Almost as good as Greenmarket food is the packaging. The environmentalist brings muslin for cheese-wrapping, the fashionista has a repurposed gift basket on her arm, and there’s a chef with a wheelbarrow-bike. We just met the most produce-specific shopper yet: She has a thermal bag for dairy, plastic containers for tomatoes and berries, ziplocks for baby salads, and regular bags for everything else. We stopped smushing peaches into our purse to watch her shop.
From the overpoweringly fragrant cantaloupes to the increasingly colorful tomatoes and peppers, everything at the market sells itself these days — the vendors just try to keep up. But on the northwest corner of Union Square, you can enjoy some old-fashioned salesmanship: With his dapper suits and British-Australian accent, Joe Ades has been perfecting his patter for fifteen years, slicing carrots into strips with the imported Star peeler and offering to sell the very one he’s using to guarantee there’s no scam.
When the ground grows cold, root vegetables, winter squash and hardy greens start storing sugar to help keep from freezing. Why not stock up on some sugar of your own, in the form of cider doughnuts or molasses cookies?