Manhattan Fruit Exchange

Question.  Where can mere human beings in Manhattan get good, fresh produce without endangering the rent money?  For a very, very long time, I had no idea.

This time of year, the local Greenmarkets stock a steady stream of potatoes, apples, pears and not much more.  Fairway is a trek and a half for most of us.  Lifethyme Market stocks great, well-priced vegetables, but the fruit selection is much pricier and a bit sparse these days.  Dean and Deluca, Gourmet Garage.  Arm, leg.  Whole Foods makes me entirely livid.  What is so whole about aisles of fruit that are “conventionally grown”?  Are we paying extra for just the idea of shopping at a store that markets itself as local and organic?  And really, a standard, everyday red pepper should NOT be 7 dollars, no matter which way you spin it.

I could really keep going.  Just know that I could.  Let’s continue.

My friend Matthew proposed a trip to Manhattan Fruit Exchange yesterday afternoon to check out its offerings, and address our produces woes.  He was right on target with the suggestion, even though I doubted him because it was in Chelsea Market and I dislike its dark, twisty tunnels, and lack of bathrooms.  Also, everyone walks all wrong in there. Skepticism (or is it irritability?) is part of my charm.

No one was more pleased than I to find piles and piles of well-priced, and super fresh fruit and vegetables.

The store was a fantastic mix of exotic fruits for those off-kilter culinary experiments, glowing stacked pyramids of citrus to celebrate the peak of the West Coast season, and piles of more potato varieties than I know what to do with.  Green gage plums, anyone?

Our foray also yielded fresh non-button mushrooms, and herbs being sold for 85 cents, and not in a clamshell!.  Huzzah!

Check out the colorful offerings.

The Fruit Exchange may not be the prettiest place you’ve ever shopped, but is well worth a trip for the prices and selection.  I already regret not buying more yesterday.  (Also, if you are really lucky, your fruit purchase may necessitate the purchase of an obscure kitchen tool next door at Bowery Kitchen Supply.  Just saying.)

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