Saturday, January 22, 2022

Spices and Rare ‘Shrooms at Marco Island Farmers Market

A visit to MondEpice Spices and Teas is similar to visiting exotic spice bazaars in India or the Middle East, without needing your passport. When the temperature dips slightly in Southwest Florida, head out to MondEpice for freshly ground nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon or ginger and start baking. Francoise Athea of MondEpice offers an impressive selection of teas, sugars, sea salts, and peppers from China, Brazil, Mexico and Sri Lanka, and specialty blends of herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of grilled fish, poultry or choice-cut beef.

Lion’s Mane mushroom from Mr. Fun Guy is very odd looking, with a flavor and texture similar to lobster or crab; sweet and stringy. According to William Nelms, aka Mr. Fun Guy, Lion’s Mane is also known for its immune enhancing properties. Lion’s Mane tastes best when cooked with very little enhancements. Tear the mushroom into bite size pieces and dry sauté until all the water boils away and the edges begin to brown. Add a pat of butter to the skillet (enough to coat the mushroom) and add finely chopped garlic until golden brown; add a pinch of sea salt and enjoy them as a side dish on a small slice of crusty bread. Keep it simple is the rule for Lion’s Mane.

All the vegetables and herbs sold at the Inyoni Organic Farm stall are Certified Organic and grown from seeds at their farm in Northern Golden Gate Estates. They do not use pesticides or fertilizers and are 100% GMO free.

What’s a Kermit eggplant? It is sometimes called Garden Egg or Bitter Ball, greenish in color and larger than a golf ball. This Asian favorite is fun to cook! Typically, they are great with curry-type dishes sliced thinly into rings or quartered before cooking. They taste great with ragout or added to your favorite stir-fried recipe.

Also from Inyoni Farm is a seasonal favorite – kohlrabi or German turnip, which is in the same family as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

Marco Island’s Farmers Market is at Veterans Community Park, 901 Park Avenue, every Wednesday from 7:30 AM to 1 PM until mid-April.

Reminder: The use of plastic bags are discouraged at the Farmer’s Market, so please bring your reusable cloth bags.


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