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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Any Given Saturday: The Farmers' Market at the SF Ferry Building


Every weekend when I visit the farmers' market at the San Francisco Ferry Building, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to live in the Bay Area.   To begin with, the building itself is populated by top-flight shops selling an incredible array of items – from kitchen supplies and gourmet olive oils to organic pastries and grass-fed
Santa Rosa Plums, Paredez Farms
beef, from freshly-caught seafood and artisanal chocolate to endless varieties of wine, cheese, bread and gelato. When you then add in the numerous restaurants and cafes offering tasty food for immediate consumption – Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, Hog Island Oyster Company, San Francisco Fish Company, and Slanted Door, just to name a few – it becomes difficult to think of any other place where one can find such a rich and abundant selection of food and food-related items under a single roof.

It does not, however, stop there.   The coup de grace is the legion of local farmers – each of whom has brought his or her own unique combination of fresh produce, sometimes further supplemented by products created from the same.   Many of these individuals have traveled from far-away
Rocambole Garlic, Hunter Orchards
farming communities, and much of the produce on display was picked from a tree or pulled from the ground either that very morning or, at worst, sometime during the previous day.   Here, again, the variety is amazing: berries, cherries, citrus, stone fruits, peppers, greens, onions, potatoes, peas, sprouts, herbs, flowers, meat, honey, cheese, oil, pasta, dips and bread – you name it, you can probably find it under one of the countless white tents that sprawl across the front, back, and side of the building.

Last, but certainly not least, are the people.   Thousands of Bay Area residents can be found milling about the stalls, coursing through the building, or seeking a quick or relaxed, simple or fancy, meal or snack at a café or restaurant.   The young, the old, singles, couples, families, friends – all are there on any given Saturday, taking in the sights, sounds, aromas, tastes and tactile sensations of this quintessentially San Francisco destination.   Some are professional chefs, some are gourmet home cooks, and others are still learning their way around a kitchen.  But everyone who is there understands, at a deep level, the true importance of procuring quality produce and delicious food, of supporting our local farmers, and of communing with other like-minded individuals from around the greater Bay Area.

It has often been said that San Francisco is a food town.   The next time you have an opportunity, pay a visit to the farmers’ market at the Ferry Building, and you will see the unmistakable evidence of this for yourself.

4 Comments:

Blogger Grady Cole said...

On Any Given Saturday--- Food will be loved at the ferry building! Especially Dirty Girl Produce, Cow Girl Cheese and a chocolate shake from Taylor's

July 12, 2005 11:54 PM  
Blogger NS said...

Cowgirl Creamery, in particular, is one of my favorite purveyors in the Ferry Building. They have an amazing selection of cheese and a friendly, knowledgeable staff. Anybody looking for great, fresh cheese would be foolish not to check them out!

July 13, 2005 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Tana Butler said...

My favorites reasons to visit the Ferry Plaza farmers market (for things I can't get in Santa Cruz, and at a lower cost than you pay there) are Rancho Gordo beans, Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, and Della Fattoria breads.

I am very blessed to know lots of the farmers -- that's what I blog about.

Keep up the good work!

July 27, 2005 1:52 PM  
Blogger NS said...

Tana: Thanks for the kind words. I would very much like to visit more of the farmers' markets outside of SF, so that I can get a better sense of what all is available out there (and, as you point out, at lower prices).

Incidentally, I've been enjoying reading your great blog!

August 09, 2005 3:29 PM  

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