Thursday, May 14, 2009

Market Update - The new folks in town

Before I tell you about some of my new favorite vendors at the market can I just say how much I am looking forward to strawberries? It's like I've been standing around tapping my foot with my arms crossed for weeks now.

Some of you may remember that I made a commitment to only eat apples all winter and I have to admit that I did fall of the wagon for a few in season in Florida pink organic grapefruits, but otherwise I have staid true to my apple focus. And can I just say I love apples and am not bored at all, to spite what I said about anxiously awaiting strawberries. Mostly I look forward to strawberries as something to mix into my rhubarb crumble, which I made for the first time last night, and as I write that I guess rhubarb is my first new fruit of the season, except of course it's not actually considered a fruit. I digress. Strawberry and Rhubarb are just a great, classic combo based on seasonal availability. It irks me that so many recipes you see (and this applies to cranberries as well) use orange rind and juice in them. Often these are recipes from chefs who give voice to seasonality. Oranges are great, I love them and as I've stated here before if they are in season in Florida or Texas or somewhere even vaguely closer to the Atlantic then California then give me an orange or a tangelo or a grapefruit. Otherwise if you are making a recipe with this in season quintessential "fruit" why add something to the recipe from thousands of miles away? This is just one of those things that in contemplating food and the idea of local I am trying to get to the bottom of.

Enough of the digressions:

Buffala di Vermont
These people travel all the way down to Union Square to sell their water buffalo milk products, it's a real trek, but it's way closer then Italy and until now if you wanted ricotta or the much cherished "bufala" mozzarella that is where you had to get them from. I made some roasted herbed and pepper ricotta last night and it was very yummy. An 8 oz container of ricotta is $8, check them out when you are next at the market.

Cayuga Pure Organics
I've often been perplexed buy the lack of what I would call larder supplies at the market, sure fresh is the main reason to go, but finding good dried beans, grains and flours has been hard. No more, Cayuga Pure Organics has a great selection of particular interest to me is there dried pinto and black beans.

As many of you know I have been threatening to get a grain grinder and make my own flour at home, but it seems less and less like something I need to do, in addition to Cayuga there is
Wild Hive Farm who carry a diverse selection of preground flours, multi grain, rye, whole wheat and all purpose. They also sell whole grains if you just need to mill them yourself. I love their whole wheat bread flour. Their flours start at $3.50 for a pound and a half and go up to $5.50 - certainly more expensive then your regular bag of flour from the grocery store, but I think well worth it. Also it makes you use your flour when it is fresh, as opposed to the big bag you leave in the cupboard for months on end, give them a try and you'll never turn back!

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