To tell you the truth, the best (and the most restorative to the soul) part of my trip to San Francisco happened on Saturday morning. You all know how gung-ho I am about farmers markets, and here I was – visiting on one of the days that one of the country’s most famous farmers markets was taking place – the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
As I approached the building early on Saturday morning right as the sun was coming up, I was struck by how beautiful the clock tower was against the morning sky.
Saturday mornings are when the biggest market of the week goes on, where there are upwards of 120 different vendors both in front of and behind the building proper. Many of them are vendors from inside bringing their yummy foodstuffs outside. If you stop by the information booth on your way in, it’s much easier to navigate all there is to offer.
Some sights are very familiar to us here in Columbus – after all, most of what has been available for the past month here is apples and winter squash. So I didn’t get too excited about seeing more apples, although I’m sure they are delicious.
On the other hand, pomegranates are something we don’t grow in Ohio, so it was a bit strange for me to see something at a farmers market that I usually buy at the grocery store.
The only thing that bummed me out about hitting this farmers market was my inability to get anything that required a kitchen, because this broccoli looked absolutely amazing to me.
OMG OMG OMG. Strawberries? In November? :::sigh::: only 6 or so more months to go until we get local strawberries here in Columbus.
I’m not a fan of artichokes myself, but aren’t these some gorgeous specimens?
And grapes, grapes, grapes, as far as the eye could see…
Flawless, super colorful bell peppers again made me long for a kitchen and some cookware.
Luckily, much of the market stalls offered dried and/or smoked foods. If I weren’t worried about bringing it back on the plane, I would have bought some of this smoked fish.
Persimmons are another one of those fruits I don’t see locally. Anyone know what these taste like?
Cure your own olives? Really? P. would have loved this.
I did get some eggplant dip from this stand (wish I would have remembered the name of it!) along with some pita bites to eat later on in my hotel room.
Sunchokes are one of those things that I have tons of recipes for, but have never been able to find locally.
And I’ve never seen or tasted a kiwano in my life, but they sure look interesting.
Beans, beans and more beans. And across the way, I stumbled across Rancho Gordo, whose beans I’ve seen in local stores. If I didn’t already have a glut of dried beans at home that I need to work my way through…
This is a Buddha’s Hand – a citrus fruit mostly used for zest. At this same stand were some of the most delicious Valencia oranges I’ve eaten in my life.
A little after 9am, I hit up Roli Roti – if I were impressed by the 3 or 4 rolls of porchetta they had going the night before, I was doubly impressed by the collection of chickens they also had going.
The view from the pier behind the Ferry Building is breathtaking. I decided to eat my meal at a picnic table facing this, and could stare at it for hours.
I got a whole porchetta sandwich this time around ($8.50), and I think it was even better this time around than it was the night before. Part of why it is so good is the roll, which is made by Acme Bread Co., right inside the Ferry Building. The sandwich was so huge I still could only eat half of it in one sitting.
I did opt for a small side of their potatoes ($3.50), which when finished with coarse sea salt and rosemary were the perfect accompaniment to that wonderful sandwich. Honestly, folks – if I lived in the Bay area, I’d be getting this once a week, without fail.
After eating, I moved inside to check out the stores there – I didn’t get to explore as much as I liked, since I had to get back to the hotel, but this is a must-stop for my next trip.
Especially this mushroom store, that had varieties that I have never even heard of or have seen before.
Loaded down with bags, I headed back to the hotel. Still wish I could have spent the whole day there, but tourists were starting to pile in, and it got a bit claustrophobic.
Next up – the Tasting Pavilion.