Local shrimp

The first week of October marked the opening of the local shrimp season, bringing with it a bounty of this sweet delicacy from the sea. Local fishermen J.R. and Manny Gorgita are catching the freshest shrimp local waters have to offer, as ocean conditions allow. Loaded with protein, iron and B vitamins, fresh shrimp is perfect for grilling, sauteing in a little garlic and butter, or when used to make a sweet shrimp pasta with freshly shaved fennel, as seen in the Fix of the Week on page D6. Available live on ice from the Gorgita family at the Tuesday Santa Barbara and Saturday Santa Barbara farmers markets. Be sure to get there early, as it often sells out. About $5 per pound.

Pickled Okra

If you like a nice hearty pickle with your sandwich, or maybe a little chopped relish on your burger, I highly recommend you try this new item from Jimenez Family Farm. Marinated in vinegar, water and salt, as well as garlic, chilies and dill from their Santa Ynez farm, pickled okra has great texture and flavor. Available at the Wednesday Solvang, Thursday Goleta, Friday Montecito, Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real markets. About $6 a jar.

Tahitian Squash

Grown by Tom Shepherd, this is one variety of squash that you must try. These monster 5- to 10-pound winter squash pack in the flavor and contain the highest sugar content of any other winter squash. The sweet flesh can be found throughout the long neck, where no seeds are present. Once you reach the giant bulb at the end, scoop out the seeds and enjoy the surrounding flesh. While it may be overwhelming to prepare such a large squash, simply start at the stem end and cut off the amount you need. The cut will heal quickly, allowing you to, for the next meal, cut off the healed portion, discard, and continue slicing off another section (keep in cool, dry place in the meantime). About $4 each.