Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Trip to Shannon's Market

It was Thanksgiving week. My Godfather was already here and my sister was on her way down with her kids (my niece and nephews). My Godfather had initial plans to go to Showcase of Citrus in Clermont. Instead, he found some place closer to get his raw peanuts and red oranges. He let us know that there was a wide array of produce as well as other essentials that we would need for our Thanksgiving Dinner.
As papa Smurf and I drove through Z-Hills to get there, it’s a very sleepy and no frills town. Alot of senior communities and trailer parks. When we arrived to the market, we pulled up on a cute little red open air barn, with a dirt and gravel parking lot. Once we entered we were pleasantly surprised. All I could think in my head at that moment was “Holy produce!” Not only did Shannon’s have everything that we would need comprised in a myriad of produce but a selection of items I had not ever seen before. This selection included, cranberry beans (a fuschia speckled with lime green bean), prickly pears (cactus pears), Chinese eggplant, red yams, and another fuschia colored item that resembled sea urchins. Just to name a few things I had not seen before in my foodie life.  For every food item you can often find three or more variations; For instance, cabbage, red cabbage, and bok choy. Then there are green beans, pole beans, and as I shared earlier their cousins the cranberry beans lol. For yams, there are plain yams, golden yams, red yams, and oriental yams (purple in color I had never seen oriental yams before either). For onions, there are white onions, yellow onions, red onions, and shallots. With the fruits I noticed three different types of pears, red pears, white ones and green ones. Tomatoes and green tomatoes are also available. There is so much variety and everything is so fresh! Fresh herbs are cut straight from their plants. The selection is also abundant. Collard bunches are very very generous. One bunch moreso resembles three. Enough to completely fill a large brown grocery bag. There were lots of tropical and international produce staples available. I could go on and on about the produce. I stumbled upon some refrigerated goodies as well, which included homemade cream butter (just good old cream and salt). plants are also available for sale.

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The customer service is very friendly, inviting, hospitable and warm. If you need any help or have questions about the produce it’s no problem. The owner gave my sister a lesson on prickly pears and cactus pears. She is very knowledgeable, knows her products and produce. At checkout she made sure that we didn’t mix up our cilantro and flat parsely. During our last visit (oh yes, we made two visits in one week), we had all of the littles in tow; which included a 2 year old, 3 year old, and two 5 year olds. All loud and very busy! Shannon came over and offered the kids two baskets of grapes and napkins. One for each cart, as we had the kids situated two to a cart. Anyone who shops with one or two (let alone 4) in this age range knows it can get crazy! The grapes were right on time, and they kept the kids quiet and contained for the rest of the trip.
After our first trip we had our whole cart full of produce for the Thanksgiving meal. The total came up to about $25, jumped to $30 once our extra large bag of string beans were added. For a cart full we knew very well at one of the chain stores we could have spent about $75 or more easy! So for us the price was right and we will definitely be back!

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