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Ferry Bldg Farmer's Market - Must-Haves that Travel?

  • j

My very lovely friends are going to SF for the weekend, making a Saturday stop at the Farmer's Market. They've generously offered to bring me some items back (I live on the East Coast). From the boards, here's what I'm requesting. Am I missing anything? Any particular recs from the market?

A quick perusal of the boards recommends these items:

June Taylor Jams - probably Cherry and Almond
The Fatted Calf - jerkey or something meaty and delicious

Any other excellent things? Honeys, preserves, smoked meats, amazing nuts, excellent chocolates/sweets/dried fruits, hard cheeses that they'll wrap for travel?

Many many thanks! (Oh, and I want this to be fairly easy on them, so nothing too pungeant that can't be contained or perishable.)

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  1. The mushroom store sells black truffle salt ($25), and a black truffle sampler (truffle salt, truffle pate, and truffle slices) for about the same price. I brought the sampler for 2 relatives in NJ and they loved it. Cowgirl Creamery carries the Apple Farm's jams and chutneys, which my mom always asks for. Cowgirl has lots of hard cheeses and can also ship.

    1. Frog Hollow Farms Orange Marmalade. I don't even usually like orange marmalade that much, but this stuff is incredible. Like all-natural candy that you can spread on stuff. It's like crack (in a good way!). Most of their other preserves/jams are awesome, also. My girlfriend loves their apple butter, but I'm not sure if they have that one right now.

      I also love Stone House extra-virgin olive oil. Their regular house oil is my go-to cooking oil, I like how it's really grassy. They also have a few good flavored olive oils (lime, orange, etc), a great white balslamic (and regular) vinegar and a couple other un-flavored olive oils. They're all very good.

      1. 1. Bariani Olive Oil - the best

        2. Swanson's Strawberry Jam

        3. Boulette's Larder has unusual spices/seasonings

        5 Replies
        1. re: smp

          You know, I used to love Bariani, but I feel that their oils were off this year. I like bitter, peppery notes in my EVOO, but Bariani was just too bitter this season and it gave everything I used it in an off flavor. Now that I've discovered Round Pond and Dutch Henry EVOOs I don't think I'll ever go back to Bariani.

          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            You know, I thought I was just imagining it, but I think you're right. HOWEVER, the bottle I just bought last weekend at Alemany was pretty darned good again. Have you tried the "October Harvest"? Try a sample the next time you're out.

            1. re: foodiegrl

              The October Harvest is what I usually buy. I've actually spoken to three other Bariani lovers who came to the same conclusion independently. We all agreed: we normally love it, this year it was just a bit off, and you almost think you're imagining it, but you're not.

              I might give Bariani another shot this Spring, after the new batches come out. But I will definitely taste before I buy.

              If you're ever in Napa, the wine country makes some damn fine EVOOs:

          2. re: smp

            Do you mean SWANTON's strawberry jam? The local place - in Watsonville area?

            If so, I agree that it's fantastic. Made from their organic berries.

            1. re: oakjoan

              Yes I did mean SWANTON'S - thanks for the correction.

              They are located in Davnport near Santa Cruz.

          3. How much time between this Saturday and when your friends will see you? I'm tempted to recommend something other than jerky from Fatted Calf. They have some things that will keep for 4-7 days that are much better than the jerky.

            Don't get your heart set on a specific June Taylor jam; they're constantly changing and they're all incredible.

            If Andante has any hard cheese, I'd opt for that over Cowgirl Creamery. Rancho Gordo beans are a must.

            1. Meyer lemons are in season now. Unless something has changed, I don't think these are available on the East Coast. Or there is the meyer lemon/caramelized onion jam from LuLu which is a staple in our house for sandwiches, pan sauces and salad dressings, not to mention nibbling with cheese.

              I'm not a big brownie fan in general, but Recchiuti's brownies give me fits (in a good way). They are packaged and would travel well.

              If Terra Vegetables has her smoked onions, get some! They are dried and weigh almost nothing but they add the most amazing flavor to darned near anything.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pistou

                We grew Meyer lemons in Florida. Satsumas on the other hand are much harder to find on the east coast.

                To the list above, I'll add the natilla (goat cheese caramel) from Bodega Goat Farm, a rosemary Meyer lemon bread from Della Fattoria, and some local honey (avocado, blackberry, lavender).

                Also the nuts and walnut brittle from the place out front- Van Wyck?

                I dislike most of the Recchiuti chocolates except the ginger hearts, fleur de sels, and rose caramels. Might be best to pick our your own assortment.

              2. Have them pick up a small box of Recchiuti chocolates - and eat them slowly, savoring their complex flavors and lusciousness!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Seldomsated

                  Let's just repeat this one... for the sake of democracy and hope that popular vote will help it sink in.

                  Recchiuti, Recchiuti, Recchiuti.

                  Amazing, amazing, amazing.

                  Their brownies are good, but their truffles are transcendant and come well packaged for a trip.

                2. Tierra's dried peppers and smoked dried peppers

                  The Apple Farm's apple "balsamic," cider vinegar, and hard cider (they're only around every other week)

                  Andante, worth asking but I don't think she makes hard cheese any more.

                  Boulette's Larder's less perishable items are mostly available mail-order from other sources.

                  1. It looks like you'll have to come see us yourself!

                    I'd like to second the recommendation for Rancho Gordo beans, and also mention that you can find them on line at www.ranchogordo.com where you can order to have them shipped.

                    Every variety that I've worked with so far has been absolutely delicious. I love beans but had no idea they could be this good.

                    1. Dried fruit, particularly the tangy apricots from Bella Viva.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Tobias

                        macaroons from miete, the french bakery. i hope i spelled that right. everything there is good

                        1. re: toncasmo

                          "Everything"? I would suggest the O.P. search for other posts.

                        2. re: Tobias

                          And if they have dried persimmons!

                        3. Anything Frog Hollow! Be sure to get a cup of coffee when you are there Blue Bottle yum!

                          If you ae there on Sat. get the Lavendar or Rosemary seasalt from the vendor outside.. good on pototoes, fish, eggs, etc.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Lori SF

                            I agree. Anything from Frog Hollow, the apricot conserve is so good!

                            1. re: Lori SF

                              Huh? If you are saying get a cup of coffee at Frog Hollow? They don't use beans from BB anymore. However getting a cup of BB from their cart is excellent advise.

                              1. re: chipman

                                Oh did not know that. I guess that would be true because BB has their own stand outside on Sat. Thanks

                            2. Honey from Marshall's Farm, sold at Cowgirl Creamery.

                              1. Another strong recommendation for Frog Hollow Farms Orange Marmalade. It's incredible.

                                1. If Blue Bottle sells beans at the FM, I'd have them pick up a lb.

                                  A container of cocoa from Scharffen Berger (assuming it is unavailable in your nabe).

                                  The ferry plaza tote bags are a nice souvenior once the all the goodies have been consumed.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                    Chocolates from Hershey's Scharffen Berger division are widely available in Massachusetts.


                                  2. I'm an out of towner, but when I come to SF, I always stop at the Ferry Building for treats to bring home. The last time I was in SF (this past October), I bought:

                                    McEvoy Olive Oil

                                    Blue Bottle Coffee from the stand at the farmer's market - on that day, the stand in front of the building didn't have beans, but the one on the side did (the side away from Fisherman's Wharf, by the funny statue). even though I can mail order these, I get more satisfaction buying it in person. Plus, I like looking at the roasting date.

                                    Scharffen Berger unsweetened baking bars

                                    Rechuitti chocolates - admittedly, these didn't make it home. In the past, I've bought the burnt caramal sauce. Now, reading these posts, I wish I bought the brownies.

                                    Cowgirl Creamery cheese- Mt. Tam. I ate this on the plane, but had some left over for home consumption

                                    Acme bread - to eat with above.

                                    1. Thanks, Hounds! Here is my list of goodies:

                                      -dried sweet red peppers
                                      -dried persimmons and kiwis
                                      -prather ranch original beef jerky
                                      -little pineapple-guava fruit things
                                      -barjos (or something like that) dates (delicious but squooshy)
                                      -frog hollow meyer lemon marmalade
                                      -rancho gordo christmas beans

                                      My friends couldn't find the June Taylor Jams. I can't wait to try all of these things!

                                      1. Acme Bread, just to prove that there is truly great bread being made in America.