In Marco Polo’s The Travels, he actually talks about where to get the best dates in the world (in the groves around Basra, in case you were wondering). Perhaps he’d change his tune if he’d ever made it to the Torrance Farmer’s Market in south Los Angeles.
My favorite stall at this market is the date man’s. He sells khadrawy dates, which taste like caramel, the brown-sugary medjool, and a honey-flavored date whose name I can’t recall because it just wasn’t quite as addictive as the khadrawy.
There are other reasons I love this market. The clientele is a mix of races and ages; the music is sometimes good, sometimes not; the herb man selling seedlings for $1; the honey vendor with his avocado honey; and the food court at the far end.
Here, next door to the kettle corn stall in the corner, you will find the home of the most amazing pupusas. They serve a huge variety, from meat-based (chicken, pork or beef) to black bean, and cheesy vegetable. The papusas are then stacked with a cabbage and carrot slaw, salsa and a Salvadorian cream. Just one warning: after eating them here, other pupusas won’t measure up.
Don’t forget to get some horchata, too, which has little chestnut pieces in it!