A Ferry Building Welcome

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“You have to go to the Ferry Building!” “You have to go to the Farmer’s Market!” “If you don’t go to the Ferry Building or the Farmer’s Market I’ll never read your blog again and not only that, I’ll burn my computer with your page loaded up so I can watch you smolder.”

These are the words that regaled me when I announced I was going to San Francisco. My readers are very aggressive people. So I knew, Saturday morning, that I’d have to go to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market or pay the price.

Luckily, Sam of Becks and Posh was happy to be my host. She met me at the front of the Ferry Building (a San Francisco icon, poorly photographed from the back, above) and told me how crappy it was that it was raining. But I said, “Well, let’s embrace the rain: maybe it won’t be as crowded.”

The market has an indoor part and an outdoor part. The indoor part has vendors with actual stores, the outside part has vendors with stands (much like the Farmer’s Market at Union Square.) We started outside and visited La Cocina, “a nonprofit shared use commercial kitchen and business incubator.”

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The guy there was really cool and gave me samples of Chai tea (very good), Alfajores–short bread cookies with dulce de leche (excellent), and Clare Squares–milk chocolate, shortbread and caramel squares (extraordinary.)

We continued on and saw beautiful produce:

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Then I got to meet the famed June Taylor, maker of jams that ship around the world. (That’s her helping a customer, on the left.)

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She was a pleasure to talk to and incredibly humble for someone who’s received so much recognition. I bought a jar of her Meyer Lemon & Rosemary jam which I will put to use back in Brooklyn.

Look at these artichokes!

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And hey, how come they don’t sharpen your knives at the farmer’s market in New York?

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Oooh, oysters:

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I had one and it was briny and delicious. Like the sea in a glob. (Gross description, Adam.)

Bow down! It’s a King Crab!

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Ooooh, Acme Bread:

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I bought my first San Francisco Sourdough…

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…and joined Sam, Catherine from Food Musings, and, eventually, Elise for a wonderful Ferry building tradition. That tradition is that Sam orders a bottle of champagne (“Bubbles,” as she called the tradition in an e-mail) and you sit at the table and drink champagne and people open up bread and cheese and strawberries and lots of delicious things you can snack on while you sip:

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For example, we snacked on this awesome salami from…from…what’s that place called? The Fatted Calf!

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Hey look, it’s Elise with a Clare Square:

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And there’s Sam modelling chocolate:

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One of the chocolates in the bag is a salted caramel chocolate which I really liked. Sam had a more pretentious chocolate with tarragon and grapefruit or something. My chocolate was infinitely more sophisticated.

We ended up at the Cowgirl Creamery where I sampled some killer ricotta:

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After which, everyone had to go home. I was about to leave for my own adventure–about to be shared in YET another post (am I ever going to leave Raife’s apartment?) But this was the best welcome I could’ve imagined to San Francisco. Sausage and champagne shall haunt my dreams forever. Thanks Sam, Catherine and Elise!

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