The worst part of farmers’ markets, or at least Iowa City’s farmers’ market, is this: the market is just predictable enough so you start depending on certain people selling certain products.
That works until, one day, it doesn’t.
Today, for example, I stopped by to see Eric, the plants-and-chicken guy, because I wanted a frozen chicken. He had, he said, been cleaned out by the Motley Cow Café. And we needed honey, but the good honey guy — with honeys from different flowers (can you call those varietals?) — was nowhere to be found.
But that same unpredictability is what makes the market so great, so serendipitous. In weeks past, I had somehow missed the stall for La Renya, Iowa City’s excellent Mexican market and taco stand. Or, though it seems unlikely, perhaps it hadn’t been there before.
Whether new or overlooked, La Reyna was now selling frozen tamales, available in vegetarian, chicken or pork. Relatively reasonable, too, at $5 for four. Paired with salsa, the tamales — well-cooked pork, solid corn flavors and slightly fatty — were a fantastic lunch.
I should have bought more, because they might not be available next week.