Saturday, October 25, 2008
Dazee and I learned about George and his produce gig from our friend Stephen*, who is the best chef we know. George sells produce out of an old brake tag station wholesale to restaurants in New Orleans, and out of a store front with rainbow umbrellas for the rest of us. This week, I made two trips across the river to visit him--the first was to introduce a new friend to his fabulous stand, and the second was to fetch the tomatoes I forgot the first time around (I also brought another friend for the second visit, 'cuz I am on a mission to hook George up with The Vegans of New Orleans).
George stocks all sorts of local pickles and preserves: these are mirliton pickles (chayote squash to y'all, but we pronounce them "mell uh tawn") and the sweetest watermelon.
George has a really special place, especially if you're interested in New Orleans cuisine and/or want to get your mitts on a really great selection of local produce and groceries. He specializes in The Local and loves to talk about food, I always learn something new whenever I visit. On the last trip, not only did he explain to me and Stephanie the difference between green "wet" peanuts and dry "raw" peanuts, but he went into specific details about how we can boil 'em for ourselves at home. Too bad for me, since I hate boiled peanuts! However, I love listening to him talk about food, even when he's describing something really gross like venison sausage, because he's really passionate about it, and you can tell he really likes to eat. Talking to food lovin' characters like George is my favorite way to learn about cooking, even if it's something I would never eat in a million thousand billion years.
Local pecans--you can get them bagged and shelled or whole.
George is my number one go to for beans. You can get local dry beans, and he also stocks a freezer full of fresh field peas, crowlers, black eyed peas, limas and more.
Locally grown and hand roped garlic braids.
My usual local staples when I visit: garlic, cabbage, peppers, red onions, shelled pecans, sweet potatoes, seasonal greens, string beans, fruit (figs, citrus, melon, berries and peaches), file, dry beans, fresh beans and peas, eggplant, Creole tomatoes, and pre-sliced and frozen okra.
Here's a super posed shot of George and Stephanie, George grew up in his dad's produce stand and has been proudly running his own business for more than 35 years.
He's also a member of the famous Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club and hooked me up with my very own Zulu Coconut last Mardi Gras Day. He and his family decorate thousands of coconuts every year for Carnival, so if you stop by during the season, you'll see his business sharing space with a huge coconut decorating factory in action. Last year, he told me what float he was gonna be on, so when they paraded on Fat Tuesday, I could be sure to catch one form the source--the malt liquor was used to celebrate my coveted haul (check out what I'm holding in my left hand).
*If you're looking for a really great vegan meal in New Orleans, check out Cochon in The Warehouse District. Although it's not a vegetarian place by any means, Stephen can cook up the best vegan food you'll be able to procure in our fine city.
129 Terry Pkwy
Terrytown, LA 70056