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October 31, 2011

Finding Halloween candy with Eat This NY

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Brian Hoffman, a fellow contributor to Midtown Lunch, hosts regular videos on his site, Eat This NY. The other day, I joined him to film his Halloween video, which profiled artisanal candy shop, Papabubble. It was my first time seriously shooting video and thus quite a learning experience. We also got to geek out watching them create some of the unique handmade candy right on site.

As I'm incapable of watching people work with food without photographing them, of course I took a few stills along the way. Check them out after the jump.

Continue reading "Finding Halloween candy with Eat This NY" »

July 27, 2011

Dekalb Market Open for Business

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Last weekend saw the launch of Dekalb Market, a new open air marketplace on the edge of Downtown Brooklyn. I had planned on writing an elaborate post about it, but it seems that's not going to happen soon, so I'll have to settle for a quick series of photos with a bit of commentary after the jump...

Continue reading "Dekalb Market Open for Business" »

May 23, 2011

A first look at Smorgasburg

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While the entire world was making rapture jokes, the food obsessed among us were making what could have been our last eating pilgrimage to the Williamsburg waterfront. If you haven't heard about it, the folks behind the Brooklyn Flea have expanded their food offerings into a new weekly event focused entirely on food called Smorgasburg.

Over the years, the Flea has become a destination as much for its food options than any of the actual market items, so it's no surprise to see a spin off like this. I know I was excited about it.See what was on hand after the jump.

Continue reading "A first look at Smorgasburg" »

May 9, 2011

Malaysian Jerky in Chinatown

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Reminiscing about last year's trip to Hong Kong inspired me to take a trip to Chinatown the other day. Wandering the area, I tried some egg tarts (more on that later), ogled markets, dodged knock off bag sellers and discovered this shop. They had me at 'jerky!'

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April 25, 2011

Hong Kong: Gage Street

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Walking through Central Hong Kong, it was easy to forget that I was 8,000 miles from home. There were skyscrapers and office buildings this way, hi-rise condos that way, Westerners abounded and English was everywhere. Central certainly didn't have any of the challenges of Saigon or even Tokyo in navigation or communication. I enjoyed exploring the area a lot, but it almost felt like cheating.

Then we took a turn off from under the Mid-Level escalators and found ourselves on Gage Street and found ourselves somewhere else, entirely.


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April 18, 2011

Scenes from Barcelona: Kiosko Universal

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Heading to Barcelona, I was obsessed with the Boqueria marketplace. I wanted to photograph it and sample all the different foods there, gorging myself on slice after slice of jamon and who knows what else. Once we got there, though, I ended up mostly window shopping, ogling the wares and wondering how one cooks a cockscomb.

On the one 'morning' we did eat there (and by morning, I mean afternoon), we went to Kiosko Universal.

Continue reading "Scenes from Barcelona: Kiosko Universal" »

March 19, 2011

Barcelona: The Vila Viniteca Food Market

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As usual, I took some time while we were in Barcelona to pick up a couple bottles of wine to take home. After reading about the selection available there, we sought out Vila Viniteca in the warrens of El Born, a neighborhood we ended up wandering around quite a bit. When we got there we discovered that it was much more than a wine shop.

Turns out there are three or four different storefronts, this one, above with stacks and stacks of wine, another for private events a third that we didn't get a good look at and a food market that captured my attention for a full half hour. Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "Barcelona: The Vila Viniteca Food Market" »

December 16, 2010

Hong Kong Food Finds: Cream Flavoured Collon

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Found in a Hong Kong supermarket. I'm pretty sure there's nothing I can say that will make this more ridiculous.

December 1, 2010

Hong Kong: Jackie Chan Approved!

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"Effectively Reduces Hair Fall" - Hong Kong Supermarket, Mid-Levels.

November 28, 2010

Analog Montreal: Charcuterie Hongroise

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If you've been following Analog UltraClay, you may have already seen some of the recent photos I posted from Charcuterie Hongroise. While walking up St Laurent toward Schwartz's on my last day in Montreal, I passed a few old school butcher shops that caught my attention.

It was the sausages hanging in the window that drew me in to boucherie hongroise. Montreal still has some of the old European style butcher shops that are quickly disappearing in New York.

See inside after the jump.


Continue reading "Analog Montreal: Charcuterie Hongroise" »

November 16, 2010

In The Kitchen: It's Soup Season

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As I've mentioned in years past, the upside of fall is soup. Delicious soup, rich and warming and filling in a way that pretty much nothing else is. This soup, made with pork, a special stock I had on hand and some really good pasta turned out to be ridiculously easy to make.

Continue reading "In The Kitchen: It's Soup Season" »

October 22, 2010

Food Finds: Liver Mush


Food Finds: Liver Mush, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

I'm in North Carolina this weekend visiting my aunt. In the past, I've pined for the wide open aisles and the extensive selections of the suburban supermarket, but here's one thing I'm not particularly jealous of: Liver Mush.

I suppose it's aptly named,but I feel like they probably could have worked a little harder on the branding...

September 20, 2010

Analog Flea: Owls

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Analog Flea: Film photos from The Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

September 8, 2010

The Brooklyn Flea brings back memories

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I'm behind the times in wholeheartedly embracing the Brooklyn Flea. I've been a fan since its inception, but somehow never quite made it over there very often. Lately though, I've found myself there weekly and loving the experience for all the new and old sensations they evoke.

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First, the history. Back before the development boom put giant condos on every block, the strip of 6th Avenue between 23rd Street and, say, 30th Street was home to what seemed like a dozen parking lots that all turned into big open air markets on the weekends. Vendors hawked old comic books, toys, antiques, camera, radio and electronic equipment and all sorts of other hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

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Second, there's all the food. The food vendors of the flea have banded together and besides being a destination on the weekends at the two Flea locations, they also sold food at Central Park Summerstage shows all summer. More on that to come.

I was going to try to do one post about the Flea and I realized that I couldn't really do it. Since I've been shooting analog on the weekends, I have accrued quite a few photos of the Flea on film. Over the next month or so, I'll post Analog Flea pics every couple days as part of my Ektar 300 series. some will include commentary, so will speak for themselves.

Stay tuned.

September 6, 2010

Eataly: The Staff

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The big story of the moment in the food world is the opening of Eataly, Mario Batali's transplanting of an Italian mega-market to New York. The gigantic space has restaurants, a bakery, a book store and a wine shop interspersed with market spaces selling meat, charcuterie & cheeses, gelato, produce and various other groceries.

The size and spectacle of the place alone is enough to work the eaterati into a lather. I know I was excited. So, Tuesday night, I joined the hordes and scoped out the lunch-worthy options for Midtown Lunch.

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The whole wide internet seems to be reporting on this place right now, so I'll dispense with that except to say that the food is great, the place is huge and it can be more than a little confusing to get around - especially when it's jammed with hundreds of other pushy foodies who absolutely need to be there right away.

That said, I thought I'd dedicate this Labor Day post to the remarkably attentive and friendly staff. More photos of these folks at work, including a spot check in the pizza kitchen from Molto Mario himself after the jump.

Continue reading "Eataly: The Staff" »

July 31, 2010

Self-Promotion: Promoted!

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Those keeping track of these self-promotion posts will remember that I won an honorary mention for this photo earlier in the spring for this photo from last year's Winter Market.

For my trouble, I received 20 rolls of Kodak Ektar film and the warm, fuzzy feeling of having my work appreciated. It was plenty and I was happy.

Then, I got a note from Kodak saying that one of the winners was disqualified, so I've been promoted to to Third place!

Oh, and how would I like my remaining 280 rolls of film.

Two Hundred and Eighty.

More. Rolls of film.
With 300 rolls to go through, expect more analog photos in your near future.

Update: Follow my progress and exploration going through The Ektar 300...

July 21, 2010

The Limelight Resurrected as a Mall

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I was a lame teenager. I didn't go to clubs or do drugs or even drink much. I spent most of my free time hanging out and wandering the city. But I certainly heard stories about Limelight, then a notorious nightclub housed in a former Episcopal church. I wasn't religious back then either, but it always struck me as pretty ballsy.

This spring the space was reopened as a mall, much to the dismay of many a former club kid. It is a bit of a shock, but to hear some people describe it, you'd think it was a desecration of holy ground... Oh wait.

So, with no real ties to its previous incarnation, I stopped in the other day to take a look at the space. See a couple shots of the space after the jump.

Continue reading "The Limelight Resurrected as a Mall" »

July 16, 2010

Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market Open for the Season

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Last weekend, the Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market reopened in our corner of Bed-Stuy. I only had a moment to pass through, but I was pleased to see that it's gotten bigger than last year.

The market will be on the corner of Marion and Malcolm X Blvd from 8am to 2pm every Saturday through October. It's awesome to have fresh, local fruits and veggies in the neighborhood, so please come out and show some support.

SF: Boccalone's Nduja

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While in San Francisco, I always try to swing by Boccalone in the Ferry Building. A couple years back, Chris Cosentino, the offal-loving chef of Incanto, opened up this Italian charcuterie shop selling all sorts of interesting salumi including 'fennel-orange' and this, nduja.

Pronounced, end-oo-ya, this spicy sausage evoked a bit of mystery last year when the NY Times wrote up a piece about it calling it "The Lady Gaga of pork products." So, yeah, that's a little stupid, but I had to taste it anyway.

Take a look under the wraps after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: Boccalone's Nduja" »

July 15, 2010

Food Finds: Soothing Teas

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Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

SF: 4505 Meats

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Unfortunately, I didn't end up finding time during my trip to San Francisco to do a butchery shoot with Ryan Farr as I'd hoped to do after meeting him at Cochon 555 in the spring. I did manage to catch up with him briefly at his stand at the Thursday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building.

I spoke to him for a bit while he was setting up and he gave me a quick taste of the day's special. It was all i could do to walk around and wait for them to start serving to get a full serving for myself.

Check it out after the jump.

Continue reading "SF: 4505 Meats" »

July 14, 2010

Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today

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Today, Boerum Hill wine shop, donna da vine expands into the beer and cheese market with a new shop called da vine provisions right next door. Tammi and I have been friends with Alyssa Becker, the owner, from back when she owned donna da vine wine bar across the street.

At the wine shop, Alyssa's focus has always been obscure wines from the pacific northwest that don't often make it to the New York market, so, I'm sure she's already on the case to get us beer from some of the small breweries in the west. Similarly, she's sourcing breads, cheeses and other items from small batch producers all over the place.

The shop did a soft opening over the weekend, but I wasn't able to stop in to check it out. I did get a chance to take a few photos of the space while they were still setting up. Check them out after the jump.
Expect a big opening party tonight with tastings of many of the beers, breads and cheeses.

da vine provisions, 355 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn - 718.643.2250

Continue reading "Boerum Hill's da vine provisions Opens Today" »

July 1, 2010

New Amsterdam Market starts a new season

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Sunday morning the New Amsterdam Market started up for the season. Obviously, I'm behind on some posts, so I'll just post photos from the the market. Over the summer, the market will be going on monthly, come September, it'll be weekly through December.

Photos after the jump:

Continue reading "New Amsterdam Market starts a new season " »

June 30, 2010

Butchery: Japanese Premium Beef

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About a year ago, a new Japanese Butcher shop opened up in NoHo. They specialize in Washugyu, Wagyu-hybrid beef that is raised in the Pacific Northwest to be deeply marbled like the beef from Kobe, Japan.

I stopped in once to get a couple photos, but haven't had a chance to get back to take a better look at their goods either photographically or to take home and cook.

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Most of the write ups about the place point out that it looks more like one of the area boutiques than any butcher shop. It's true and that's at least in part due to the fact that most of the meat is cut at their supplier, not on site.

I suppose that makes this shop more of a reseller than an actual butcher shop, and therefore not the same as my other butchery subjects. But, given how interesting and delicious the marbled beef I had in Japan was, I'll let it slide. Meat like that just needs a quick sear and it's ready to eat. If that. When we were in Tokyo I had some thinly sliced beef at a Yakiniku restaurant in Ginza that was so rich and wonderfully marbled, they encouraged us to eat it raw.

I probably wouldn't go that far if I were cooking it at home, but one of those steaks would be marvelous thrown on the grill for just long enough to get a good char.

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May 10, 2010

Butchery: The Offal Cook

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This is Chichi aka The Offal Cook. She blogs for herself and Serious Eats about cooking with all those wonderful bits of animals that get tossed aside and forgotten.

Much like I've taken my meat and photography interests to this butchery project, Chichi has followed her lifelong fascination with off-cuts to a similar end.

She has been writing a series called The Butcher's Cuts about traveling up to Kingston to learn about butchering at Fleisher's.

Given the similarities in our projects, It's really awesome to see where she's gone with it. Her posts have chronicled the lessons she's learned from her time butchering. She's also managed to come away with some awesome recipes for working with these cuts. I was especially excites to see what she did with a pig's head, resulting in both a terrine of head cheese and a batch of ramen stock. And because some things still shock me a little, I was fascinated with her account of (and recipe for) cooking scrambled brains.

If my posts on meat and butchery have been at all interesting, I'd definitely recommend taking a look at Chichi's column. Enjoy!


May 4, 2010

Butchery: Pure Ground Awesome!

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Sadly, I didn't end up buying this when I was at Fleisher's for the Pig to Pork trip, but a burger made of ground beef with ground bacon mixed in is something I have to try. Seriously.

April 23, 2010

Butchery Weekend: Going to the source

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After much scheduling difficulties, I'm finally taking the trip up to Fleisher's in Kingston, NY this weekend. Sunday, they are hosting a full day butchery class that I'm going to photograph. The event will go from slaughter to sausage and everything in between.

It should be an interesting experience and will give me whole lot more material to shoot.

April 21, 2010

Food Finds: Roland Snails

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Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

April 9, 2010

Vancouver: Granville Island Market

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I've been waiting so long to put together a post on Vancouver's Granville Island Market, that I'm just about out of anything to say about it besides that it was a lovely time wandering through it.

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We took one of those tiny boats there and walked around and ogled the food, particularly the meat, on display.

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April 7, 2010

Cooking: Easter Bunny

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This weekend, I took my own twisted turn at Easter dinner. Heathen that I am, I wouldn't have known when Easter even was if not for the Lenten lunch I had a couple weeks ago.

A recent article in The Times about rabbit as an upcoming food trend inspired me to finally seek out a rabbit to play with in the kitchen.

I've only cooked rabbit once, years ago, on a trip to Paris with Tammi. I found a whole rabbit shrink-wrapped in a market near our apartment in the Marais. I've wanted to do it again ever since, but prices and availability make rabbit more difficult to cook often.

I'm fond of rabbit, but the price point isn't really a good one for experimentation. This D'artagnan rabbit, purchased at The Meat Hook, cost about $30 at $10 a pound. Not cheap for something about the size of a chicken.

Follow the jump for the before pic and a blow by blow on how I cooked it.

Continue reading "Cooking: Easter Bunny" »

March 30, 2010

Butchery: More Dickson's Farmstand

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I've been showing my butchery work in a class I'm taking at ICP and got a bunch of feedback. Taking the feedback I've gotten from my classmates into account, I went back for another shoot at Dickson's Farmstand.

Mostly, I photographed the inside of the walk-in meat locker, where I could play with the flash without blinding anyone wielding a knife.

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While in there, I got a chance to get a closer look at their new addition, whole, young goats. They hung up in the back, looking a little creepy, but also delicious. Seeing them split up, I'm reminded of the large standing grills we saw in Argentina. Slow grilled like than and served with some chimichurri, I'm sure would be fantastic.

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It wasn't all just meat porn, though. I spent a few minutes taking some photos of Jake Dickson, the shop's owner and Adam, while he worked on a beef forequarter. Gotta love the action shots.

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March 25, 2010

Food Finds: Pork & Ham Loaf

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Chinatown, NYC. 2010.

March 22, 2010

The Spoils of Gentrification: Beer!

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The upside to demographic change in Brooklyn? Better beer.

February 11, 2010

Food Finds: Oriental Lychees

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Foodtown, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. 2010.

February 8, 2010

Butchery: Dickson's Farmstand

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Friday morning, I spent a couple hours at Dickson's Farmstand, the newish butcher shop at Chelsea Market. Jake Dickson graciously allowed me to come in to look around and photograph his place as a part of my Butchery project.

This session was the first step in expanding the scope of the project beyond the same guys I've been shooting. As I'm developing the idea behind the project and what I want to do with it, I need a larger representative group to hold up the ideas behind it. I hope to do more shoots over the next month or two, introducing more faces, hands, spaces and animals to the collection of images.

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At Dickson's, I spent most of the time documenting Adam, below, while he took apart three beef quarters. Adam eschews the term butcher in favor of the more descriptive 'meat cutter' and tries to keep closer to the traditional concepts of butchery that he learned when apprenticing under an old school butcher in Boston.

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One big difference in his methods I noticed is that Dickson's is equipped with hooks hanging from the ceiling that allow for easier cutting. I'd heard about this but hadn't seen it before. With the meat hanging down, pulling cuts off is significantly easier because gravity is on your side.

Adam used the same technique with hooks attached to his cutting table as well. It was interesting to watch.

Check after the jump for a few more photos. The rest are posted on Flickr in Digital and Analog sets.

Continue reading "Butchery: Dickson's Farmstand" »

January 25, 2010

Philly: Farmers Market on the Piazza

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Tammi and popped in at the new Farmers Market on The Piazza in Northern Liberties. It was the first of the weekly markets and a little small compared to the Greenmarkets in New York, but it was a good start.

There were baked goods for people and pets alike as well as veggies, meats and fish. Tammi found baked goods that she enjoyed and I ogled the meat sellers.

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There was fish, which I totally didn't pay attention to, but also meat and hens and roosters. I've bee particularly interested in roosters since the Kauai Jungle Fowl piqued my curiosity. The veggies were light, given the season. Winter veggies like potatoes and greens that were presumably grown indoors didn't really jump out at me as much as the prospect of picking up a rooster for another shot at Coq au Vin.

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I don't think Reading Terminal Market has anything to worry about as far as being a destination in Philly for fresh produce and meats, but for this developing neighborhood, it's great addition.

January 11, 2010

Cooking: Hearts Afire

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We got one last beautiful day for the year the Sunday after Christmas. Just before the current deep freeze, the temperature reach up into the 50s and I took the opportunity to fire up the grill.

Eric came over and we grilled the lamb and beef hearts that I got from Fleisher's at the WinterMarket.

I was attracted to heart initially for the spectacle of the thing. It just seems to odd and primal, how could I not try it after all my 'whole beast' talk? But after trying it, it's the flavor an texture that will have me going back for more.

The preparation was limited to cutting off the fatty and tough bits and seasoning it with salt and pepper.

We grilled them to about medium rare and cut them into strips with kitchen shears.

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The meat was dense and a bit chewy without being tough. The flavors were intense. They tasted like beef and lamb, just more so. The beef did have a slightly 'liver-y' flavor, but not overpoweringly so.

At this point it is far too cold for going back out to grill again, but expect hearts to be a staple come grilling season.

January 1, 2010

WinterMarket 09: Heartland's Winter Wassail

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It's easy to hate on Heartland Brewery. I've certainly done it. It's touristy and, Brooklyn-brewed or not, the beer isn't fantastic. But they do put an effort in and I give them credit for that.

They participated in the WinterMarket this year, just a block away from their Seaport location. To help battle the frigid temperatures, the folks here were pouring steaming hot mugs of a concoction blending beer, cider, rum, and a host of mulling spices. After nearly freezing my hand off taking photos and stuffing my face glove-less, this drink may have saved me a couple digits.

The heat, unfortunately, was really all it had going for it. The flavor was bitter, bringing out all the wrong parts of the ingredients. The orange peel and mulling spices and presumably the beer buried the innate sweetness of the cider instead of balancing it out. That said, the cold was hard enough that I kept on drinking it anyway.

A few minutes later, I came across a booth selling hot cider and I regretted not seeing it first.

December 31, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Oysters

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I typically love oysters, whether first thing in the morning or late into the evening. Sadly, the morning of the WinterMarket, I couldn't muster up the will to slurp down any of the ice cold bivalves on display. They do look gorgeous though, don't they?

December 30, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Fleisher's

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This bucket of guts and goodies brought to you by Fleisher's, the upstate butcher shop that has served as the training ground for many of the butchers that have been proselytizing the gospel of butchery in recent years.

Bryan apprenticed there through the fall and has continued to work there over the last several months and was working the booth with them at the WinterMarket. He introduced me to Jessica Applestone, who owns Fleisher's with her husband, Josh, the self-titled "MooRu". I'm hoping that next year some time I'll be able to visit the shop up in Kingston and photograph them and their apprentices in action.

For now though, I took advantage of the wonderfully priced offal and bought a pile of organ meats including a beef tongue, sweetbreads and a mix of beef and lamb hearts. The sweetbreads gave me some difficulty and didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, the hearts were awesome, more on that in a bit. I also bought a small pork roast that I cooked that night using Sara Jenkins' Porchetta salt that I also picked up that day.

December 29, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Porchetta

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Sara Jenkins' fantastic roast pork is what began my obsession with that rosemary and fennel scented lusciousness that is porchetta last year. So, it was wonderful to run into her booth at the Wintermarket on Sunday.

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My only disappointment was that the little porchetta sandwiches being served were not warm and fresh and custom made with requests for cracklins honored, but pre-made and chilled by the frozen temperatures outside. I guess that just means I'll have to make another pilgrimage down to the East Village one of these days.

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What was very cool was that she's now selling a packaged seasoning with Sicilian sea salt, fennel pollen and other ingredients that construct a semblance of the flavors she uses for her porchetta. I used it that night to season the pork roast I picked up at Fleisher's.

December 28, 2009

WinterMarket 09: Hot Pockets!

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The most amazing thing I ate at the WinterMarket was the "Hot Pockets" being sold by Quality Meats. Discard all thoughts of the vile microwave pastries made infamous by Jim Gaffigan.

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No, these incredible creations are filled with a mix of shredded Duck Confit and cheese and then pressed in a sandwich maker. So. Good.

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December 21, 2009

WinterMarket 2009

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Yesterday morning I braved the piles of snow to go down to the Seaport to attend this year's WinterMarket at the Fulton Fish Market.

I haven't written much about the New Amsterdam Market project recently, but it's been moving on track as far as I can tell. Starting this summer, there have been monthly markets taking place down there, but this was the first I'd manage to make it to since last year.

Despite the snowstorm, my fellow food nerds were out in force. I wasn't nearly the only one with a camera shooting food, servers and displays. It was great. I ran into Dave from Eating In Translation and we compared camera notes and geeked out for a moment.

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I wandered around shooting and eating and chatting with some of the vendors and had a great time trying out some new and interesting foods. Over the next couple days, I'll post some highlights of what I saw and ate.

September 30, 2009

Food Finds: Big League Chew

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Mitsuwa, Torrance, Los Angeles. 2009.

Who knew they still made this? It seems decidedly unwise to sell gum designed to look and chew like chewing tobacco. But there it is, still on the shelves somewhere.

September 22, 2009

Seattle: Pike Market

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One of the mot awesome things about Seattle and really, one of the selling points on why I decided to go out there was Pike Market. Not the market itself, specifically. Like most tourist attractions, it's jammed with people, making it impossible to navigate and a bit too sensational.

That said, the fact that a food market that specializes in locally sourced, fresh ingredients is one of the primary attractions in Seattle says more than anything else about the town's dedication to food. It's wonderful.


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For all my distaste for the touristy, I certainly found myself going back just to photograph the gorgeous foods and the people who offer it with such care. I only wish I could have grazed through it as much as I'd have liked.

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August 24, 2009

Philly: Breakfast at DiNic's

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I haven't had a chance to post about our philly trip yet, but here's a good start: for breakfast Saturday morning we split a Roast Pork Sandwich at DiNic's in Reading Terminal Market.

What better way to start the day?

August 21, 2009

Farmers Market Update

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It's been a few weeks since I sent out an update about the Malcolm X Blvd Community Farmers Market, here in Bed-Stuy. After the big push following the threat of Migliorelli pulling out, traffic has risen to a consistent level of about 150 customers a week. Many thanks to Brownstoner, Bed-Stuy Blog and all the other sites that spread the word.

We're still working on publicizing the market, so more of our neighbors know it's going on. This afternoon I spent an hour putting flyers in doors around the area.

On Wednesday, Tammi and I, along with some other volunteers and the Reverends Jackson. We discussed the plans to continue pushing the market forward and to host a fundraising event at the Brooklyn Rescue Mission next month.

Tara put together notes from the meeting and sent out a message with the highlights:

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For those who were unable to attend, here are some highlights:   1. The first fundraising event is scheduled for September 27th. This will be a "garden" party to be held at the Bed Stuy farm with cooking demos, music, and friends! This is definitely more of a community mixer: entry to this event will be low cost. We are currently working on reaching out to local businesses who would be interested in donating product for a raffle that will allow us to supplement money raised with the entry donations.   2. Market Expansion: Now that we've got Migliorelli staying and traffic to the market is increasing, the BRM wants to add more! If you haven't been in a few weeks, we now have a fresh bread vendor in addition to a baked goods vendor. There are still additional vendor slots available (of all kinds-though food is preferred) so if you know anyone who would like to become a vendor at the market, please contact brooklynrescue@msn.com. We're also looking for chefs and amateur gourmets interested in doing food demonstrations using Farmer's Market items. We're also looking for musicians interested in performing at the market! Come perform and sell your CDs!   3. Increase market attraction: Despite increased traffic to the market, we know not enough people in the community know about it. 150,000 residents and only a handful of volunteers makes it difficult. We're continuing with efforts to get the word out. We still have flyer cards that you can pick up at the BRM or at the market on Saturdays. Distribute on your block! We're also looking for contact information for the block associations in the area so if you are active on your block association, please email me! We will also be moving forward with an effort to put up flyers and posters on every corner in the neighborhood!   We want to keep momentum going, especially in light of the event on 9/27. We will be holding another meeting this coming Wednesday at 7pm. Please attend if you can! Meetings will not be as frequent but we definitely would like to meet and do as much planning and action as we can now. As you all know, the Brooklyn Rescue Mission has been getting quite a bit of press on the internet as well as in print (Daily News) and on TV (News 12 and CW 11), and its important to seize any and all opportunities to get the word out about the market and the Bed Stuy Farm! If you can spare an hour next week, please come and learn how you can help!

Volunteer's Meeting-Wednesday 8/26-7pm
255 Bainbridge btwen Malcolm X and Patchen
 
See you there!

Tara

August 14, 2009

Weekend in Philly

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This evening, Tammi and I are going to Philadelphia for a little downtime together. We haven't been there together since she ran the Philadelphia Marathon in '07.

It's just the weekend, but of course the food is pretty planned out. Tonight it's dinner at Amada, tomorrow, it's Osteria. We're staying right down the block from Reading Terminal Market, so I can't imagine we won't check out DiNic's.

Beyond that, we'll be wandering around, and enjoying the city. Tammi has a couple shops she wants to hit and I'll be photographing and such. It should be a lot of fun.

There will be Tweets, so if you want the bite-by-bite, follow away.

August 13, 2009

Markets: Food Dimensions

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I discovered Food Dimensions entirely by accident. Shortly after Tammi and I moved into our place, I was following a lead on a Western Beef Outlet, which turned out to be nothing special.

But on the way, I passed Food Dimensions, which just seemed like any other supermarket. The difference became clear when I got to the back of the store. The meat market takes up maybe a quarter of the store and there's often a crew of butchers working behind the counter.

Being right on the edge of Bushwick, the meat available is much more diverse than the standard fare at other similar supermarkets around the city. Besides the sausages in styles representing Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, there are cuts of meat that represented the concept of whole animal eating long before it became trendy. There are tongues and feet and tripe; skin and fatty bits are labeled as chicharrones. This is where I bought my first Lechon, the suckling pig I prepared Cuban style for our holiday party in '07.

They've also got a respectable fish market offering prices and selection not quite as good as Chinatown, but better than anywhere else I know. Last visit, Lobsters were available for $9 a pound, which is quite the bargain.

There are two reasons I don't include this in the Butchery series. The first is that the majority of the meat is packaged ahead of time, meaning there isn't necessarily always the same opportunity to work closely with the butchers to get what you want.

The other reason is that they've got a vast selection of Latin ingredients. Cactus leaves, espazote, chipotle peppers of both the canned and dried varieties, cheeses of many textures and flavors and so much more. Walking through the aisles is an adventure for me. I invariably end up picking up something I've never heard of just to see what I can do with it.

August 6, 2009

LA: Pizza Mozza 2 Go

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Following the market trend that has popped up here and there, Mozza has opened up a shop a couple doors down from the Osteria. It's called Pizza Mozza 2 Go. The name is pretty straightforward, but the store is not just a takeout window to the popular pizzeria.

Nancy Silverton stocks the shelves in the front counter area with some of the key ingredients that she uses at the restaurants as well as some gems that she's managed to source on trips to Italy.

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In the back room, customers can wait for their pizza over a glass of wine. The waiting area looks awfully familiar to the New Yorker's eye, with marble-topped tables that look to be the same as those used in the large bar area at the front of Otto.

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And really, because I can't stop raving about Mozza, this is what I had for dinner that night. The housemade fennel sausage was fragrant and wonderful.

July 29, 2009

MXB Market: How to Help

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First of all, I'd like to thank Brownstoner for helping let folks know the situation by posting this afternoon about the potential loss of Migliorelli from the market.

Secondly, Tara followed up the email I posted Tuesday with another message letting anyone interested in volunteering know how they can help support the Farmers Market, Brooklyn Rescue Mission and fresh, healthy food in Bed-Stuy. If you would like to contact her to assist in one way or another, please email her at teefiveten (at) gmail.com.

All of you are receiving this email because you expressed interest in volunteering for the Malcolm X Community Farmer's Market. Thank You!

I too am a volunteer and it has been a very enjoyable experience. There are a lot of parts to this market and a lot of different opportunities available to help and donate your time and talents! Here's a bit of an overview of the areas where volunteers are needed.

1. Flyering-Right now, we're in the middle of a HUGE push because we are facing the possibility of Migliorelli Farms, the primary vendor, pulling out after this week due to lower than expected sales. While there are backup farms lined up, obviously we want to keep what we've got because they do bring quality produce and are well known (they sell in markets across the city, including Union Square). The market attendance has been growing steadily the past few weeks but we still need to reach a lot more people. We have colorful flyer cards prepared. There will be some very early morning flyering around the area of the market (Bainbridge, Decatur, Macon, Macdonough between Stuyvesant Av and Malcolm X) this Thursday and Friday morning at 6:30am. If you are available and would like to help, please email me back. If you'd like to do some flyering on your own, let me know and we can coordinate a time for you to pickup flyers from either myself or from the mission directly. Please be sure to let me know what areas you would like to cover so that we do not repeat. I will say right now we need some flyer coverage between Throop and Patchen on Hancock and Halsey Streets.

2. Market Setup and Breakdown-The market runs from 8am-1pm. Volunteers are needed between 7-9am to assist with setup and between 1-3pm for breakdown. Setup involves bringing tables and tents from the Brooklyn Rescue Mission (whichis up the street from the market at 255 Bainbridge) to the market, sweeping the market area, and setting up the tables and tents and signs. Any items that will be sold by the mission on the vendor's behalf will also be setup on the tables. All vendors who sell their items directly are usually responsible for their own setup and breakdown and volunteers do not participate. However, one of the baked goods vendors usually needs some assistance in packaging her freshly baked cookies. Breakdown involves bringing back all tents, tables,and unsold items back to the mission. A car is not necessary but would be helpful during setup and breakdown to minimize the number of trips that need to be made back and forth to the mission.

3.Market Duties-during market hours, volunteers are needed to take customer counts, do some additional marketing/flyering nearby, sell any items that farmers/vendors "drop off", as well as administer customer surveys and obtain signatures for an ongoing petition. There are no specific shift times-whatever times you are available between 8 and 1 will work.

4.Petitioning-Some of you are aware that the mission also has a farm, located on Decatur between Malcolm X and Patchen. This farm is currently on city-owned land, so there is the real possibility that it may be sold. The mission is gathering 1200 signatures in support of protecting the property from a land sale. We are obtaining hand signatures during the market but there is also an online petition if you'd like to send it to your contacts.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/save-bed-stuy-farm

5.Fundraising/Event Planning-this area is in desperate need of more people,as I'm currently the only volunteer on this front :). The market does have some overhead as far as materials and printing and other aspects of its operation. We'd like to hold some fundraising events as well as some other events to involve the community to raise awareness about the market, the Bed Stuy Farm, and the Brooklyn Rescue Mission in general. Some ideas thrown around include a Farm Tour/Open House, a Locavore Fundraiser Dinner, as well as a cookoff where contestants would use foods sold at the market. These events are all in the early planning stage so help is needed to move these further along.

6.Harvesting-If you have a bit of a green thumb or just like to get dirty, there are opportunities to volunteer on the farm and harvest all the ripened items grown on the farm.

For those of you most interested in direct market duties, please take a look at our calendar link below. Email me with what market duties you are most interested in as well as dates and times you will be available and we will pencil you into the volunteer calendar. The market runs until November so if you could give us your availability just for August, we will send follow up emails for the other months. We just ask that if you cannot make your assigned 'shift' that you let us know 3 days in advance so that we may make sure we are covered for the week. If you haven't already come to the market, please come by this weekend  and introduce yourself and learn more if you can!  The Reverends are there all day. Don't be shy-you can ask anyone for Robert or DeVanie Jackson.

http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=ppdad6lr5ai4c4mft92e078p7k%40group.calendar.google.com&ctz=America/New_York

Thanks again for volunteering. I hope to see you at the market soon!


Thanks,
Tara


July 28, 2009

An Updated Update: MXB Farmers Market in Danger

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No sooner had I posted about some of the goodies at the market last weekend than I get word that it might not be there when I get back from LA. The short version is that the farmer who has been bringing the majority of the great quality produce to the market plans to pull out because they aren't getting enough business.

Below is the message from Tara, who has been involved with the organizing for the market. It includes some solid steps that each of us can take to help save the market. Please read through, but the key thing to do would be to come out to support the market and to tell as many people as you can about it.

Here's Tara's message:

I know at this point some of you are probably sick of my Farmer's Market emails, but I ask that you please bear with me yet again because this is really important.

On Saturday while I was at the market, we got word that Migliorelli Farms, the sole farmer's vendor at the market at this time, will not be back after this coming Saturday, as the sales at the market have not been enough to cover their expenses (labor and gas) in coming out to the market. While the number of people visiting and purchasing at the market has been increasing (we do customer counts), it has not yet been sufficient. The market has only been open three weeks this season so this is definitely not good for momentum.

While the Brooklyn Rescue Mission will not be deterred and there will always be a market on Saturday, this is definitely a setback, as it took many calls and emails on their behalf to get a farm such as Migliorelli to sell at the market and will take even more effort to find a replacement vendor. The BRM is only interested in bringing quality food to the neighborhood so to have a farm like Migliorelli, that also sells in Union Square, was definitely a big step towards having more food equity in the area.  Unfortunately, there just hasn't been enough of a presence by local residents. Bedford Stuyvesant is a large neighborhood and despite the ads in the local papers, blog postings, emails, the several thousand flyers distributed throughout the area, there are definitely still some people we haven't yet reached, but there are also a lot of people who do know about the market and have chosen to not visit it, for whatever reason. This is unfortunate as those who have visited have been very pleased with the selection, quality, and price of the produce. We've also added a fresh bread vendor and the Brooklyn Rescue Mission is still working on bringing more vendors on, such as a honey vendor.

This email isn't to shame Migliorelli as it is understandable that they need to meet their margin and cannot operate at a loss. This is more of a "community call", as it seems we are proving the case many have been saying about Bed Stuy: that we cannot maintan and sustain a farmer's market in this community. I don't believe this, the Brooklyn Rescue Mission doesn't believe this, and they are working hard to prove these people wrong. You can help by coming out this Saturday, August 1st and visiting the market and doing your produce shopping for the week at the market. I also ask that you keep coming as often as you can after this Saturday but I truly believe that after you come on Saturday and see what the market has to offer, you'll come regularly on your own because it truly is growing into something the community can be proud to support. I know we all have our likes and dislikes about the community and access to quality food is definitely one of them. It isn't enough knowing that there's a market in the area-we have to support it as well to make it sustainable!

Malcolm X Community Farmer's Market
Malcolm X Blvd between Marion and Chauncey Streets-in front of Jackie Robinson Park
8am-1pm (Migliorelli often stays past 1pm)
A/C train to Utica Avenue (the market is right around the corner!)
B46 or B25  to Malcolm X and Fulton (market is right across the street!)

If you want to "see" what the market has to offer, check some of the photos taken by some bloggers who have come by the market:

Off To Market (DigitalTammi)

A Farmers Market Grows in Brooklyn(UltraClay)

Saturday is Farmers Market Day
(Bed-Stuy Blog)

Please tell everyone you know! If they live in or near Bed Stuy or love local produce or is just down to support something that helps build community-tell them to come out this Saturday. I hope to see you there. If you cannot make it out on Saturday, you can help us this week by picking up some flyers at the Brooklyn Rescue Mission to distribute-contact me for more information. I have to plug yet again that there are other volunteer opportunities relating to the market so you can contact me about that as well.

Thanks,
Tara

July 27, 2009

MXB Farmers Market Update

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On Saturday, before heading to JFK, I went to the Farmer's Market with Tammi. I grabbed some apricots and sweet plums (above) for the flight.

Tammi stuck to help out. She wrote a post on her blog about what they were selling this weekend, including a new seller that sounds like it attracted a crowd:

Fresh bread made with all natural ingredients, provided by Rick of R&R Distributors. This bread comes from Silver Bell Bakery in Corona, Queens. The bakery has been around for 100 years. Rick had crowds around him for a good part of the morning. People just couldn't get enough of the bread. He also sells whole wheat pasta and gluten free items...

It'll be another couple weeks before I can get back to the market, but it sounds like it's going well. As always, if you live in the neighborhood, I urge you to go out and support it.

July 17, 2009

Reminder: MXB Farmers Market Week 2

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Just a reminder here for all those in the neighborhood that tomorrow is week 2 of the Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market, brought to us by Brooklyn Rescue Mission.

Yesterday, Brownstoner featured my post about last week's market.

Tammi also posted about it on her blog and Erica, a neighbor we met last weekend put together a slideshow on her blog, Erica Eats.

We're all trying to publicize this as much as we can. Hopefully when I'm next in town for the market, that it will have quite the following.

---
Malcolm X Blvd Farmers Market
Jackie Robinson Park
Malcolm X Blvd and Marion Street, 1 block from Fulton Street

For more information about the market or Brooklyn Rescue Mission go to:

http://brooklynrescuemission.org/farmstand.aspx

To volunteer, call 718 363-3085

July 12, 2009

A Farmers Market Grows in Bed-Stuy

Malcolm X Blvd. Community Farmers Market

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Yesterday morning, Tammi and I put our time where our mouths are and volunteered at the first market of the season of the Malcolm X Blvd. Community Farmers Market here in Bed-Stuy.

My initial fears of just about anything done in the neighborhood is that it'll be half-assed. I've seen it over and over, people have big ideas but nothing to back it up. But my worries were unfounded. While a little disorganized, the market brought a great turnout of volunteers and what I hope is just the beginning of neighborhood denizens taking advantage of the only farm fresh fruits and vegetables on offer for miles.

The Reverends Jackson, who run this farmers market as a part of the Brooklyn Rescue Mission (more on that later) have managed to bring in some farmers from the Greenmarket circuit this year. Yesterday, folks from Migliorelli Farm offered some great vegetables, including baby fennel, bok choy, various braising greens, Japanese turnips and good selection of fresh fruits.

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Later in the morning, there was a cooking demo where this woman, who I didn't get to meet showed folks how to prepare many of the ingredients on hand.

Another farmer supplied 100 lbs of organic beans to the mission to repackage and sell per pound. Tammi, along with some other volunteers and summer youth workers divvied them out into one pound packs. When I saw the rich, deep colors of the black and the dark red beans, I had to buy some for myself.

In fact, I had to run back home to get a bag to haul back all the veggies that I bought.

Next week more farmers tables will be up as well as someone selling fresh baked bread and artisanal honey, among other things.

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If I'm gushing here, it's because I'm very excited to have something like this in the neighborhood. I've lived in Bed-Stuy for a long time and there has been a dearth of markets offering anything fresh for the last decade. It's about half a mile from my house to any place offering any vegetables that aren't shriveled and moldy. Having this mere blocks away will alter the quality of life in this area for tons of us who have been trekking to Fort Greene or Park Slope or Union Square to get food that has been well cared for.

I'm going to be out of town for a fair portion of the rest of the summer weekends, so I want to do my part to make the market a success by spreading the word as much as I can. I hope to post regularly about which sellers will be coming in and what food will be available.

Stay tuned.

Malcolm X Blvd. Community Farmers Market
Jackie Robinson Park, Malcolm X Blvd and Marion Street
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Saturdays, 8am - 1pm through the summer.

June 24, 2009

Butchery With Bryan


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Yesterday, I had the privilege of going behind the counter of Provisions in Fort Greene to photograph some butchery in action. Bryan has shown up here before in his experiments, curing lamb and trying to bring kid goat to the masses. I stop in from time to time just to see what he's been working on.

The other day, I asked if I could come in one day when he was taking something apart and he was awesome enough to allow me to watching dismantle a whole beef leg. It was quite impressive to see.

I'm generally working on a photo project about people working with food, particularly meat. I have no idea where I'm going with it, but this shoot should help me develop it further.

To see the photos, in all their gory details, see the set on Flickr.

Markets: Garlic Scapes

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I discovered garlic scapes a few weeks ago at the farmers market. I had read the name before but had no idea what they were or what to do with them. That's generally enough to inspire me to try something out, but I was particularly interested because of its intriguing shape.

I've heard that a great way to prepare them is to grill or broil them, but so far I've only sauteed them. To date, I've tossed them in with noodles and sausage and Tammi stir-fried them the other night.

We have a few more in the house from our CSA haul, so I might find something else interesting to do with them tonight...

May 26, 2009

Seaport Market: Attempt #1

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When I read about the new market opening up in the old Fulton Fish Market stalls every weekend this summer, I excited. Visions of weekly versions of the New Amsterdam Market danced in my head.

Saturday morning, Tammi and I toiled in the garden for a few hours before heading into Manhattan. The Seaport was to be our first stop. Sadly, this is as far as we got. I couldn't bring myself to wade through the ridiculous crowd of tourists to get to what I'd been warned by Eric was a fairly underwhelming display.

Some time this summer I do want to check out this market as well as the new Water Taxi Beach, so stay tuned...

May 20, 2009

Food Finds: Ackee

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Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica.
The flesh of the fruit is thick and reminds me of a firmer scrambled egg. It's typically served sauteed with cod, called saltfish in the 'old country,' along with onions and peppers.

I never had a lot of it when I was growing up, but these days I associate it with visits to see the family over the holidays.

One of these days, I'll spend some time cooking my ancestral foods and maybe I'll give this a try.

May 18, 2009

Butchery: The Halal Market

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When I want to buy a leg of lamb for a party, I typically go to one of the halal markets down on Atlantic Avenue. I prefer it mostly for the ephemeral reason that it just seems a little more authentic. But I also like it because it's not nearly as expensive as the shrink-wrapped New Zealand lamb that I find in my local Foodtown. And it's fresher too.

It doesn't hurt that the place I usually go to is right next to The Brazen Head. Coincidentally, of course.

It's also just down the block from Sahadi's, which is one of the best spice markets in the city. That's a good thing too, as this market is always a little barren. There's a row of legs on display like this and shoulders and other cuts in the walk-in in the back. Besides that, there are boxes of grains and seasonings, but otherwise it's an empty space.

Halal Meat Market
232 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn,
(718) 625-2781

May 15, 2009

Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon

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After many failed attempts, I finally got my hands on this slab of lamb bacon from Provisions. Even better, they are now curing more on a regular basis so getting another batch won't take nearly so long.

First observation: As you can see here, it's very fatty. There's more meat in there that the sliver visible in this picture, but the fat is prominent.

My first experiment was to cut strips and wrap them in dates. I love bacon wrapped dates and I figured the combination of North African/Middle Eastern ingredients would go together well.

This wasn't as successful as I'd have liked. As my first try cooking the bacon, I realized afterward that I had no idea how crispy the bacon cooked on its own. When I cooked it more lightly, it was a little too gummy and was difficult to cut through with your teeth. When I left it to cook longer, it crisped up too much and had a burnt, gamy flavor that wasn't so great.

There is probably a perfect medium in there somewhere, but I didn't want to waste my entire slab trying this out, so I shelved that idea.


My second, more successful idea after the jump...

Continue reading "Finally! Provisions' Lamb Bacon" »

May 12, 2009

Gardening Time

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With the spring weather finally becoming bearable, Tammi and I have finally taken on taming our backyard. She's got various flowers that she wants to plant and I've been eying veggies and herbs, like this basil plant I caught at the farmers market last weekend. So far, I've planted oregano, lemon thyme, rosemary and a selection of various hot peppers.

In years past, I gardened heavily. My old apartment had full sun and my was garden full of tomatoes, peppers, squash, and herbs galore. I've got some feeling around to do to figure out what will work out in this yard, which is much more heavily shaded.

May 1, 2009

Butchery: Jeffrey's Meat Market

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If there's anyone on board with the whole 'Butcher as Rockstar' meme that I've been writing about, it's Jeffrey Ruhalter, proprietor of Jeffrey's Meat Market in the Essex Street Market. He's a self-described "RFB," Real Fucking Butcher, and a fourth generation one at that.

Passing by his shop, you're going to know who he is immediately. Every surface that is not displaying meat or prices is dedicated to Jeffrey: His name is in neon lights and his image reproduced a dozen times over in portraits and caricatures.

The only time I've actually shopped at Jeffrey's, I was a little put off by his outsized personality. I ordered a couple pounds of beef cut up in chunks. He immediately inquired further about what I wanted to use it for. When I said chili, he insisted that the meat must be ground. He'd use a course die, so the pieces would be big and thick. This is when I got the "RFB" spiel and the guarantee that it would be better his way.

I can't argue with results. The chili came out very well and the meat was just right.

I've recently read that Jeffrey has jumped on the butchering class bandwagon, which I can totally see. His classes go beyond the pig and lamb that Mylan has done at Brooklyn Kitchen and also has a class all about fowl, including game birds.

Jeffrey's Meat Market
Essex Street Market
120 Essex Street (at Delancey Street)
New York, NY 10002


April 7, 2009

NC: Tienda Vaquita

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Across the small parking space of Taqueria La Vaquita, sits a Mexican marketplace that reminded my aunt of the little shops in the country back in Jamaica.

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She and I went in looking for dried chipotle peppers, above, which she had been looking for for some time. While there, though, we found a variety of other peppers along with jamaica (sorrel) and tamarind, which brought back more memories.

To my surprise, I found powdered lime, an ingredient called for in a recipe for Posole in a Mexican cookbook I got a couple years ago. Despite concerns of being detained by the TSA or the DEA, I managed to get this home without incident.

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April 6, 2009

Butchery: Sagal Meat Market

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I first noticed Sagal on Broadway in Bushwick while driving through the area heading to Williamsburg. One of my friends saw it first: The giant sign in Spanish that read, "Order Your Lechon for the Holidays!" This was in November, a few weeks before the wedding, but it prompted him to ask if I was roasting another pig for the holiday party. A month later, I was in the store picking up my piglet, the lovely specimen you see here.

Sagal is not like the other butcher shops that have been highlighted of late. It's old school. It's not hipsterfied, and not looking to do interesting shit. There's no intellectual curiosity involved in making the cuts. There's no playing with food.

I love playing with food, but I really appreciate the straight ahead approach of an old-style shop that's got all the "old country" cuts. I'm a bit of an oddity there. In my visits, I'm usually the youngest customer in the shop, standing in line behind a row of older women, picking up meat to cook the way they've been cooking it for generations. When I ordered the suckling pig on my first visit, one of the butchers dubbed me "Señor Lechon" presuming I wouldn't understand him. I laughed and another butcher nudged him.

One major advantage over the hip butcher shops is that Sagal has some real bargains, including a dozen varieties of family packs, starting at $30 going up to $100, which can get you a collection of chickens, chops, steaks and guts totaling over 40 pounds.

I recently discovered that a new Sagal is in Bed-Stuy, on Fulton, near Nostrand Avenue. I checked it out this past weekend and will be posting about that pretty soon.

April 1, 2009

NC: Free Range Pork

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As penance for my supermarket envy, I insisted that we go to the Farmers Market first thing Saturday morning. I was well-rewarded.

I had read about the pork available at the market in Carrboro, outside of Chapel Hill particularly of the Ossabaw heritage breed, so that's what I was seeking out.

There were a number of stalls selling meat, many of which offered pork, but this was the only one that had fatback on sale. And at $1 a pound it was already a bargain.

After talking to the seller, above, I walked around some more, checking out the other vendors and considering how much pork I could fit in my carry on. When I came back around, I looked at how much he had and what sizes were available. Before I could decide on how much to buy, he offered the entire batch for $3. I walked away with 7.3 pounds of fatback...

I crammed it in my bag and got it home this morning without incident. Before the week's over, it'll be turned into lovely liquid gold, ready for frying or a glorious batch of pork confit...

March 28, 2009

Markets: The Suburban Supermarket

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I could never live in the suburbs for any number of reasons beginning with the fact that I don't drive, an essential skill in any place outside a real city. Beyond that, the suburban aesthetic and the concept of the subdivision offend me to my quite citified core.

But, there is one thing that I find attractive about the world outside of The Big City: the supermarkets like this one we visited near Chapel Hill while visiting my aunt.

They are gigantic. And Clean. And full of so many wonderful things that I temporarily lose my sympathy for local small businesses and pine away at the many, many options on hand.

The airplane hanger-sized space is full of so much wonderful stuff that I find myself wandering through the aisles wistfully, raising my arms to full length and appreciating all the space. It's like a different world.

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Another wonderful feature of the supermarkets outside of New York is that they stock wine, something that is still unavailable at home. Racks and racks of bottles of medium to low-priced wines are on sale in the same place you get the rest of your groceries.

The selection does not include the highest end bottles, but it has more than enough wonderful everyday bottles.

Given space and legal concerns, I don't expect to see a place like this in NYC-proper for some time, but I can dream. . . .

March 16, 2009

Markets: HMart

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HMart is so ridiculously convenient to my office that I would probably love it just for being there even if it wasn't such an excellent source for otherwise obscure or hard to find ingredients.

Right in the middle of the KTown strip, stopping there on the way home takes me all of a block out of my way.

Marbled Short Ribs

Add to that the fact that I can get beef short ribs, pork belly, udon noodles and a vast array of Asian spices and condiments, and I'm amazed I'm not there every day.

H Mart NYC
25 W 32nd St # 1
New York, NY 10001
(212) 695-3283

March 13, 2009

NC: Trip Planning


Tammi and I are heading down to Chapel Hill later this month to see my aunt for her birthday. Of course, I'm already looking into my food options. There are quite a few, Bon Appetit called the area "America's Foodiest Small Town" last year. My aunt, a vegetarian teetotaler has spent the last couple of weeks trying to think like me, scoping out local restaurants and wine bars. We've been discussing the options in Chapel Hill and in general Triangle area.

So far, here's the list of places we might try:

Lantern, a pan-Asian place that I read about in Gourmet a while back.

Provence, a French restaurant that my aunt has said we have to try.

Glass Half Full, a wine bar with small plates.

The Carborro farmers market, where I've read meat from Ossabaw breed Pigs are sold. I've been curious for a while about what other heritage breeds taste like, so I may need to get something to take home.

There's another nice little wine bar we went to on our last visit that I'd be happy to visit again and Elaine's on Franklin, which we visited last time I was there.

Of course, we'll have some southern food while we're there. Tammi is particularly fond of grits, and I'm sure I'll track down some fried chicken or pulled pork. We'll probably hit Mama Dip's for brunch.

I'm sure we'll do something else besides eating. We may even actually go to Durham, which I still haven't seen, but I'm not too worried about that right now. If anyone has suggestions for food or non-food related activities in the area, let me know.

March 12, 2009

Butchery: Marlow & Daughter

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If any one person has brought Butchery the attention it deserves, it's Tom Mylan. He's certainly who got me interested in it. About a year ago, it was his class at Brooklyn Kitchen that fascinated me with the subject.

Since his classes began, he's been the face of local DIY butchery scene. Between his blogs and elsewhere his story is all over the internet and elsewhere, so I'm not going to tell it again. Suffice it to say that he knows his damn meat. I was psyched when I heard he was finally going to be selling his bloody wares to the public at Marlow & Daughters. If for no other reason than to be able to show up from time to time and talk meat and cool things to do with weird cuts.

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The shop is glorious. Where else are you going to find a cow's heart placed front and center on display and labeled, "Captain Beefheart?" I've never actually tried to cook or eat heart, but if I did - and wanted to feed a dozen people with it - I'd probably get it from here.

The first time I went, I got into a long discussion with Brett, another Marlowe butcher, about a confit I wanted to make. He was so excited about it that he tossed in a a pork tongue and tail to add to the pot.

Last month, I bought a deeply smoky link of andouille sausage that I used in chicken and rice. I'm told by Scott of the Shameless Carnivore that Tom uses the smokers at Char #4 on Smith Street to make these. Last I heard, Char's business has been so good that they haven't been able to spare the smoker space, so Tom's looking for an alternative.

I also bought a slab of fatback and a pork cheek that are hanging in my basement transforming into Lardo and Guanciale, respectively. More on that to come.

Going back to what I love about Provisions, the exploratory spirit of Marlowe & Daughters is as much at attraction as the meat itself.

As I mentioned before, the prices here can be prohibitive. The pork belly I cured to make bacon cost $12 a pound. There's no way I could afford to buy several pounds of this. But it's quality meat and totally worth it to splurge from time to time, depending on what you're doing. Hell, the conversation you can have with Tom or Brett can be worth the extra overhead.

Marlow & Daughters‎
95 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 388-5700

March 10, 2009

Butcher: Coney Closure

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I try not to write posts that are just links to other things on the internet, but I'd be remiss in my Butchery-reporting duties if I didn't make note of the closure of Major Prime Meat Market out in Coney Island a week or so ago. I've never been, but reading about it, this is the sort of place that we need more of. Hopefully, the recent revival of the butchering arts will bring back more of these back to the neighborhoods of our cities.

Before they closed up, Gothamist interviewed Jimmy Prince about hanging up his cleavers.

March 9, 2009

Markets

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While working on 'Butchery' posts, I've been thinking about the various other places I rely on to buy ingredients that aren't strictly speaking butcher shops. So, expect a few posts from time to time about those shops as well in the near future.

February 27, 2009

Butchery: Provisions

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I've mentioned Provisions a few times lately. It's the place I bought that wonderful ground lamb for the Meatball project and the kid goat for the cabrito, Jalisco style. It's the grocery outpost of the Greene Grape wine shop that has been in the neighborhood for a few years now. I'm a big fan of the wine shop but haven't shopped at Provisions so much. They have a number of great items available, but their price point is often more than I can get the same items elsewhere. If I need something in a pinch or when I'm in the neighborhood, I'll go, but otherwise, I never had a reason to make it a destination.

In the last couple of weeks, I've found my reason: The Meat.

The key here is the creativity. Bryan, the head butcher at Provisions is seeking out interesting meats and doing cool stuff with it. If there's anything to the theory of the Butcher as Foodie Rockstar, it's what he's doing here.

When I went in to pick up meat for Meatball Madness, I ended up having a great conversation about the Lamb Bacon with him. A couple days later, it was on Bittman's Blog, which will hopefully encourage a demand to make some more. I really want to try it. He says it's got an innate sweetness to it that sounds really interesting.

Last Friday they brought in a whole kid goat from D'artagnan just to see what it was like and how it would sell. Provisions was my first stop Saturday morning to make sure I got some. I talked to Berlin, the butcher behind the counter that day, and his excitement was palpable. He told me about the cuts they came up with and the parts, like the head, that they're still thinking of what to do with. I was excited just hearing about it. This is what is making butchering interesting these days.

The price point is still an issue. The goat was $15.99 a pound, which is a hefty sum, but where else am I going to find it? The same with the Lamb Bacon. And I'll happily shell out extra for something new and experimental. That's the way I cook and having a butcher around who thinks the same way is awesome. I won't be stopping in here to get ingredients for a 30 minute meal, but I'll be coming through once a week or so to see what's new.

February 23, 2009

Butchery Begins

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I've heard i said that butchers are replacing chefs as the rockstars of the foodie world . I don't know if I believe that, but the idea comes from the reception that folks like Tom Mylan have been getting by taking meat back from the shrinkwrap and styrofoam world.

As people start to consider where our food comes from, our attention has moved up the supply chain. Ten years from now, there will, no doubt, be a reality show about farmers. For now, though, it's the moment for the meat mongers.

Obviously, this is an area that I'm interested in. Last year, I took Mylan's pig class at Brooklyn Kitchen and Nate Appleman's class on Porchetta and I tried my hand at deboning a suckling pig myself. I've also been doing various curing projects that have thus far gone undocumented.

With butchery on the cusp, as it were, I figure it's time we knew where to find them. So, for a little while at least, I'm going to do some write ups about the meat markets around town. Call it a guide. I'll cover the high-end, blogged about, destination spots but also some of the community spots that cut meat everyday without fanfare or hipster sex appeal. Given my recent curing interests, I'll probably stray a bit into the area of charcuterie, so forgive me if each place doesn't technically fall under the official designation of butcher shop.

I intend this to be a space where we grant some glory to those who transform beasts of the field into something that can fit in a pan. Hopefully this will also be a helpful spot to find a better place to get your meat than the local supermarket.

More to come...

February 10, 2009

Chinese New Year in Brooklyn

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Last weekend, Tammi and I celebrated the Chinese New Year with friends in Brooklyn Chinatown. It was our first excursion out there, but given the prices I found at the markets, it won't be my last.

We had Dim Sum at Pacificana, which was not as good as I had hoped, and then we walked down 8th Avenue and watched some of the festivities.

February 1, 2009

Paris: Sunday Shutdown

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I know I have been in Paris on a Sunday before, but somehow I didn't remember dealing with the fact that on Sunday all the shops and many of the restaurants are either closed all day or close up early in the afternoon.

I knew places might be closed and so did a walk through of Montergueil when I first left the apartment. I saw that everything seemed to be open, so instead of shopping for the groceries I needed, I wandered around more and took photos. Then I noticed the line below in front of a boulangerie waiting for bread. A few minutes later, I noticed vendors cleaning up. Finally I started piecing together that the reason all those crates and boxes I had been shooting were out on the sidewalk was that the sellers were wrapping up early that day. I scrambled to pick up what I needed and was mostly successful. Within half an hour nearly all the markets were closed.

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January 12, 2009

SF: Chilaquiles

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As mentioned, I altered my usual Saturday in San Francisco routine this time around. But I still made it out to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building that I love so much. In fact, I managed to get there before the hordes that usually run me off.

Instead of my usual Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Co., I had a plate of Chilaquiles at the recommendation of the TOJ, whose guidance has been a great help in the past. He messaged me as soon as he found out I was going there.

The exchange went something like this:

Clay is up earlier than he should, but is going to get up and go to the farmer's market.

ToJ at 10:59am January 10
be sure to get the chiliquiles at primavera and a cappucino at blue bottle!

Clay at 11:02am January 10
TOJ, I heard the chilaquiles at Mijita is pretty good too. Any opinion?

ToJ at 11:03am January 10
Mijita is good, but if primavera has the red (rather than the green) sauce, go with primavera. Out. Of. Control.

Out of Control indeed.

Here's an overview of what we have here: Scrambled eggs, topped with the aforementioned red salsa, black refried beans with crumbly Mexican cheese on top, and salsa crusted tortilla chips with crema fresca and avocado chunks. It's really an amazing thing.

When I was in San Francisco with Guy, he had an order of Chilaquiles and commented on how amazingly light it seemed despite the contents. I declared that the lightness is an illusion created by the fluffy eggs, the cool crema and the light texture of the avocado. In reality, it's a pretty heavy meal, as demonstrated by the nap I took immediately after returning to my room.

January 2, 2009

Food Finds: Dolo

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Paris, France. 2008.

Paris: Thanksgiving Dinner

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This year, Tammi and I broke our long held tradition of not celebrating Thanksgiving. As usual, we were far from home in a country that doesn't celebrate this very American holiday of mass consumption. But this year more than others, we had much to be thankful for. So, I took advantage of the local ingredients and cooked up dinner in our little kitchen in the apartment.

What you see above is the finished product, a roasted Poulet de Bresse, the famous French Blue-footed chicken.

A month or so before the wedding Eric first mentioned this breed of chicken to me and shortly afterward, I read Jacques Pepin's description of the bird in his memoir, "The Apprentice," so I was excited to find it so readily available, if highly priced at the outdoor markets we visited in Paris.

When I bought it, the seller asked something I didn't understand. Figuring he knew what he was doing, I answered, "Oui." He chopped off the feet and the head, but then appeared to be ready to cut the bird up. I stopped him in time and had the bird intact to roast whole. But it wasn't until I started to prep it that I realized that the bird hadn't been gutted. Unlike every other chicken I had ever cooked, the internal organs did not come in a paper bag stuffed in the cavity.

After the jump, the gory details (with pictures!)...

Continue reading "Paris: Thanksgiving Dinner" »

December 1, 2008

Food Finds: Microwave Lamb Tagine


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The local Daily Monop, the Parisian equivalent of a bodega or 7-11 has a fascinating selection of TV Dinners, including this Lamb Tagine.

I'm totally against lean cuisines and other such nasty microwave meals, but if there was a selection of meals like this, I might reconsider it as a quick meal in a pinch.

September 12, 2008

Photo of the Day: Chicken Heads


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Ferry Building Farmers Market, San Francisco. 2008

September 10, 2008

Photo of the Day: Heirloom


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Ferry Building Farmers Market, San Francisco. 2008.

September 8, 2008

SF: Bayless Sighting


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Neither here nor there, I saw Rick Bayless at the Farmers Market last week in San Francisco. I am forever grateful to Bayless for introducing me to Queso Fundido, which I first experienced at a visit to his restaurant in Chicago.

Cheesy wonderfullness in the extreme.

July 5, 2008

New Amsterdam Market: Amy's Bread


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One last word on the New Amsterdam Market. Tammi picked up a loaf of bread from Amy's Bread and loved it. As described by her, when she asked about what was in the bread, they listed all things whole wheat and organic, topped with sea salt. I'm wholly unfamiliar with such things, so all I can say is that it was delicious.

The entire loaf was gone before the end of the night.

July 3, 2008

New Amsterdam Market: Filming


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While we were at the New Amsterdam Market, Tammi and I went on camera for Stephanie, the woman above who was documenting the event for the organizers. I was sure to point out how annoyed I was coming back from San Francisco without something like this available. Tammi decided to pass, but lost her camera-shyness after reminding me of five things I should have said.

Among them, Tammi was sure to let her know that this was my first time riding my bicycle into Manhattan and that I did it just so I could get out to the market. I mapped it all later and we rode 14 miles that day.

New Amsterdam Market: Mini Ham Sandwiches


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Marlowe & Son sold these fantastic little sandwiches with ham, pickles and butter. Really, its all you need. I still haven't made it to their restaurant yet. I've got to get out there soon, because these were awesome.

New Amsterdam Market: St. Brigid's Farm


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If I wasn't already psyched about New Amsterdam Market after the oysters, this did it. The fine folks from St. Brigid's Farm in Maryland came all the way up here to sell their meat, including tons of off cuts that made me incredibly happy.

They had me at Sweetbreads for $3. My jaw dropped. I've never seen Sweetbreads available anywhere but on a menu. I almost got them and still sort of wish I had, but I wasn't going ot have the time to devote to learning new cuts that evening, so I passed.

Instead, I bought veal cheeks and a veal tongue. I braised them both, cooking the cheeks in a mixture of veal stock and veal demiglace. The tongue I simmered in rich pork stock. Mmmm.

This is definitely something I've never seen at the Greenmarket:
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New Amsterdam Market: Hen Sandwich


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At the recommendation of some friends we ran into just as we got to New Amsterdam Market, Tammi had this open-faced Hen sandwich with walnuts and radishes from Bridge Urban Winery, the Williamsburg outpost of a Long Island vineyard. I had a bite and enjoyed it, but I have to say that I'm not so clear on the various distinctions between birds.

One booth that I didn't get a chance to peruse as well as I'd have like is Bo Bo Poultry, which had quite a variety of birds on display. I'm hoping to make it to their retail outlet before it closes up at the end of the month.

July 2, 2008

New Amsterdam Market: Oysters!


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There is no better symbolic find at New Amsterdam Market this weekend than the Oysters being shucked and sold by Stella Maris. The oysters at the ferry building were central to my recent fixation with San Francisco and here they were, right at home in this wonderful market.

They didn't last long.

New Amsterdam Market


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So, fine, I'm a little behind the times with this post. Everyone has been taling about the incredible food day last Sunday. Down at the Seaport, there was the New Amsterdam Market, which hosted the Winter Market in December and the Unfancy Food Show was hosted out in Williamsburg the same day. More on that to come...

It was a great day. Just weeks ago I was proclaiming my 'market envy' of San Francisco and here we are with two great food related events, both working toward the goal of bringing just that sort of marketplace to New York.

According to the mailing I received today, about 7,000 people passed through the New Amsterdam Market on Sunday. I can attest to the crowds as it was almost immediately unbearable when Tammi and I got out there, only 30 minutes after it opened. Even so, we found some great food. I'll be posting a bit about the highlights shortly.

The concept of the Market, if you haven't heard, is to use the old Fulton Fish Market as a public market, focused on food, along the lines of the Ferry Building. As usual, the battle is between developers and locals, so we'll see how that all works out. The group has hosted three events now in the hopes of demonstrating the public demand for this. Given the throngs of people at both events, I think it's clear that New Yorkers want this.

Even better, being stationed down by the Seaport would finally give us a piece of the City back that had all but been surrendered to the tourists and doubledecker buses.

December 16, 2007

The Winter Market


IMG_1568.JPG, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

At more or less the last moment this afternoon, I came across a blog post about the WinterMarket put on today at the old Fulton Fish Market by New Amsterdam Public.

I'm not so familiar with the group, but I believe their goal is set up a standing sustainable food market in that building. It sounds like a great idea to me. Why should we forsake the Seaport to the tourists, when we can actually use it for something worth visiting?

Despite the crappy weather, I had to leave the house anyway to work tonight, so I figured I'd head out a little early and catch the tail end of the event.

I got there about an hour before it ended. Half the booths were either gone or wrapping up, but I managed to pick up some cool stuff:

1 Jar of Rick's Picks Pickled Beets. I've been curious about them before but never wanted to commit to a whole jar until I had tasted them. The sweetness of the beets are balanced out by the tang of the vinegar and kick of spice that I can't quite place. These will clearly be passed around the next time I have people over.

1 Bottle of Sparkling Cider from the Sly Boro CiderHouse upstate.

And, 1 Pint Honey Nougat Ice Cream that was recommended to me by Robert, Mary and Blake, who I ran into on the way. I was suspicious of the thought of eating ice cream on such an awful day, but one sample spoon was all the convincing I needed.

The shot above is from the Wild Edibles table. They were selling scallops in the shell and Sweet Maine Shrimp. I would have bought some, but I figured my co-workers wouldn't appreciate the smell of raw shrimp permeating the office fridge.

This is said to be the first of many such events, so I look forward getting a better haul next time.
::c::


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