One of the most amazing things about the Minneapolis Farmers Market is the diversity of people and produce that visit the Market. I have learned about some vegetables that I never knew about. The other day I met Yongor from Liberia. Yongor came all the way from Atlanta, GA to buy kitily (some people call them bitter balls and there are also other names for them, depending on the country). She and her sister come to the Market, fill their trunks with bags full of kitily and they cook and prepare the colorful balls to freeze so they can make one of their favorite dishes all year round: Torborgee.
This story delights me for a few reasons. First, you have people so excited for produce that many of them haven’t been able to find (at least in bulk) since they lived in Liberia—and folks are driving from all over to purchase them. Then people work together and prepare the produce, freeze them and even sell them as an entrepreneurial venture. And finally, there are many growers—many of them Hmong farmers—who changed their crops based on this interest and demand for things like bitter balls and habanero peppers, and that is more entrepreneurism. So, basically, the community is coming together, working together, and supporting each other, right here at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and it is a beautiful thing.
And, as Yongor herself said, “These taste just as good as if you were back at home.”