January/February 2017 California Bountiful magazine
Story by Barbara Arciero
Photos courtesy of Craig Lee
Cookbook author celebrates farmers markets
Ann M. Evans says farmers markets provide a place for visitors to fully engage their senses.
Ann M. Evans has written the book on farmers markets—figuratively and literally.
A co-founder 40 years ago of the Davis Farmers Market, Evans helped people reimagine their options for purchasing fresh food. The market was one of the first in the state and remains somewhat of a standard-bearer among the more than 700 California markets now in existence.
"The reality of the markets today has far surpassed what our vision was at the time," Evans said. "Really deeply in Davis and in many other areas around the state, it has become almost the heart of the community."
Evans celebrates the pioneering spirit of farmers markets and their role in the community with the release of the revised "Davis Farmers Market Cookbook" (see Book Reviews).
The Berkeley native experienced her first farmers market at the age of 21, in Europe, and has since visited markets throughout the world.
"There's just a delight at being at a market," she said, with no small amount of enthusiasm. "You can just feel this energy pulling you in. You see this abundance of color, this cacophony of vendors. You're walking around looking at this beautiful produce, you're thinking about what to cook, you're maybe seeing family and friends. It's a bit of a social experience intentionally as well as a market experience. I see that everywhere I go."
When she isn't traveling, Evans makes it a point to visit the Davis market every Saturday—no matter how busy she is.
"I have a straw roller cart—I don't want to carry everything I buy—and I come back with these endless opportunities for cooking for the week," she said. "I just come back so happy."
Barbecued short ribs with dark sauce
White bean soup with Meyer lemon
Radicchio salad with blood oranges
Pears with blue cheese and walnuts
Devils on horseback
Candied orange or lemon peel
More online: Market delights Q&A