I couldn’t resist.
If you had seen the beautiful fruits and vegetables and smelled the deep, rich coffee and hint of sweet flaky pastries you would have eaten your way through the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market too. While Foodbuzz offered Festival Attendees breakfast on the second floor of the Ferry Building, I went another route. I spent about an hour exploring the market by myself sampling different items and smelling and seeing before meeting up with friends. However, when I saw some of the goodies they were eating, I couldn’t resist going for round 2, finding some of the freshest ingredients and items I have ever seen.
Side story: Have I ever mentioned that I studied in Florence, Italy for 8 months? I did, and yes, I do speak Italian fluently. Those of you familiar with Florence might remember the Mercato Centrale, the large building that is their version of a farmer’s market. That impressed me, and the memories I have of the Mercato Centrale are strong and happy, but had I visited San Francisco first, I never would have praised the produce found at that market in Florence as much I did.
It all started with the eggplant…
How many times can you say that in your life?? Today, I can say it.
It all started with the eggplant…
Shannon must have been sick of hearing about the eggplant by the end of the day because I couldn’t stop talking about them. Could I buy some and safely bring them home without bruising? Had anyone seen such gorgeous eggplant in such large quantities? Could I maybe just take one home for sampling? This photo does not show the true beauty of those eggplants, but I was so distracted by the sight I couldn’t focus on taking a photo.
Some other beautiful produce I saw:
And the lavender… I actually walked into someone when the smell of lavender hit my nose. And I was so distracted by the calming scent I didn’t even notice how handsome the man was selling the lavender until I handed over my money for a small sachet.
Don’t I look like I am in heaven?
And that was even before the blueberry pecan scone! I walked around and looked for the longest bakery line and freshest pastries and finally settled on Noe Valley Bakery & Bread Company. I had a tough time deciding but finally settled on a blueberry pecan scone, which was soft, buttery, and dotted with lots of blueberries!
I met back up with Meghann & Shannon right as Meghann received word that Kath had saved part of her pumpkin scone for her. Meghann shared a taste with me, and I am sorry I didn’t head straight back to Noe for one of my own to bring home.
Have I mentioned yet that my suitcase home was 61 lbs?! It is quite embarrassing, but with such amazing finds at the market, an incredible jam-packed goodie bag from Foodbuzz & sponsors, and more, I could barely zip it up. Contributing to the weight of my bag are these beans, which I have searched for in Philadelphia but haven’t found yet. In this case, the brand preceded the taste, but I know they will not disappoint. I quickly settled on two bags of the Rancho Gordo borlotti beans, as I have been having trouble finding nice borlotti beans. I am going to send one bag to my auntie for a fun treat!
Jenna (who is even sweeter in person, by the way) got some beans as well, and I can’t wait to see what she does with them. Around this time I wondered how we had wandered so far from our starting point when I suddenly remembered the mission: Saint Benoit Yogurt. Meghann & Shannon both had some and I wanted some too. I ordered the Meyer Lemon and it was so creamy and delicious, with little specks of lemon throughout. Unfortunately by then I was too full to even eat half of it.
Right before heading back to the Hotel Vitale a few of us came across Massa Organics Almond Butter. If I thought I could have squeezed that jar in my bag I would have bought some. The almond butter was so creamy and bold, for lack of a better term. To me it tasted like almond butter’s version of espresso. Rich, bold, strong- all of those adjectives apply. Gina, you need some of this almond butter.
There is a big piece of the story that is missing though, and that is the story of Frog Hollow Farms. Have you ever had their pears? I know that they sell a lot more than pears, but when they are that good it is hard to even mention the other items. Each time I walked by the Frog Hollow Farms tent I was given a sample, and although I tried to politely refuse, the memory of the previous taste continued to win the battle. I had about 4 samples of pears and finally bought one of my own, eating it on the spot. I don’t know how they do it but the pears were at the peak of ripeness, and I hope that each of you one day gets to experience them. I made a point to tell each person working at Frog Hollow Farms that day how delicious their pears are, although they must know it by now!
Funny pear shape!
What I did know was that Frog Hollow Farms pears were amazing, what I did not know was that I would be able to taste them yet again at the Tasting Pavilion that afternoon….