Food Oddities from the Union Square Greenmarket

Step up, step up ladies and gentlemen. Prepare to behold the most beguiling foodstuffs known to man. Mothers, cover your children’s eyes–the uncorrupted should not be exposed to such brutality at such a tender age. If you have a heart condition, please be warned. For what you are about to see are freakish anomolies, the bearded ladies of the food world. ADMISSION IS THE PRICE OF YOUR SOUL.

Now that that’s out of the way, on to our first STRANGE and EXOTIC food.

We all know our friend the watermelon—green on the outside, red on the inside. A staple at family BBQs and PTA-club meetings, watermelon watermelon see how it drips up and down my elbows spit out the pits. Well now prepare thyself and meet its freakish cousin…



Have you ever seen a sight so sinister? The red juices of life displaced by the corrosive color of decay. Or something like that.

Moving on!

We all know the carrot as the phallic root-vegetable we use to taunt deaf school-children. But no more! For now our orange-bodied friend has morphed, into a sight so dastardly I couldn’t even photograph it well…



How vile is our mother nature for playing such a trick! One hasn’t cursed the universe so since the advent of Paul Schaffer. Who ever thought it was a good idea to mike his laughter during Dave’s monologue anyway?

Finally, we come to a table of horrors so freakish and terrible my heart bleeds to post it here. Yet post it I must. For that bastion of summer eating–the lovely, elegant tomato–has been warped beyond recognition. Like a school bus filled with children dipped into a toxic lake, this table evokes the horrors of the modern age… presenting



Has your stomach ever churned so unexpectedly? Maybe you’re pregnant. For now I leave you to recover yourselves; regain your footing. Drop your money in the hat and please come again. I have kids to support.

10 thoughts on “Food Oddities from the Union Square Greenmarket”

  1. I’m horrified by these weird, mutant tomatoes too; who buys these anyway? Apparently they’re delicious, but I can’t get past their nasty appearance.

    Oh, and they yellow watermelons aren’t nearly as pretty as the red ones, but they are quite a bit sweeter, especially the small ones!

  2. The yellow, or golden as we call them in Texas, watermelons are absolutely yummy. They are so sweet. You should try one. Or if you’re apprehensive, at least a slice.

  3. Heirloom tomatoes are amazingly good!

    Yeah they look a little freaky, but that is more than made up for in the amazing tomatoey goodness that they are. Regardless of how I sound I’m not a tomato freak or even a tomato lover, but these tomatoes are simply marvelous. (And they are also really beautiful when you slice into them.)

    There are so many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, try one and after that you’ll never want a boring roma tomato again.

  4. I do! Adam! You have not really lived until you actually eat an heirloom tomato. Appearances are deceiving. These are the best tomatoes you’ll ever taste. Once you experience them (so many varieties, shapes and colors) you’ll never go back to supermarket tomatoes (which are bred for shipping and storage and not for flavor) and will mark your calendar for their harvest, every year. Toss them in your pasta, put them in omelettes, make fresh salsa, oven dry them. Sliced on a baguette with a little olive oil and garlic and broiled for a few minutes, they are scrumptious. Serve them in a salad or make a sandwich with a little fresh basil and cheese (I just cut them up and eat them with a bit of pepper). They are absolutely divine.

  5. I grow heirloom tomatoes and they are the most luscious tomatoes on this planet. The big beefsteak ones are incredible. This is what tomatoes looked like years before they worried about transporting them and keeping them for weeks. I have grown purple beefsteaks, black plum tomatoes, pink small ones but not cherry type, white cherry tomatoes, white beefsteak (White Wonder), you name it. I have even grown the most incredible Green Zebra that ripens a bit more yellow than green with stripes. They are all beautiful. They are all so interesting and tasty and when you make a whole platter of them, all in different colors, guests eat them and enjoy with surprise on their faces.

    When it comes to the carrots and the watermelon, I have seen red carrots and I didn’t think they tasted all that great. I have eaten yellow watermelon many times. I love it. It is incredible, delicious, especially when grown without seeds in them. Try one. You’ll love them!

    I think that what people expect of vegetables are the most boring of them all. I am a foodie and proud of it! I am a kitchen gardener, a chile-head and a person who bakes her own breads, rolls, calzones, pizzas, etc.

    You are not a foodie, and as you say, you are an Amateur Gourmet. If you were really a gourmet, you would love those interesting heirloom veggies. Not say terrible things about them. As we get older, we learn new and interesting things. I have learned about different colored veggies – and their tastes and textures. I have learned to eat olives (which I hated for years on end) and chiles (I now grow 8-12 varieties every summer). As we grow, we change.

    Hopefully as you grow, you will learn to enjoy these interesting veggies, not say terrible things about them.

    Try and learn.


  6. I should be more careful when writing tongue-in-cheek. I’ve had my fair share of heirloom tomatoes and think they’re wonderful. In the guise of a carnival barker at a foodie freakshow, I thought it was appropriate to call them hideous. You must admit on the outside, they are really ugly. But as Thomas Wolfe once said, “just because a three-headed sea-monkey looks freakish from the outside, doesn’t mean she can’t sing a mean show tune.”

  7. Actually, carrots were originally purple. Somehow they were made orange because it was thought to be a more appetizing color.

  8. wow, i was there this weekend too, and felt compelled to buy the purple carrots. however, i was much deceived, when you peel them, they are orange.

  9. If you ever get the desire to try out the colorful carrots, I recently tried a recipe for “Roasted Heirloom Carrots with Herb Salt” which is in the July/August 2004 issue of Organic Style magazine and it was mighty tasty. I’d be glad to share. :)

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