More from Pretoria >> Hazel Street Food Market


In a perfect world, I’d wake up every weekend to coffee already brewing (magic!) and set off to explore a new outdoor farmers’ market, replete with homemade goods, seasonal veggies, and local handicrafts. I would come home with a basket FULL of goodies to share with my little clan of Diplo-Babes, and after snacking on some delicious baked goods we’d pile into our beautiful kitchen (equipped with Viking Ranges, duh) and prepare a nutritious feast. It would be the best of lives.

As I continue to dream about my future airy kitchen and gang of little mixed-race toddlers, I’ll share some photos from my visit to another Pretorian farmers’ market. If the Boeremark suited more the salt-of-the-earth kind of guy than your yuppie self, then the Hazel Food Market would certainly be more to your liking. Cupcakes! Craft burgers! Not one, not two, but three coffee vendors! Smoothies! Oh, and more meat than you’d know what to do with (that’s what she said?!)…

Here ya’ go:









Pretoria has been such a great time these last two weeks, but I’m finally leaving town tomorrow morning. As great a breather as these weeks have been, I’m very much looking forward to getting home to Dar. Two weeks away is a long time, especially when you were only planning on being gone for one. I’ve got a few projects due at the end of the month and many more ideas that have been marinating for a little too long, and I’d best get everything done before they – or I - turn sour. My mental to-do list always causes me greater anxiety when thinking about the items than actually tackling them, so as you’d imagine I’m a bit of a mess right now. Do you guys get all knotty inside too, or are you the completely reasonable, sensible, level-headed, project-managing type? If you’re the latter, well, I envy you.

I only have a few days to get my ducks in a row, though, as we’re off to Zanzibar on a cultural immersion trip sponsored by the Embassy next week. If you’re thinking that sounds rough, ummmm…yeah, it totally is. Knotty guts and all.

Pretoria Boeremark

Boere means farmer, or peasant, in Afrikaans- a language that I’m just now beginning to familiarize myself with in terms of its history, both far past and more recent. But forget about the country or language, you know me and farmers’ markets- I just can’t resist.

The boeremark in Pretoria is a popular destination, both for foodie-giddie visitors (yours truly) and locals alike. A farmers market plus flea market, it’s open to the public on any given Saturday morning, all year round. Given the beautiful, Northern-California-like climate around here, that’s not surprising. I visited the boeremark last Saturday, and got there just as things were winding down- around 9am. They sure do get up early around here!










Pretoria Boeremark
by the Pioneer Museum, Keuning Street, Silverton, Pretoria
every Saturday, 5am-10am

My love of markets, and a short personal history on eating well.

spring onions

I’m ethnically Chinese (mostly, anyway), so culturally speaking, eating is what I’m supposed to do best after playing the piano and taking SAT prep classes. And since my piano career was cut short due to never wanting to practice and SAT prep just wasn’t my thing (because my test-taking skills stunk), I tended to focus on the eating part, which I really excelled at. So, I make my parents proud, I think.

Due to my magnificent eating prowess, I’ve always known what it meant to eat plentifully and generously, though I hadn’t always been keen about eating wholesomely and healthfully. Thankfully my mother got pretty down with the California natural foods movement early in the 90′s, and my family would occasionally splurge on a farmers’ market purchase every now and again. Shopping and eating these fruits and vegetables made it easier to see the benefits of eating more sustainably, something that has become a national trend in the last decade.

fresh ears of corn

peaches at the peak of summer

Now that my parents are older, wiser, and frankly, richer than they were twenty years ago, these farmers market purchases are more of a weekly habit rather than monthly splurge. Whenever I go home to visit, I’ll accompany my parents on a trip to our local farmers’ market at West Valley Junior College. Now, I love seeing markets all across the world- you probably gained that through some of the entries on this blog throughout my time in China and beyond. But there’s really nothing that beats being home at summer’s peak, when there are buckets of blueberries, bushels of corn, and a bonanza of peaches, ripe and sweet in all their glories, just waiting to be purchased on a Saturday morning in sunny yet temperate Northern California. I know that was a long, run-on sentence, but it just had to be.

Plus when you throw in a freshly baked almond brioche, that’s the definition of #winning.

beautiful farmers' market blueberries

There’s been a clear and conscious lean towards eating healthier, more organic, and more local in the last twenty years. I’m happy to find that most of America is trending towards the direction of good food- away from the supermarket heyday and frozen food novelties of the 50′s and 60′s. (I guess when I say most of America, it might just be coastal America, but that’s all I’ve ever known. You can feel free to leave me nasty comments about this presumption, below.)

The main reason for my waxing poetic about going home to the market was to share with you this recent article from The Atlantic, which emphasizes the USDA’s support for local agriculture and farms. Because the better the local systems, the better your local economy. Support your hometown farmers today (or, this weekend)!!

Local Ice Cream from Scream!

The proof is in the pastry

I was in the states for about 2 months, and now I’m back in China. And most importantly, I feel like a normal human being again.

But let’s talk about my time at home. It was wonderful- intentionally unscheduled, with many trips to Whole Foods and lots of fresh air. I started eating like a normal human being again, in case these pastries hadn’t clued you in on that.

My parents shop at their local farmers’ market. Occasionally (every time), my dad will buy himself an almond croissant, but on one special Saturday he came home with a bag full of pastries.

I apologize for the slight blurriness of the photo. I attribute that to the sugar that was buzzing through my veins.