November at Los Angeles farmers markets is shot with color: it's like our version of the gorgeous descending trees in other parts of the country. A stroll through today's Santa Monica market yielded Kabocha squash, baby pumpkins, crabapples, stinging nettles, Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons, Arkansas black apples, chanterelles and even early Meyer lemons.
You also run into a lot of people at the Wednesday market and not a few chefs. Today we ran into David Karp, the so-called Fruit Detective, who was taking pictures of finger limes with more camera equipment than we imagine James Cameron lugs around these days. Finger limes, if you're not among the initiated, are microcitrus with a kind of crazy interior, almost like caviar. Shanley Farms in Visalia will be bringing the limes to the market next week as well, so you might follow the trail of chefs to the table. And if you start seeing the little citrus beads showing up on various market-driven menus across town in the next few weeks, now you know why. "They're like Pop Rocks in your mouth," said Karp, explaining that the fruit was brought to California over fifty years ago as a botanical speciman. (Read more here and turn the page for a picture of the limes. And of everything else.)
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