"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Suzuki Farms (NihonYasai) - October 31, 2010

野菜Have you ever lived in Japan, dined in Japanese restaurants, or are you tired of getting stuck in the traffic on a Sunday afternoon for a trip to Mitsuwa? For those of you who eat their vegetables and yet are uninitiated, unintroduced and unbefriended by the Japanese expat community, you are in luck, assuming that you are the lucky or unlucky ones living on the East Coast (those on the West Coast, you do not need this after all the Koreatowns and Chinatowns, do you?): Here, I bring you Suzuki Farms.

Suzuki Farms is a farm located in Delaware (hm...my chestnuts also came from Delaware...is Delaware turning into some kind of a hot spot for produce?), specialized in Japanese vegetables.  What are Japanese vegetables?:  Those shorter and smaller eggplants, okra, small and slender cucumbers, komatsuna (a type of leafy greens), kabocha (the best pumpkin ever, and, please, many places label it as kabocha pumpkin, which is saying pumpkin twice, which is kind of dumb, as in Table Mesa in Arizona), softer cabbage, and some overlaps with Chinese vegetables in terms of daikon (a type of radish), hakusai (napa cabbage), etc.  While the quality of Suzuki vegetables ranges from average to satisfactory, one thing is for sure:  They are fresh, and guess what, they are fresher than the very same vegetables sold at Mitsuwa and the handful of Japanese supermarkets in New York City. 

Of course, there is the shipping:  For a box of the Suzuki special ($30.00) containing a selection of approximately ten vegetables, the shipping is usually around $14 for the overnight delivery.  You have to do a bit of calculation to see whether this makes sense to you.  Some vegetables, mostly the leafy greens, come wrapped in moist newspaper as it is the best way to keep them fresh (and contrary to Fish and Chips, I do no think that the ink of the paper actually makes the vegetables taste better).  My particular favorite at Suzuki Farms, is wasabina, which is actually facing extinction due to lack of popular demand.  Wasabina, meaning wasabi and leaves, is a leafy green with a spicy and herbal undertone - good with meat or fish or just as is. I like to dress them with a peanut sauce.  Get it while it is still available.

Suzuki Farms (Nihon Yasai)

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