Saturday, September 12, 2009

These little piggies went to the market...

Note: Photos are a mix of phone pics and regular digicam pics. Ooops. Thanks to C.C. for some of the market photos as I only had my phone camera!

Waiting for the free trolley to go downtown

This morning, my friend C and I decided to go to the Charlottesville City Market, located in the Historic Downtown Mall. I'd only been there once in April, just as the market opened for the season. Vendors were selling flowers, artwork, jams, cheeses, and specialty meats. When we went today, the market was bursting with all of that PLUS nature's summer bounty! Veggies and fruits overflowed their baskets. Now it was lookin' like a real farmers market, and we were ready to eat and sniff our way through the stands.
We met a retired bio researcher named Curtis who has a beautiful addiction to growing dahlias. He raises 71 different varieties about a mile away from the market. He does weddings if you're interested (434-293-5754).

another vendor's flowers
tomatoes being [french] kissed by the morning sun. bahahaimagine using these beautiful Willy Wonka-esque bell peppers in your next dish

Probably a little before 9am, C and I split a humongous spinach and cheese pastry (the sign said something about Bosnian treats just like your mother made 'em... but uh.. My mother's not Bosnian, so I can't say much about that). The pastry was probably even better fresh out of the oven (fryer?), but it was still flavorful. Buuut I'd pass on it next time for the $5 price tag and lack of means to reheat. You can see a bit of it in the background of the next photo.

A little before 10am, we had tacos al pastor.
For breakfast.
Not breakfast tacos, but tacos for breakfast. Understand? We're hardcore.
Washed the taco down with fresh horchata. Horchata is usually made from soaked and ground up rice (or a different grain, or nuts), sugar and cinnamon. I think I could taste some nutmeg in the one I had. Regardless of what went into the family's brew, I was into it. Creamy, sweet and spicy.

In addition to our "breakfast" and samples of cheddar, berries, etc., I took away some more spoils.. Mahaha

an assortment of tomatoes, parsley, black mission figs
If you've never had figs before, go try some. Are you scarred by dry and crumbly Fig Newtons from days of yore? NEVER FEAR! A fresh fig isn't anything like its Sloth Fratelli counterpart (if you caught the reference, I owe you a marble bag).
My total for the parsley and figs was supposed to be $5.50, but the vendor only charged me $5. He probably didn't want to wait for me to find the change, or he didn't want the possibility of having to give me change. Maybe he charges everyone $5-- but I'm gonna say it's because I look ah-mazingly beautiful early in the morn'. Mhm
Soft, jam-like flesh with crunchy little seeds... Sweeter than honey with a unique earthy flavor.

I cooked lunch for some of my girls today: linguine with chicken and tomato/cream sauce, sprinkled with the parsley and cherry tomatoes I bought this morning. Topped the whole shebang off with freshly grated Romano cheese and called it a meal. For dessert we had concord grapes from a VA vineyard and the black mission (best variety ever) figs, without any adornments. I was kinda surprised to hear that none of the 5 girls had ever tried a fig. The most common reaction after tasting was that they were "unique" and "tastier than they appear." Maybe the typical, boldly flavored fruits we've grown to love have turned us off of these yummy gems, but I call for a revival amongst the young'ns! HUZZAHHH! *pumps fist*


Random food fact (via Wikipedia): Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. According to USDA data for the Mission variety, dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs.




    p.s. when did you change the vafoodhead banner? i JUST noticed it, and it's wonderful! i love it!

  2. hehe thanks yee! and i changed the banner like.. a billion years ago. i never liked this one though, so i'll prob change it soon.

    yayy joanne! i'm glad you thought it was good. maybe i'll incorporate it into something else and we can try that.

  3. i bet there is no wedding flower business. dude just has yellow fever. (holla)

  4. hhmm fig newtons? or maybe a baby ruth, perchance?

    actually, it's the fig newtons that have probably scared me from actual figs. i'll have to trust you and try one out sometime

  5. talda, you don't like baby ruths?! like the candy bar? i enjoy them.. hahahaha! but definitely try fresh figs, perhaps on a tart (or w/ yogurt+honey) to make it go down easier the first time :)

    christy, i knew you would ;)