Sunday, April 01, 2012

Bluxome Street Winery's Meet Market

Every last Saturday of the month, Bluxome Street Winery will be hosting an artisan's market from 12 - 4.  This past Saturday was their first market.  Being a wine merchant, the vendors were specifically picked to be ones that paired well with wine.  Being the artisan market lover I am, I had to check it out!

The set up was such that you would get a glass of wine, and then wander through, tasting all sorts of products with your wine.  It was well set up, with big wine barrels arranged around the floor to use as stands to put your glasses down, etc.  There were a decent number of vendors and the crowds weren't bad at all.  It seemed like the artisans themselves were there behind the tables, rather than just staff members.  They were all very friendly and happy to talk about their products.  The range of vendors was pretty unique: jams, sauces, oils, chocolates, crackers, honeys, cheeses, pies, fish, pasta, etc, etc.

Unfortunately, I wasn't all that impressed with anything I sampled.  The highlight was definitely the rotu pacchadi from Sumana's Soul Spreads.  This is a south indian spread, normally mixed with ghee and rice, but she also recommended it as a spread on crackers, bread, sandwiches, pasta, etc.  I could also imagine using it as a dip for veggies.  I do sort of wish I had purchased some!

  • H & H Fish. These folks just started selling at the Ferry Plaza Market on Saturdays too! At that market, they have a large variety of ridiculously fresh fish, and a few prepared items. They also run a fish CSA. At this event, they just had some of the prepared items.
    • Tombo poke:  “Raw sashimi grade tombo tuna, sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, chili, ginger, spices“. Tasting notes: A little oily for my taste, tuna was a little mediocre, not particularly flavorful. [ Decent quality tuna, but nothing standout. Sesame flavor was a little strong. ]
    • Smoked Salmon.  Tasting notes: Did have a decent smoky flavor, really firm texture.  Nothing standout. [ Fine, but nothing standout. ]
    • Ceviche: "Fresh local rockfish (snapper) cooked in lime juice seasoned with onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, cilantro, chili peppers, spices". Tasting notes: Pretty tasty! Quality, fresh snapper, nice marinade, fresh veggies.
  • Butter Love Bakeshop. She had some sweet and some savory pies. All used the same crust, which she was sampling out, covered in cinnamon and sugar.
    • Pie crust: All butter.  Tasting notes: Not particularly flavorful nor flaky. Just crust. [ Just crust, nothing standout. ]
    • Butter pie: “Pecan pie without pecans”. Tasting notes: I had high hopes for this since I love pecan pie, and it sounded a lot like Momofuku’s crack pie.  It was just sweet though, and lacked any dimension whatsoever.  Would have been better with ice cream or whipped cream.
  • Orland Farmstead.
    • Queso Fresco, Jalapeno: “A fresh mexican cheese”.  Tasting notes: Soft, nice kick from jalapeno. Also available plain.
    • Formage Blanc: Tasting notes: Creamy, not particularly noteworthy, a little tangy. Also available as "tortes" topped with things like tomato or cherries.
    • Feta: Cow’s milk.  Tasting notes: Not nearly as flavorful as feta normally is, reminded me more of ricotta.
  • Granny Jams. I don't have the details on the jams I tasted, but they were all based on wines. Quite nice.
    • Champagne peach: Tasting notes: Really subtle peach flavor that comes through on the finish.  Not too sweet.  Really nice.  Would be great on crackers with a mild cheese.
    • Cabernet?: Tasting notes: Incredible red wine flavor, really smooth.  Would be awesome with some seared foie gras!
  • S & S
    • Hawaiian style BBQ sauce: “Sweetness from pineapple and guava, saltiness from soy sauce, a subtle spiciness from chiles and fragrant aroma from garlic and ginger.” Tasting notes: Just BBQ sauce, not particularly interesting.  Didn’t pick up on the sweet/salty at all.
  • Chili Place. Chili, in vacuum packs, you freeze it and then just boil it in hot water.
    • Red Veg Chili: Tasting notes: beans, bell peppers, corn, some spices.  Not particularly flavorful or spicy. Beans weren't particularly interesting. Veggies were lost in it.
  • Bay Area Bee Company. Local honey maker, with a bunch of different honeys from different neighborhoods. I sampled a few (Portero Hill, Tenderloin) and was surprised at how very different the flavors, colors, and consistencies were.  Turns out, honey isn't just honey!
  • Ariel’s Crackers. These were really awesome crackers.
    • black + white sesame seed + sea salt: Tasting notes: Really delicious.  Crisp, flavorful from olive oil, seeds added great flavors.
    • caraway + sea salt: Tasting notes: Same great crackers, but I liked sesame seeds more. [ Strong caraway flavor. Really awesome crackers, crisp, amazing flavor from olive oil, really quite good! ]
  • Oaktown Jerk
    • Sesame Teriyaki: Tasting notes: Not very sweet, not very teriyaki, very chewy.
    • Pineapple Basil: “Sweet pineapple zing with the wonderful robust infusion of
    • fresh Thai basil“. Tasting notes: Not very sweet, didn’t taste  basil, very chewy.
  • Community Grains
    • Polenta: “Organic Red Flint ‘Floriani’ Cornmeal”.  Tasting notes: Fairly hearty tasting, but not well cooked, just mushy.
  • Virgine’s Vinegar
    • It was just … vinegar.
  • Big Paw
    • Garlic olive oil: Nice garlic flavor, not very complex oil.
  • Biscotti Di Bianchi
    • Cranberry Semi-Sweet Biscotti: Hard, not very flavorful, didn’t get much cranberry or chocolate flavors.
  • Sumanas Soul Food
    • Sesame Rotu Pacchadi: “Sesame seeds, onion, coconut, tamarind, jaggery, jalapeno, curry leaves, grape seed oil, water, salt”.  Tasting notes: Really tasty, complex flavors.
    • Kale Rotu Pacchadi: “Kale, peanuts, coconut, onion, jalapeno, lime, grape seed oild, water, salt”.  Tasting notes: Delicious.  Great kale and peanut flavors.  Fun texture from the nuts that were chopped up in it. [ Really great spicing, delicious stuff. ]
  • Other
    • Farm Girl Flowers: Uh ... pretty flowers?
    • Mara’s Pasta: They were gone by the time I got there.
    • Cocotutti: I have been sampling their chocolates at several chocolate events lately, will post reviews of them seprately.
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