At Chacarero in Boston, they start the day baking the rolls they'll turn into traditional Chilean chacarero sandwiches. That soft roll is sliced in half, spread with mashed avocado, layered with tomatoes, Munster cheese, grilled chicken, and their own hot sauce. Then, they top each one with a generous pile of green beans, spread more avocado on the top half, and pass you a fistful of goodness.
Central Square in Cambridge has grown into an important food destination and the Central Square Farmers' Market gives lovers of fresh, local food another reason to visit the area. At the Kimball Fruit Farm stand, chef Steve Johnson had packed boxes with as much produce as he could carry back to his restaurant Rendezvous in Central Square. We also spotted chef Tony Maws shopping for Craigie on Main, around the corner from the market. Check out photos of the pumpkin blossoms, peaches, early pears, shell beans, and more beautiful produce.
The Brookline Farmers' Market is one of the best established and most popular markets in the Boston area. It's easy to reach by public transit or car and draws shoppers from a wide area. Check out these snapshots of sour cherries, goat cheese, fresh-baked loaves, and more from the market!
Where do Bostonians go for great corned beef on rye? This one goes downtown to Sam La Grassa's to indulge in a huge pile of their "Fresh from the Pot" corned beef. They describe it simply as, "corned beef soaked in brine then boiled." One bite and you know the meat is boiled in a well-seasoned stock.
Boston's farmers' market season opened at the Copley Square, one of the longest running and largest markets in the heart of the city. Prudential Farmers' Market, one of the newer Boston area markets, also opened and is one of the first to take advantage of legislation allowing Massachusetts Farm Wineries to sell at farmers' markets. Check out snapshots from both markets of the rhubarb, asparagus, green garlic, chocolate bread, and more.
Meet the Spuckie: fennel salami, hot capicola, mortadella, hand-pulled mozzarella, and olive-carrot salad on ciabatta. A Spuckie is "what some Bostonians still call a sub or hero." At Cutty's in Brookline Village, you have many Spuckie choices. Pressed or not; half or whole ($3.95 or $7.75, respectively). They even offer a vegetarian version with eggplant instead of meat.
This January, the city of Somerville launched a winter farmers' market to bring fresh, local, healthy food to residents of this densely populated urban center. Jaime Corliss, director of the Shape Up Somerville Program, has been very happy with the response. And, vendors (selling everything from daikon radishes to cider doughnuts) are certainly finding this location worth the trip.
The Lobster Roll ($25) at Neptune Oyster in Boston's North End is a spoiler. It will make you think twice about ordering other versions of this New England favorite.
Living in the heart of Boston has plenty of advantages for the food lover. This time of year, we can celebrate the fact that many of our farmers' markets are popular enough and supported well enough to stay open until Thanksgiving week. With this year's extended growing season, we're not only enjoying fall crops, but also a return appearance of favorites like scallions, baby bok choi, baby turnips, lettuces, and radishes.
Before visiting the Provincetown farmers' market in Massachusetts a couple weekends ago, Hurricane Earl was moving up the coast. While locals hauled their boats ashore and boarded up windows, these farmers were picking all the ripe produce and hoping to still have a Saturday market to sell their crops. Since the storm has diminished, the market has been full of sunshine, smiling faces, and beach plums.
Boston city councilor Michael Ross has been an early supporter of street food, calling for a simpler permitting process. "We need to roll out the welcome mat for businesses, let people know Boston is a business-friendly city, embrace innovation. Food trucks are welcome," Ross told Devra First in the Boston Globe. I chatted with him about the growing support for food trucks in Boston.
It's summer in Boston and the sweet corn alone is reason enough to walk to the Copley Square Farmers' Market twice a week. But, that so-good-you-could-eat-it-raw sweet corn is surrounded by hundreds of other delicious choices. And, after nearly two decades of shopping at Copley, I enjoy spending time with the "small-town" community that has developed at this "big-city" market.
It's time for another street food profile. This time we chat with Philip "Lefty" Francis of Lefty's Silver Cart at the Harvard University farmers' market, who sells local, organic, fair-trade (and cheerful) soups and sandwiches.
The Belmont Farmers' Market won "Boston Magazine's Best of Boston Farmers' Market 2009." I agree with the magazine that "picking the best farmers' market is like trying to pick the best heirloom tomato. What's not to love in any of the forms and flavors they take?" Still, I had to pay a visit because they also said that Belmont, "earns bonus points (and a loyal following of chefs) for the bumper crop of other regional goodies it has on hand." I also visited the Harvard University Farmers' Market for some of the area's best strawberries.
Last month Erin conducted a string cheese poll asking Serious Eaters how they ate it: string-by-string or bite-by-bite. The results had more than 80% of you stringing it. But my method wasn't exactly either: it first involves unbraiding. I buy my string cheese in braids that float in brine at the Middle Eastern shops in Watertown, Massachusetts. And, I do string it before serving it to family and friends as a lovely pile of strings! With that, the seed was planted for a string cheese-inspired road trip.
Add "cat tails" to the roster of foraged foods like ramps, fiddleheads, morels, and wild garlic, that spring brings to market. Cat tails are also known as, "broadleaf bulrush," common bulrush, broadleaf cattail, common cattail, or cat-o'-nine-tails. One word or two, opinion seems to be divided. They have a cucumber-like flavor with a heart of palm texture. You can use them like leeks, about the first ten inches, and you can use them raw. You can saute them, bake them or use them in a stir fry.
Last week many farmers' markets around Boston opened for the season. Shoppers were out in large numbers welcoming their favorite farmers back to the city. And, everyone was pleased that a combination of great growing weather and agricultural shelter systems brought more early crops to market. I spent the whole week market-hopping all over the city.
In three weeks, the farmers' market summer season in Massachusetts will officially begin. "Over 200 farmers' markets will be opening during the months of May and June, some beginning as early as mid-May," said Hannah T. Freedberg, community outreach director at the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers' Markets. By July, that number should climb to a new record of more than 250 markets statewide. Whew, that would be a record number of markets! Here's a list of opening dates for the Boston-area markets, including some new ones along the highway.
[Photographs: Penny Cherubino] This year, shoppers have have been finding some of their favorite farmers and food vendors scattered among the tropical plants inside the greenhouses at Russell's Garden Center in Wayland, Massachusetts. Each Saturday, 25 vendors or more set up shop at the Wayland Winter Farmers' Market. Russell's hosts the Wayland Farmers' Market during the summer season. This year, Market Manager, Peg Mallett said the idea of a winter market came up as the summer market was ending....
Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of Boston Zest. Take us to the market, Penny! [Photographs: Penny Cherubino] A new Holiday Market in Boston is allowing farmers to sell into the fall and winter. This Downtown Crossing marketplace offers a mixture of artists, craftspeople, specialty food vendors, and farms. On Sunday afternoon Abe from Stillman's at the Turkey Farm said he sells less meat at this location with the farm reaching a new set of customers. They've also been successful selling CSA shares....
Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of Boston Zest. Take us to the market, Penny! [Photographs: Penny Cherubino] Boston's Copley Farmers' Market Open Tuesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (map) The final market of the season is Wednesday, November 25. At the Copley Square Farmers' Market in Boston's Back Bay, customers and vendors were saying goodbyes. Their market season is ending. Customers asked, "How many more weeks do we have?" Vendors counted down, "Two more weeks, three more markets." Under a pale gray sky, with a...
Note: When Penny Cherubino of BostonZest isn't covering Boston-area farmers' markets for us, she's probably chowing down on a hot dog. Last time we heard from her it was from Blue Light in Provincentown, Massachusetts. This week she's got another favorite. [Photographs: Penny Cherubino] The Boston Speed Dog is a rite of passage for the Hub's food community. Every city has places you must go and bites you must take to earn your official food lover stripes. The Speed Dog was Boston's secret indulgence until the Wall Street Journal named it "Top Dog in America" last year. Now it's a destination for those planning a food journey through the region. Speed's location—in a parking lot, in the wholesale meat and...
Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of BostonZest. Take us to the market, Penny! [Photographs: Penny Cherubino] The arrival of instant winter in the Northeast brought out hoods, muffs, and furry hats at farmers' markets this week. Shoppers and staff at the Copley Square Farmers' Market in Back Bay were all bundled up. This season is one of plenty for those shoppers who know that many Boston-area markets continue operating late into October. And, a few, like Copley, don't close for the season until Thanksgiving. Farmer Chris Kurth...
Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of BostonZest. Take us to the market, Penny! [Photographs: Penny Cherubino] It's autumn in New England and each week a few farmers' markets close for the season, but the Boston Public Market outside of South Station will remain open through the end of October. Aside from providing shoppers in the waterfront, financial and shopping districts with fresh food, this market has symbolic importance. It's operated by the Boston Public Market Association and is a seasonal reminder that the people of Boston want...
Is it an inefficient turkey baster? A giant syringe? Something less suitable for work? No, it's the AeroPress, a coffee brewer which uses nothing more than water, coffee, and a little of your own elbow grease to make a delicious cup. All the rage in Europe and mysteriously unsung on its own shores, the AeroPress is the sole non-athletic gadget manufactured by the team who brought us the Aerobie Flying Ring, and is one of the most versatile, portable ways to brew a delicious single cup of coffee.
The 64 contenders for America's Best Dog were organized by region, March Madness style, with 16 hot dog joints for each section of the country (East Coast, West Coast, South, and Midwest). To kick off the competition, we're doing a slideshow for each region. First up is the East Coast.
Okay, dried beans aren't "in season"—they're always available and always the same. But this is really the season for them. As the winter months drag on, I just want to curl up on a couch with a bowl of chili that's filled with a lot of beans—not beans that come out of a can, but beans that were soaked overnight. Dried beans are best when we're hibernating. The beans swell and swell and swell as they stay submerged in water, and then they become soft after they're cooked.
Alaina and I cruised out of Boston at around 11:30. Our plan: head to Providence for a sandwich tour—the food store-cum-cheese shop Farmstead, by husband and wife chef team Matt and Kate Jennings, and Hewtin's Mobile Hot Dog Truck, owned by Matthew and Kristin Gennuso of Chez Pascal. What better time to visit a food truck in New England than on a sunny day in mid-March, with wheels at your disposal?
The "velvet" in the title alludes to the chicken's texture after it emerges from the pot. While some poached chicken recipes come out stringy and tough, this one is cooked in a liquid that's barely simmering for 30 minutes. The result is perfectly cooked chicken that's beautifully tender and aromatic thanks to a particularly flavorful cooking liquid.
We follow Rick Bishop from his farm in Roscoe, New York, to a farmers' market in New York City.
Note: This week we add Boston to our mix of Market Scene reports. Penny Cherubino, of BostonZest, reports. Photographs by Penny Cherubino There's been a farmers' market in Copley Square for decades. Long before the local food movement took hold, residents and workers in the historic heart of Boston have been buying fresh, local products from Massachusetts farms at this location. In the past five years, this market has doubled in size. On Tuesdays and Fridays the park is turned into a festival of fresh produce, eggs, meat, smoked fish, cheese, specialty food products, baked goods, plants, cut flowers, crafts, and prepared foods. This week I saw greens everywhere—lettuce, Swiss chard, Asian varieties, collards, mustard, spinach, and bok choy. And,...