Sunday, May 13, 2007

Seen At The Market: Purple Basil and Papaya

Today I was strolling on Clement Street in San Francisco. One of the hidden stores to visit in this bustling neighborhood is the Sloat Garden Center on 3rd Avenue. So what am I doing talking about gardening in a food blog? Well, as I walked by the plants, I noticed these purple basil plants for sale. It's so hard to find purple basil to plant that I thought I'd blog about it.

Purple basil offers a different visual element to cooking and is very popular in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. I think the taste is more subtle than regular basil in Italian cooking, but I always have a hard time finding it. So if you also have a hard time finding purple basil, why not plant some in your herb garden? (For me, I don't have a windowsill or garden, so I don't get the full sun needed for basil to thrive. I'm just sharing this discovery for your benefit!)

I was on Clement Street because I met up with a fellow blogger, Emily, who just recently started these food-related podcasts on her new site, Eating Around SF. Emily thought it'd be fun to feature moi! So I thought we'd go grocery shopping at one of the main Asian grocery stores in San Francisco, the Richmond New Mei Wah Store on Clement Street. It was there that I first saw these huuuge ruby papayas. I was telling Emily how these papayas are different than what I saw growing up in Hawaii, where papayas where small enough to fit on your plate for breakfast. These were the size of melons. I'm sure they're a bit unusual because I've seen them a bit smaller, though they're still bigger than what I saw in Hawaii. These particular papayas are sweet and have a nice red color. In Hawaii there's a smaller version of this called strawberry papayas. I had to catch the BART home so I skipped buying one, although it was so tempting. Talking with Emily about food was a lot of fun and I realized I can go on and on when talking about food. Emily, hope you're able to edit it down to something interesting!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't have a garden or a window sill either, but those purple basil leaves sure do look nice.

Thanks for the tip about the podcasts! That looks like a neat site.