Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer bounty

The University District farmers' market is Seattle's oldest and largest "farmers-only" market, comprising some 50 farmers and operating year-round.

The market was busy at the opening hour, and I enjoyed walking slowly through the displays. I tried tayberries, which I'd never seen before. They look like elongated raspberries, with the soft core of a blackberry. (They're a cross between the two, I learned.) The large green globes are gooseberries.

It was just a quick visit, but I managed to sample two other foods that were new to me: albacore tuna jerky (really tasty, better than beef!) and chocolate chip sharp cheddar cheese (better than it sounds, just a hint of chocolate).

In the middle of the market, I saw a sign with a picture of the Eiffel Tower, the single word "crepes," and an arrow, so I hurried right over. Anita, the owner of the stand, was still setting up, and we had to wait while she darted into the market to purchase a few ingredients, but the result was definitely worth the wait.

I had ham, spinach, egg and cheese on a buckwheat crepe. The egg was soft-cooked from the heat of the griddle, the yolk still runny, which normally would not have pleased me, but the taste was so fresh that I didn't care.

Anita mentioned that the egg came from a pullet, a hen less than a year old. A bit of Web-surfing finds some suggestions that pullet eggs are more flavorful, and that they tend to have a greater proportion of white to yolk, but I couldn't really verify any of this.

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