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News and notes from the San Antonio food scene

Soul food fest

Soul Food Fest, held in historic La Villita from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 20, and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, May 21, has expanded to two days to include a Friday night Gospel Fest. This year marks the sixth anniversary of the event, which celebrates San Antonio's African-American heritage. This year's event features musical entertainment, including jazz, gospel, blues, and hip-hop, and soul-food booths with everything from barbecue and fried fish to cornbread, collard greens, peach cobbler, and sweet-potato pie. In addition to a youth area with arts and crafts, members of the local Buffalo Soldiers Association will display artifacts and discuss the Buffalo Soldier's role in the Civil War. The event is free. For more information, 207-8618.

Farmers market

The 2005 Farmers Market season opened on May 1. We visited the farmers market at Olmos Basin Park, on Jackson Keller between San Pedro and McCullough, which is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. This early in the season, it's still just 10 booths, but even on a gray and rainy May day they are a cheery sight: fresh herbs potted and loose, potatoes, squash, onions, salad onions (a smaller onion, with long, graceful green stalks), kale, carrots, pickling cucumbers, cabbage, beets, kohlrabi, green tomatoes, and peaches. Only the peaches gave us cause for complaint; although juicy, they lacked flavor. Peaches are usually harvested in mid-May, but the Hill Country Fruit Council website cautions that peaches are a week or so behind schedule this year. For a city-wide listing of farmers markets, check out

Compiled by Nicole Chavez and Susan Pagani

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