Friday, December 11, 2009

Ferry Plaza Markets, San Francisco

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....

winter squash....

rare heirloom varieties....

persimmons- which I am sadly yet to cook in a dish

the heady aniseed notes in this basil were swoonable

I'll have what she's having

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  1. Mmm, tasty salted pig parts... I'll have a kilo of those, and a tray of those pinky oysters too

  2. Hurrah, another update! Those cauliflowers look odd!

  3. Looks wonderful.

    I think the "sea beans" are samphire. In Melbourne one of the Vic market stalls often has marsh samphire (from Sth Australia I think).

  4. Now if I ever get the chance to travel again, that's my kind of tourist destination! Heck those mushrooms look like housing commission for fairies!

    Persimmon ice cream is one to try, very easy but incredibly delicious and a pretty colour:D I doubt I could have walked past that bread without picking up a loaf.....any fresh butter at a creamery perchance?:)

  5. Mmmm...oysters...yum. They look very different to our Aussie oyster, not so meaty looking.