BEST FRESH PRODUCE - 2005
Minneapolis's Midtown Public Market
God bless the Twin Cities' excellent food co-ops: They've educated a generation of cooks to demand nothing less than fresh, locally grown, pesticide-free produce. And come summer, those cooks now flock in droves to the farm stands at Minneapolis's Midtown Public Market where they finger, squeeze, sniff, and taste the wares and otherwise generally get in the faces of the very folks who grew the lovelies spread out under this ever-blossoming sea of awnings. Several times last summer we snatched up electric tangerine squash blossoms; tiny, sweet, baby turnips and their greens; and corn so fresh from the field that the family matriarch declared herself transported back to her pre-hybrid-era youth in rural Indiana. We're never able to walk past the mother-daughter duo selling blackberries the size of a thumb, or the chap with the freezer case full of choice bison cuts. This year the market will offer expanded hours: It will open on Saturdays starting May 7; when regular hours begin July 10 it will be open Tuesday evenings like in years past and, drum roll please, Sundays.