Sunday, December 29, 2013

San Francisco: Ferry Building Farmers Market

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Situated right along the Bay in San Francisco is the Ferry Building. Every Saturday the building hosts a farmers market that shows off what the Bay Area has to offer. It has a mixture of produce and prepared food stalls. Many vendors offer samples, so we spend the first 20 minutes wandering around and seeing what was available. 
Although the focus was on prepared foods, there was some really amazing produce.
There are permanent vendors and even full restaurants inside the ferry building and pop up tents all around the outside. 
One of the first stalls that caught my eye was Chino.  A gaggle of Asian teenagers were hoarded around raving about the wonton soup.  After wandering around the market a bit, I made my way back to check out what the fuss was about.  
Although I had come back for the soup, I was immediately drawn to the man frying perfect little dumplings right out in the open. The guys behind him were making them right there.
I couldn't resist the freshness, so I ordered both the wonton soup and the dumplings.  This was one of my better decisions all week.  The dumplings were crisp on one side where the noodle met the grill, but soft and pliable all around.  The flavors were deep with cilantro and sesame seeds, and I doused it in soy sauce and a Chinese vinegar for some extra punch.  
The wonton soup was a cacophony of flavors.  At various points in the broth I tasted shrimp, lemongrass, chili, scallions, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and more.  The guy serving it referred to the heap of xo sauce he threw on top as an "umami bomb."  It was extremely flavorful. 
We sat outside and enjoyed out little picnic.  My dad found a smoked salmon vendor who was serving open-faced smoked salmon sandwiches to a long line of hungry patrons. My dad's was topped with cream cheese, smoked salmon, roasted red peppers, red onion, pickled shallots, and fresh dill. 
After our picnic, we wandered around inside simply admiring (and tasting) all of the different foods. 
If you are in SF on a Satuday, I cannot stress enough how amazing this market is! 


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