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Feb 23, 2014 01:28 PM

Quest for amazing ingredients in SF

Hi all, I'm on a quest for amazing ingredients I can get in San Francisco. I'll be hitting the Ferry bldg farmer's market, of course, but I'm also interested in non-produce that's available further afield.

For example:

-fresh rice noodles from Kun Wo Food Product (2939 16th St, San Francisco, CA)

-fresh milled flours from Josey Baker Bread/The Mill (736 Divisadero Street. San Francisco, CA 94117 (415) 345-1953)

I'm a bit too squeamish to be looking for live animals, but otherwise am super open to possibilities. (I like these ingredient quests to open new culinary doors for me, so it doesn't matter if I've used it or heard of it before.)

Thanks so much for sharing the delights of your city!

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  1. Mama Lil's goathorn peppers are sold at Boccalone in the Ferry Building under their private label.

    1 Reply
      1. re: mlutsky

        Yum! Now I've got Local Mission Market on my radar. Also added Rainbow and Bi-Rite. Any others I should know about?

        1. re: miss louella

          I found Rainbow market a fun mix of people and products. Was sort of overwhelmed so I didn't end up buying too much, but wanted to report that the Guisto polenta is really wonderful. I don't know how they mill the grain, but whatever they do makes for a really nice (to me) mix of fine and coarse so the polenta itself is amazingly smooth and nicely textured at the same time. Fantastic. Crave worthy. I need more.

      2. I like Hodo Soy's products, particularly their yuba and the braised tofu (if you have the time, their factory tour is really fun).

        Tons of sources for great farm-fresh eggs. I believe this is the most complete thread on that topic:

        Also love Gioia burrata, which is made in the the greater L.A. area, but is available at places like Cowgirl Creamery, Bristol Farms in the mall, and occasionally Bi Rite.

        Oh, also a fan of Sinto Kimchi. You can find it at Whole Foods and Rainbow. Speaking of which, I also like Bubbies sauerkraut from the bulk bin at Rainbow, which somehow seems tastier than the jarred version, but maybe it's my imagination?

        4505 Meats is well worth a visit. They have an outpost near 16th and Mission (easily combined with a trip to Kun Wo) that's open 7 days a week.

        1 Reply
        1. re: possumspice

          Wow, thanks so much! I had no idea there was a Hodo Soy tour. (Turns out they're putting a hold on tours from March to June 2014, so I'll miss that, but some other time!)

          Gonna hit 4505 for sure and will be exploring Rainbow (repeatedly, I bet).

          I better walk to all these places to work off some of the deliciousness. :-)

        2. Some places with products I haven't seen elsewhere:

          Rainbow Grocery - SF
          Le Sanctuaire - SF (appointment only)
          The Pasta Shop - Oakland & Berkeley
          Spanish Table - Berkeley & Mill Valley

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Thanks so much! I'd never heard of Le Sanctuaire--looks like I should bring a couple of friends to make the appointment worthwhile for the store.

            1. re: miss louella

              I believe they're there anyway, handling mail orders and whatnot.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Probably so, but I don't just want to make an appointment and gawk--better to bring along friends who will gasp and purchase while I take the time I need to assimilate what's there. And probably go back later when I have an idea of what to do. Thanks again for the rec!

              1. re: miss louella

                And everything else Russian (and Russian-Armenian) - Royal Market.