Local Bounty: September 24
Always improving: new products by favorite vendors
Posted Monday, September 24, 2012, 10:26AM
No matter how tasty or popular your wares are, a dedicated—and smart—artisan food vendor knows that there’s always room for improvement, whether in a product itself or in a line of products. Fresh surprises are always welcome by devoted customers and can attract new ones. So, when I visited the Ocean Beach farmers market last week I was delighted to learn that three of my favorites were introducing new and delicious items to their already popular offerings. Here’s what to look for:
Dave Baron is now no longer the “new” owner of Jackie’s Jams, but he’s still looking to make his own imprint with innovative jams that augment the flavors created by Jackie years ago. As I’ve written before, he’s established a new line called Baron Family Foods, with flavors that are just a tad more sophisticated than the ever-popular Tripleberry. His latest offering is Balsamic Fig. Chefs love it and so will you. The richness of the figs are perfectly accompanied by the sweet acidity and luxuriousness of balsamic vinegar. I’ve been eating it with toast and putting dollops on cheese. Let me know what you think of. $10 a jar at the Little Italy Mercato and Hillcrest Farmers Market.
We go from sweet to deliciously sour with Happy Pantry’s organic pickled veggies. New in the line are jars of pink rutabaga with popping flavors thanks to the addition of fennel seed, red chard, sea salt, and pink peppercorn. It’s perfect as a snack, added to a salad or sandwich, or served on the side of a meal as a condiment. Need some super greens in your diet? An easy way to get them in is with the Power Krautage, a green sauerkraut made with cabbage, kale, dandelion greens, spirulina, chlorella, and sea salt. Sounds weird, I know, but it’s a tasty, mouth puckering kraut. I’d add it to a fat grilled sausage smothered in a grainy mustard. $8 a jar.
Albert Juarez of The MeatMen is the very definition of artisan purveyor. He’s always seeking to perfect his salumi. If you love his Naughty Constable, check out what he’s done to it as of this week—added wine. I tasted one version made with Vindemia estate Syrah and another with a Falkner sweet Riesling. The Syrah version had a punchier brassy flavor, while the Riesling was smooth and in tune with the caraway and juniper seeds that flavor all the Naughty Constables. Take a taste and let Albert know which you prefer. $10 a chub.
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