Best Produce

Colusa Market

The joke around the neighborhood is that Colusa Market, in the amount of space Safeway devotes to its bakery, satisfies every heart’s desire: Bearitos no-oil microwave popcorn, Ines Rosales sea-salt torta, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking flour, thirteen Aidells sausages and Aidells chicken and turkey meatballs, and fresh sushi delivered daily. The place is a boutique grocery minus the boutique prices. Now picture the bedraggled produce at most corner stores. Colusa Market owner Ik (pronounced Ike) Joh heads for the San Francisco and Oakland produce markets at 4:30 a.m. five times a week in the summer and four times in the winter. His trusty fruit knife at the ready, he prowls the stands, sampling fruit and vegetables. Colusa Market does not stock twelve kinds of organic white peaches — you have to go to Berkeley Bowl for that. Instead, it stocks the best organic white peaches — and that’s plenty good enough. Joh’s produce never rots before it ripens, it’s fresh as can be, and cheaper than at most farmers’ markets. About a third of the selections are organic. Those white peaches (yellow ones too) run you $1.99/pound. You can also find organic fennel, leeks, and abate fetel pears. Maybe Colusa doesn’t have organic red pears today — but you can bet the pears they do have are scrumptious. And isn’t that the point?



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