The Ferry Plaza Markets on the Embarcadero in San Francisco are some of the most famous markets in the world - and one of the many reasons I was looking forward to exploring this foodie paradise. Saturday morning is the place to be seen with your shopping trolley, organic hemp, child labour-free string bag and obligatory rainbow pants.OK, so I didn't blend in. Everything was so farm-fresh I almost felt as though I was wading through a paddock if the stalls hadn't been so immaculately presented.San Franciscans demand fresh local produce from all their food outlets whether it be their fast food joints or their school canteens. San Fran and its bay are surrounded by some of the world's most fertile farmland and its seafood alone - especially its local oysters and Dungeness crabs - are worth a pilgrimmage to experience.
The Ferry Plaza Markets are housed in the original ferry building
winter in San Francisco is the season for mushroom lovers
this stall had large 1kg fresh porchinis - my favourite mushroom
oh the pain to see but not to eat
these really had a violet colour and fruity aroma
these would be perfect in a mixed mushroom sauce with fettuccine
Not sure why these were called candy caps. Maybe because their stalks were long and straight like lollipops.
Now.... I think these are called sea asparagus back home. Simply tossed with some butter and garlic and maybe a little parmesan?
These were real beauties with an uncooked texture similar to an old lady's latex swimming cap
those crabs I was telling you about
mean-looking but tasty
Didn't get to try these oysters but the customers were lining up for a trays of them freshly shucked to order
pink oyster meat pretty enough to wear
amazing array of regional olive oils
more like an apothecary shop than a deli
now we're talking!
three happy campers chow down...
one of the bay districts most famous cheesemakers
the real cowgirls.....
knuckle-rapping hard crusty loaves of sourdough
wonderfully eclectic array of organic and biodynamic wines
one of the markets most famous grocers
...still has the freshest produce....
rare heirloom varieties....
persimmons- which I am sadly yet to cook in a dish
the heady aniseed notes in this basil were swoonable