Santa Cruz Downtown Farmer's Market - H & H Fish - a carnival of flavors!
DH and I took a ride down to Santa Cruz yesterday from our place in Boulder Creek to run a few errands. Thinking ahead, I checked to see when and where there was a Farmers Market - good planning! The Downtown Santa Cruz market is on Weds. from 2:30 - 6:30 Year Round (according to their website).
I've never had the chance to visit this market, now I'm sad that I've been missing out! Those of you who live in the Santa Cruz area know all about this market and the delights to be had but I was very pleasantly surprised! I've been to the market at Cabrillo College and the small market in Felton but this market was the best! What a carnival scene - between people-watching and tasting many of the yummy fruits and vegetables on offer - we wandered around for about an hour and a half and came home with many wonderful treats! From dry-farmed tomatoes, to Frog Hollow apricot conserve and fresh nectarines and pluots from their other stand, to a Moon & Stars watermelon from Lucero, to a smoked salmon collar from H & H Fish Co.
I just pulled that smoked salmon collar out of the regrigerator for a little lunch time snack for us - I had to use all of my will power to keep from just scarfing this up. I can't remember ever eating any smoked salmon product that tasted as good as this - made me sad that I hadn't bought any of their smoked salmon belly - next time! What a great way to get a good supply of Omega 3 fatty acids (or whatever it's called...)
I checked for and H & H website and I see that they are at several other markets with Sunnyvale being the closest to our full-time home so I'll have to visit there. Interesting to read about Hans, the fisherman, who according to their website has cooked alongside Wolfgang Puck!
Here's their website: http://hhfreshfish.com/index.html
I'm so glad you were able to make it there for the first time! It's quite a scene, no? Very different than the Cabrillo market...
H&H is great! I've never had anything from them that was less than stellar. Their fish is super fresh, and their sablefish is a great value. I've never tried the smoked salmon before, so will look into it! Hans and Heidi are super nice and friendly too.
You should check out the Sat. westside market when you get a chance: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
You are so right - it it truly a scene! It was such a beautiful day yesterday that I think everyone in the city was there!
I think it was Hans who sold me my black cod - you are right again, this was the most pristine fresh fish I think I've had in years.
I think I'll try to make it to the Westside market tomorrow. (We're already running out of fruit and tomatoes - considering it's just DH and me, we eat a lot of veggies & fruit!) Maybe I'll see you there!
Trust me, the market is like that much of the time. What surprised me when I first went to the downtown market is the number of young adults/college students who are strolling around, loading up on fresh produce. Makes me happy to see all types of people supporting the market, treating their bodies well, and also means that the food is relatively affordable/accessible. I wouldn't be able to afford the fish as a college student, but a perfect peach or melon is within reach.
Did you notice Bill the Oyster Man? He has a raw oyster bar and occasionally has clams and mussels. It may not be oyster season and he may have had some difficulty sourcing his stuff lately (since he does get from PNW), but you should try his oysters if they look good. Kumamotos and miyagis are really great.
I'm planning on going to the westside market again tomorrow since I need to get ingredients for a soup and stock up on goodies. Don't know how early I'm going to make it, but look out for me and I'll do the same!