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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday Morning Market

Now that my local (St. Pete, FL) Saturday Morning Market is open, after another long, hot summer, all is right with the world once again. There's a certain lightness of being I experience knowing that from October-May, I can count on this constant in my life.

This past weekend, I was thrilled to see it bigger and more buzzworthy than ever...

There are a couple of booths we always hit up: the kids especially love Sweet Caroline's, for their ginormous chocolate chip cookies. I personally favor their Glorious Morning muffins, which is a hodge podge of hearty, healthy ingredients, like carrot cake, raisins, nuts, and the like.

My wife and I always enjoy the breakfasts served up courtesy of Uhuru Breakfast Cafe (sans political innuendo, thank you) -- huge tortillas folded around generous amounts of eggs, cheese, potatoes, peppers and onions.

Always a fun indulgence is Mot-sa-pie: Hot and cheesy, warm and chewy, Hispanic in origin, it's a yummy, grilled cornmeal pancake with melty mozzarella cheese inside. Add a slice of ham for our "deluxe Mot-sa-pie." Traditionally served with powdered sugar on top.

But, at the risk of burying the lead here, I sampled two of the newer vendors at the Market this time around: couldn't pass up the booth for Brooklyn Knish. I was really impressed with their wide selection of knishes: no fewer than 17 on the menu! As I approached, I'd prepped my taste buds for an original potato variety, but was swayed when I spotted the Sweet Potato Pumpkin Spice version beckoning me.

Bonnie Wachtler and her hubby run the joint, and had mini-steamers on hand to make the knishes nice and warm and moist. I enjoyed my rather eccentric order, but can't wait to get back there for an "original" ... or maybe and original with bacon... or I could go for the one with corned beef... either way, any way, mission accomplished in the way of "taking me back home to New York"...

Next up, we happened upon an unassuming, classic-looking Popsicle cart. What I came to quickly discover, though, was Pop Craft is anything but.
I've experienced authentic paletas before (in Nashville, at an award-winning outpost, aptly called Las Paletas), so I was psyched to see these Mexican treats served up locally. Paletas, for the uninitiated, are frozen bars, chock-full of chunks of fresh fruit and available in a hypnotizing array of colors and clear, not-too-sweet flavors. This Sarasota-based company boasts "all natural artisan Popsicles," and their flavors on-hand made our tongues wag just reading the chalk-drawn menu. The kiddies ordered the Strawberry-Lemon. I couldn't resist the Coconut Cream. Both were dynamite! Incredible texture; so refreshing. And an extra benefit of these au natural creations: they don't melt as messy as store-bought kinds!

All in all, a great morning spent with the family in a fun environment, and a fantastic way to support local growers and businesses, too.

Can't wait 'til next Saturday...

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