Greenbacks and Greenmarkets

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There are a couple of rules for visiting the West Palm Beach Greenmarket, pictured here. You gotta bring a lot of dough. You gotta bring a dog.

And you have to eat at least one item that qualifies as pure junk while you're shopping. Like for example the egg and cheese sandwich on gummy white bread that the ladies were serving up at the Caribbean booth:

along with conch fritters. The happy meal above cost us $19. There are no price signs posted -- I have a feeling they eyeball you as you're walking up and decide what you're worth. On the other hand, these cider donuts --

were a relative bargain at $5. Although they were warm and sugary and delicious, two of us couldn't finish them. And we encountered a lot of other folks in our same predicament: wandering around offering their unfinished donut cones to perfect strangers.

Don't get me wrong there are some totally healthy things for sale, like fruit, and heirloom tomatoes, and organic mustard greens, and sprouted baby fennel, chives, and chervil from Swank Farms. But it's hard not to get distracted by beautiful French men, who were obviously separated-at-birth from Eric Bana, selling baguettes and chocolate-filled crepes.

Or not so beautiful, but certainly very nice, German guys hawking imported cheeses. Beautiful or not, Siggy was hard to resist: I was persuaded to fork over $12 for a little round cylinder of French goat cheese wrapped in a fig leaf.

We had it for brunch the next day with the French baguette, the chocolate crepe, and the tasty memory of the Eric-Bana-looking-Frenchman. That sweet, creamy goat cheese was so far superior even to our own homegrown Loxahatchee goat cheese that it felt like a bargain in retrospect, although I feel like a traitor admitting it.

You can also buy many varieties of orchid, plant, and flower at voluptuous prices.

And when you're out of money, the dancing is free...

...and so is looking at the dogs. Awwwwwwwwwwwwww.

-- Gail Shepherd

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