Washington’s forested mountains are prime mushroom territory, and at any given time there’s usually a handful of varieties on the table at Foraged and Found. While the morels at grocery stores can skyrocket to almost $50 a pound, these guys consistently have the best ones around at less than half the price.
The meatiest of the local mushrooms, these gentle giants are displayed cut in half to show that they’re not filled with worms, eliminating an unfortunate risk.
One stereotype Seattle’s in no hurry to dispel is that fresh salmon is abundant and amazing around here. Loki Fish Company brings whole salmon of multiple types—on this visit, there were king, sockeye, and pink—and portioned fillets. Out of season, they’ll bring in frozen salmon, too, but their various salmon products are always in season: ikura (salmon roe), salmon jerky, and smoked, canned, or pickled salmon.
If the legend of eating oysters only in months that end in 'r' hasn't been completely extinguished, the crisp, clean flavor of a June Hama Hama is ready to help convince. The Hama Hama stand sells them whole by the dozen, as well as shucked, smoked, or pickled.
Clams and Mussels
Sweet shellfish are a staple year-round, anchoring the market and drawing customers in the dark winter months.
One of the many varieties resulting from crossing blackberries and raspberries. How many other offspring of that pair can you name?
Black Cap Raspberries
The darker, slightly hardier sister of your classic raspberry.
The unusually warm weather has meant an early raspberry crop—and an extremely good one, too.
Cherry season is one of the highlights of the local food year in Washington, and the Vans in the front here are a super-sweet favorite for snacking. They look (and taste) quite a bit like the better-known Bing.
Actually a cross between the previously-mentioned Bing and Van cherries, the Rainier is prized for its sweetness and great texture.
Puget Crimson Strawberries
Strawberry, the first berry of the season, is already starting to peter out, but the late-season variety, Puget Crimson, isn't finished just yet. Like many of the local strawberries, these are bred for sugar and flavor, so the shelf life is short—but nobody can wait to eat them, anyway.
Another foraged goody, these greens have the same addictive crunch and saltiness as potato chips. Toss 'em with a salad or add them to a stir-fry to impart a sea-salt flavor and an asparagus-tip-like crispness. Sea beans (also known as marsh samphire) grow in the marshy areas around saltwater, such as Puget Sound.
Also known as juneberry or serviceberry, the year’s first wild berries look a little like blueberries. According to the forager, saskatoon berries “have a dry texture and a soft seed which tastes like marzipan.”
Loghouse Cheese from Kurtwood Farms
One of Seattle’s favorite cheesemakers, Kurt Timmermeister of Kurtwood Farms, recently came out with his third cheese, an aged tomme called Loghouse. As of this writing, the soft and savory cheese is available exclusively at the University District Farmers Market.
Another spring hanger-on-er, but one that goes great on the summer grill, folded into burgers, or tossed into tacos.
Lovely small artichokes, great for grilling in the warm weather.
The same vegetable that was heralded just a few months ago as the first green of the season is now fading out.
Early harbingers of the summer squash, the fragile flowers are can be stuffed with cheese and deep-fried or stuck inside a quesadilla.
A unique farm called Mair Taki grows excellent Japanese produce, including chrysanthemum greens, the crispest cucumbers, giant daikon radishes, and these lovely green apricots, which, as promised, are good for making umeboshi. If that seems ambitious, they’ll often sell their own homemade version of the Japanese-style pickled fruit.
Ricotta Goat Cheese
Mountain Lodge Farm is a newish (just over a year-old) goat cheese company. The fresh and flavored chevres are lovely, but what sets them apart is their fresh ricotta, made from the whey of their goat cheese. Thinner than whole milk ricotta, the richness is replaced with just a hint of pleasant goat-y funk.
Woodring has long been a fixture of the market on Saturday mornings, but it recently added an intriguing new product. After spending time learning at the home of a Korean woman, her husband acting as translator, the producer began making her own kim chi, aged in traditional fermenting crocks.