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This year's strawberries from Battleview Orchards, in Freehold, became available week before last. I stopped doing pick-you-own a few years ago because of back problems. Glad they have boxes of them in their market. As always, perfect and delicious.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2024 at 6:55 PM, MitchW said:

I'm just a little jealous that your Formaggio has that stuff for sale.  I shop at Formaggio Essex at least once a week, and while they have many things I use, there is no greenmarket component (which may actually be for the best in their situation).  They've made me extra happy by now carrying one of my favorite Italian dried pasta brands.

Faella? Martelli? Do tell.

The FK mothership on Huron Ave in Cambridge did not start off with produce, occupying, as it did, a small cramped space, piled to the roof with good stuff. In the early 1990s they reminded me of shoe stores in Bombay that seemed too impossibly tiny to carry your size, although they'd have a variety of styles on display. You'd pick a style or two, the shop assistant would measure your feet, then call out code in Marathi to a square hole in the ceiling. Within minutes a tower of shoe boxes would be sent down which the assistant would deftly catch.

Ham didn't exactly rain down in the old FK, but stuff had to be hooked down. Then they expanded, added produce, and in 2020ish they moved. Under their new ownership, the produce department has expanded and also improved. There's almost no reason now to shop elsewhere in these parts, especially now that they bring in a cow on Wednesdays and if you're swift (or a friend of the house) you can grab the tail (and whatever else part you want) on Thursday.

 

Edited by relbbaddoof
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Posted (edited)

Faella is a hard to find one that they don’t carry; but Fresh Direct, the Union Markets here, and of course, Gustiamo (the importer) have it.

I was kvelling on the fact they now carry Setaro pastas, another brand which used to be harder to find, but I have seen it now at retail in 3 or 4 places.  If I’m not mistaken, Formaggio Essex also has some Martelli,  but that is more easily found at DiPALO’s. And via Gustiamo as well.

The old Formaggio, in the old Essex Market here was super tiny, literally more than 2 people weren’t fitting into that shop at the same time.  While it’s not exactly huge now, they do sport a gorgeous cheese/charcuterie counter, and there’s much more room to navigate and investigate all the fun stuff they carry.  

Edited by MitchW
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Thanks for the pasta information. I get much of my pasta from Gustiamo, which I was led to a while ago through -- to give the devil his due -- you.

Yes, I'm familiar with the FK in the old Essex and the new. As I've said here and there, for over 30 years I've lived a triple life: 65% Cantabrigian, 25% New York Stater, and 10% Amtrakker.

For roughly the first half of this period my NY foot was planted in the Hamptons (this came with its own pleasures), but for the second period it's been in Hell's Kitchen (oddly, same job). In this phase, I had a stable decade in the 2010s where every month my wife and daughter came to NY for the weekend, rather than I going "back there".  On these weekends I had a Friday ritual: Get up at the crack of 8, head to the C/E, get off at Spring, amble over to Black Seed and grab a dozen bagels (don't judge, they were small and chewy back then, with a pleasantly woodsy char), then amble to business at Essex.

I'd get smoked fishes at Nordic, depending on what looked interesting (I know you have reservations about them, but talk to Lou there -- and their smoked black cod is Acme-free -- and, oh, their occasional intense licorice), a few slices of salami at FK, some American Cheeses from Saxelby's (old market), a baguette (I had a special backpack chosen heightwise to fit baguettes). Then on to R&D -- the key was to get there by 11 or earlier -- for sable, a couple of smoked salmons, and whatever else looked good.

Then, backtrack to Laboratorio, where I had a longstanding deal with Jon. (Helps if you've a saffron ice cream recipe published in a book on computerized typesetting.) I emailed weird flavors from their 200+ list and if they were being produced over the next 2-week cycle they'd put aside a rectangular container for me. My wife got her steady fix of licorice this way, and I got rice.

Back to FK. Andrew was their longtime presence. Is he still there? The life I describe blew up in 2020 and I hope to reconstruct it this fall.

 

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4 hours ago, relbbaddoof said:

Back to FK. Andrew was their longtime presence. Is he still there? The life I describe blew up in 2020 and I hope to reconstruct it this fall.

Yes, re: Andrew.

I wish you luck in your fables of the reconstruction.

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Sciency bit - the few aromatics in raw fresh peas are completely distinct from the (many more) in cooked peas, and almost indistinguishable from those in raw green asparagus. A not so terrible idea is to powder dehydrated raw peas (or asparagus) and cover cooked peas with the powder to get the full range of peaness (and in the case of asparagus peeness)

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12 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

I was shelling “English” peas in England when I was a toddler and I can’t imagine eating them raw.

I used raw peas with my pea shooter. Didn't put anyone's eye out,

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13 hours ago, Wilfrid said:

I was shelling “English” peas in England when I was a toddler and I can’t imagine eating them raw.

St. John in London once served me a basket of peas still in their pods.  Must have saved the kitchen a lot of work! 

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peaches, blueberries, watercress, onions, heirloom garlic, pear vinegar, lemons, chicken, lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, green beans.

very little cooking today though; hubby and i are celebrating our 11th anniversary tonight at a michelin two star. we’ve been looking forward to it for a while.

 

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23 hours ago, Simon said:

St. John in London once served me a basket of peas still in their pods.  Must have saved the kitchen a lot of work! 

A statement on freshness but still you mostly get sweet and generic green. 

In Spain where there is an annual contest for who will serve the most ridiculously labor intensive young peas they're still served cooked. 

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