Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Farmers Market International Parade

The Cooking Diva and Por Amor de La Cocina are hosting a farmers market showcase. They (we) are encouraging food people around the world to show off your local markets in support of your regional farmers, produce, food artisans and culinarians. This event will work as a global guide to farmers markets. Check out the Food Diva and Por Amor de la Cocina for markets in Panama and links to other participants from around the world.

I chose the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco because it is a local food mecca. Fruit, vegetables, herbs, fresh hot prepared foods, mushrooms, plants, nuts, cheese, fresh churned butter ...... It is the best of the best here in the Bay Area. But, the prices are very high so, for me this market is reserved for special occasions. A true gastronomical treat. My "everyday" market (every Saturday that is) is the Alemeny Farmers Market, the oldest market in the Bay. Alemeny is great, but The Ferry Plaza is where foodies meet.
In another month or two this market will be bursting at the seems with colorful odd shaped heirloom tomatoes. They have already started making appearances in limited supply, but they sell out early in the day.Lemon cucumber plant. One among many unique vegetable , herb, and edible flower plants on sale at this market. Horseradish root is harvested in spring and fall. If you live in Illinois, you can check out the International Horseradish Festival in Collinsville in the beginning of June.
There are also lots of great food stalls outside that sell little snacks and hearty meals like homemade tortillas and tamales, green chile fresh cut fried asparagus, artisan grilled sausages, and rotisserie free-range chicken. Real "California Cuisine". Arrive early before the asparagus ravioli and small farm produce runs out. My favorites, fava beans and fava greens have been running out lately.

Pickled habeneros from Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
Raw food from Alive!, one of the many restaurants part of the raw food movement popularized in the Bay Area by the now defunct Roxanne's and the thriving Cafe Gratitude which inspired our recent raw pastry experiment.

Thai Basil, Lemon Basil, and Italian Basil

Lavender is great in creamy custards, ice cream, shortbread, and scones. Some chefs have used lavender in savory preparations, but I have not been able to find a savory lavender dish that I have enjoyed. Perhaps you have some good savory ideas for lavender?Kumquats are still in season here, but not for long

Little blood oranges, I've never seen these before today.

Green garlic is everywhere at this market
For cardoons, trim the leaves and cut into 2 inch pieces. Simmer in salted water with lemon juice to remove bitterness. Then saute with green garlic in a nice fragrant olive oil, or dip in tempura batter, and served fried with a green garlic aioli. Cardoon grows well in Northern California because it requires a long cold season but it is sensative to frost. Because of the unique climate the cardoon requires it is not very common in other parts of the world. Cardoon probably native the Mediterranean. It also grows in Argentina and Australia. The Quakers brought the cardoon to America in the late 18th century. The flowers grow to a beautiful blue color and are also edible.

Marshalls Farm
honey comb
. All of their honey is raw and local.

Tune: Milk and Honey by The Midnight Groovers from Dominica

Meanwhile, inside the Ferry Building is like a Bangkok bus. The crowds flock to the trendy high end food stores and restaurants. There is a wine bar, caviar bar, gelato, fancy kitchen supplies, rare mushrooms, a chocoletier, Mexican food, Vietnamese, an old school soda fountain style hamburger diner, bakeries, butchers, and more. One of my favorite spots that is relatively affordable compared to many of its neighbors is Frog Hollow's great bakery outlet where they serve their "legendary" produce baked into rustic tarts, cakes, and pastries. Can't wait until peach season.
artesian cheeses at Cowgirl Creamery

Frog Hollow's Orange Frandipane Tarts and Sweets from Boulettes Larder

Even babies eat caviar in the Ferry Plaza building

MP3: Fresh Vegetable by Tony Rebel