Taste: Shopping List, September 2006

Ingredients to look for at fall farmers' markets.

Mirai Corn
Corn in Indian summer is a local tradition, but this super-sweet version, grown at Pete’s Produce Farm, is more Far East than East Coast: The Japanese-developed hybrid ear was created for a balance of sugar, texture and bite. And it’s just as good raw as cooked. $5.95 per dozen. Pete’s Produce Farm, 1225 East Street Road, Westtown; 610-399-3711. Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Sunday to 5 p.m.

Apple and Pear Ciders
Chester County’s North Star Orchard creates off-the-tree drinks from its 60-plus heritage apple and Asian pear varieties. Slightly tart Eclipse apples and sweet Hosui pears make for tangy, fresh ciders, and both are available for three short months, starting now. $3 per half-gallon. Phoenixville Farmer’s Market, Taylor Alley and Bridge streets, Phoenixville. Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Satsuma Plums
Savor the last of the yummy stone fruits with this late-harvest plum whose candied, nonacidic flavor, dark skin and meaty flesh make it perfect for deep-colored jams. Price varies. South Street West Market, on South Street between 15th and Broad streets. Wednesday 2 to 6 p.m.

Cinnamon Basil
This purple-stemmed herb combines two favorite flavors. Try it in pesto, floating in a cup of tea, or mingled in a flower arrangement. $2 a bunch. West Chester Growers Market, North Church and West Chestnut streets, West Chester. Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Raw, this green “Mexican tomato” has mouth-bursting zest, but gentle cooking tames it. Try it in guac, salads or salsa. The veggie-fanatic crew at Overbrook Herb Farm grows tomatillos locally. $2 per pound. Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch streets; 215-627-2029. Wednesday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday to 5 p.m.