Wednesday, May 20, 2015

New Market Discoveries

The sunshine and good times continue!

I hope you had a chance to get out to Opening Day of the 2015 Thursday Bellevue Farmers Market, but if not I have a first look at some of this season's discoveries.

Drumroll...please welcome Buffy Catering! No vampires here--just Middle Eastern food based on family recipes.

There's hummus, baba ghanoush, salad, turnover-looking things with cheese or sesame...

even a dessert/breadie item that doesn't look like the rugelach I'm familiar with but one-ups it by adding chocolate:

I do have to say, prepared food prices at the Market have been creeping up, just as they have at the grocery store and at restaurants! Fortunately we have a whole season in which to work our way through the various offerings.

Even if you don't want a biscuit, don't you kind of want the tricked-out van?
My daughter/Sherpa chose to get her weekly snack wages from new vendor The Biscuit Box. Their menu boasts savory and sweet offerings, of which the ham-and-cheese and the strawberry-jam are the respective bestsellers.

The Bao Biscuit and the Summer Sidhu Strawberry Jam
The verdict on the strawberry jam? "It tastes like Grandma's." A high compliment, considering my mother-in-law whips up her famous batches of freezer jam with Klicker strawberries from Walla Walla.

(And, speaking of strawberries, Sam of Collins Family Orchard says the spring has been so warm that THE FIRST STRAWBERRIES will likely make their appearance this week!!! Global warming does have its temporary upsides.)

While we're on a sweet note, you might have noticed our new Dolcetta Artisan Sweets. Creator Andrea used to be a pastry chef, and she's now turned her talents toward beautiful and beautifully packaged little artisan chocolates. A perfect hostess gift or reward for behaving yourself the rest of the week.

On my to-do list--the dark chocolate pretzel bar.

This guy
And, my final tidbit for the week, did you notice Britt's Pickles joined us on Thursdays? Not only that, but look closely and you might see Rome Doherty on board, retired from Camp Robber Jams.

Did you know most pickles (storebought AND homemade) use vinegar and cooking to achieve their flavor and shelf-stability?
This causes the cucumbers to lose most of their Vitamin C and enzymes and kills off the healthy bacteria which aid digestion, fight disease and provide amazing flavor.
Who knew, right? But Britt's pickles are raw, live culture foods, fermented in oak barrels.
The unique process of fermenting vegetables using lactic acid bacteria, which has been used for thousands of years, allows Britt’s Pickles to retain the rich rewards of the natural enzymes and vitamins in vegetables, even in the middle of winter. Natural fermentation interacts with the sugars in the cucumbers, garlic, and spices, transforming them into lactic acid & CO2. 
I'd read something about this, so I was excited to see this:

Uh-huh. A home fermentation kit with which you can take advantage of summer's approaching bounty. Pickles, green beans, carrots, asparagus. You name it, you pickle it. In a way that keeps the nutrients and probiotics you into wonderfulness!

I want
Naturally fermented foods have been around forever (think kimchi and sauerkraut), and their health benefits are only now getting press. I'm thinking everyone might get a jar of homemade pickled goodness this year, instead of the knitwear I've turned out to be really slow at!

Check in with the blog for more discoveries this season, or find them for yourself this Thursday, from 3-7 in the Bellevue Presbyterian Church parking lot.

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