Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday market haul: Cheese please!

Despite the cold April rain, M and I ventured out this morning to hit the Saturday Market (and in M's case, run an 8k). After making 2 rounds of the market, I came away with:
  • Spring onions ($1)
  • Rhubarb ($3)
  • 4 kinds of cheese (Evalon (a gift); Torta del Casar; Gorwydd Caerphilly; and our perennial favorite: bread cheese)
  • Strawberry-rhubarb bar
  • Potato buttermilk donuts
  • Apple fritter (eeew. for M, post-race)
  • Maple-frosted cinnamon roll as big as my face (BEST thing of the day)
Evalon is a type of goat cheese that tastes rather similar to the Cardona or Marisa by Carr Valley that I mentioned in a previous post. Will have to taste them side-by-side, but as this wedge was purchased as a gift, it'll have to wait til next time.

My first experience at Fromagination was a good one; the staff wasn't nosy or pushy, and when I asked for assistance they were enthusiastic and helpful (the primary reason for my visit today is that we're thinking of ordering a small mountain of cheese for our upcoming nuptials. This is the 2nd cheese place we've contacted. More info to come later). They had a wide selection of cheeses as well as small gifts to pair with the cheese (chutneys, jams, jellies, cookies, chocolates, wines, etc).

The part I liked best is that they sell small sample wedges of various cheeses for people who just want to have a small taste of a new imported cheese rather than having to buy a full-size wedge. I picked 2 random cheeses -- Torta del Casar, a pungent sheep cheese from Spain that uses thistle instead of animal rennet, and Gorwydd Caerphilly, an increasingly rare unpasteurized Welsh cheese. The texture of the former is nice, similar to brie w/ a soft and smooth center that becomes more firm towards the edges. A nice, lightly salted taste. M said it reminded him of the flavor of olives/olive oil. The Gorwydd Caerphilly was soft but a little more crumbly in texture, with a stronger, earthy flavor, a white middle, and a thick, darker natural rind.

In essence, so much for the diet today! But in other news, we're back to considering signing up for a CSA box...I want to like market shopping, I really do, but I never seem to come away with too much by way of fresh produce when I go to the Saturday Market -- mostly cheeses and baked goods -- and we'd love to try new and seasonal fruits and vegetables (if only we had our own Spitalfields!). We're still worried we won't be able to finish each box before everything spoils, but if we're committed to our goal of knowing what we're eating, eating locally and in season, and diversifying our consumption, we're going to have to at least give it a try.

PS. Just finished My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki. Eye-opening on the documentary standpoint. And it's increasingly likely I'll become a full-on pescetarian or vegetarian before long.


We officially signed up for our CSA share! It was difficult to choose a farm since there are so many in our area, but we'll see how it goes. We'll be picking up a vegetable box every other week from May through December. We also considered getting peak season fruit and free-range eggs too, but maybe next time. Oh and btw, all of the major health insurance carriers EXCEPT ours offer a CSA rebate. Grumble.

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