C & D Produce Outlet on your own:

C D Produce Outlet Inc
7243 N Military Trl
West Palm Beach, FL 33410
(561) 842-3345
Need a map?

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