Hadley, a neighboring town near Amherst, Massachusetts, where I live, is famous for its asparagus. In late spring, around mid-May, when the crops finally arrive, everyone rushes to buy a bunch. Farmers sell bundles of the handsome spears at outdoor markets and roadside stands, and not to be outdone, our groceries all display the verdant stalks with signs noting that they are LOCAL! Continue reading
When the memo announcing the annual conference of the IACP, a culinary group I belong to, arrived, I was thrilled to discover that the meeting this year was scheduled in the city by the bay. It had been more than 10 years since I had visited San Francisco so I quickly signed up and booked my airline tickets.
Last week I spent 5 days in this food lover’s mecca- not nearly enough time to enjoy its many culinary splendors. What I remembered and what is still even more apparent today is that this metropolis’ food venues, whether restaurants, bistros, food trucks, or food stalls, all use fresh and local ingredients to turn out mouthwatering fare. Why wouldn’t they since the near-by countryside is dotted with an abundance of farms, vineyards, ranches, and dairies.
Every day I seemed to find my way to the Ferry Building, an historic structure located along the Embarcadero. The building is a transit hub, but more important, it houses an outstanding marketplace of cafés, casual restaurants, cheese shops, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, chocolate boutiques, and much more. At Il Cane Rosso, a small eatery owned and run by Lauren Kiino, I loved my curried chicken salad on a fresh, crispy baguette as well as an ethereally smooth rutabaga soup garnished simply with a slick of smoked paprika oil.
A picture-perfect lemon cup cake topped with swirls of lemon buttercream and a delectable banana cream tart with a hidden chocolate layer from Miette, a charming bakery, satisfied my sweet cravings. My husband stood in line for a cup of famous Blue Bottle Coffee, and declared his iced brew perfect. The Cowgirl Creamery displayed cheeses that rival those of France, and Recchiuti Confections boasted beautiful chocolate creations. Continue reading