Local Bounty: September 17
The San Diego Public Market
From left to right: fresh pomegranate, Baker Lydia Perkins, fresh brussel sprouts
Congratulations, San Diego! You asked for a public market. Close to 1,500 of you contributed to its launch through Kickstarter.com. Some even spent some time volunteering cleaning, making repairs, and painting to get the now-orange warehouse in Barrio Logan in shape. And, as of last Wednesday we have a public market! Phase one consists of a Wednesday and Sunday morning farmers market that fills that orange warehouse. But operators Catt White and Dale Steele have big plans for the future. We’ll just have to watch and cheer as they unfold.
But for now, there’s no excuse not to enjoy a wealth of farmers market vendors, many of whom you already know, including Taste Cheese, Paradise Valley Ranch, Descanso Valley Ranch Pasteurized Poultry, Ms. Sushi food truck, Smit Orchards, and Under the Crust (love the old-fashioned yellow truck!). I was there at the opening and a few other vendors stood out that I think you should try.
Proios Family Farm
There’s something to be said for presentation and Proios, which hails from Murrietta, wooed me with their “floral” Brussels sprouts and pretty baskets of peppers, corn, potatoes, and eggplant (all $5 a basket). But, what really caught my eye were the first pomegranates of the season. Big, plump, red balls of juiciness and it’s only mid-September! They’re $2 apiece.
There’s a new baker in town—Coronado, to be precise—and she’s CIA trained and already doing a big business with wedding and custom cakes, event catering, and corporate orders. The Public Market is Lydia Perkins’ first farmers market and she’s got a full array of dastardly delicious treats to choose from, including gingersnaps for $2, scones—both Lavender Buttermilk and Belgian Chocolate and Roasted Pecan—for $3, and outrageous Honey Pecan Bars ($3). Sweet treats, indeed!
East African Cuisine
I’ve seen Hasno Ali and her sambusas at various farmers markets, including the City Heights market. But it seems so right to have her prepared foods at the Public Market and expose shoppers to a taste of her Ethiopian and Somali roots. She makes a variety of sambusas—fried triangles of dough stuffed with curry potato, chicken with vegetable, beef with basil, lentil, spinach, or the outrageous cream cheese with pineapple and coconut (all $1 apiece). Her chewy, powder-sugar sweet breads ($1) are perfect with her sweet tea for breakfast. Or pick up lunch with an assortment of lentils, pilo rice, cabbage curry, or chicken kabobs.