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Help me out with my Specialty Produce Farmer's Market Box

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I am fortunate enough that Ms. Krispy is now able to have Farmer's Market boxes delivered to her place of work. We initially started with just the box, and was overjoyed to see the range of items that you can add in. Overwhelmed, rather. We have added on a couple of fillets from Catalina Offshore and the fresh eggs, but aside from a few familiar faces (Eclipse, Venissimo, and recently added HG Sausageworks) I have absolutely no idea what is what, who is who, or what to order.

The stuff isn't cheap so I am hoping other Chowhounders that frequent SP can give me some tips. So far the fresh pasta from Pascucci, and the salumi from Tender Green's Peter Balistreri piques my interest. Any things to try or to avoid? Any other tips?

Thanks!

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  1. I don't get one every week, but I've come to love the flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils from Seaport. You can never go wrong with Spring Hill's organic butter - it's delicious!

    1. You just reminded me to sign up for next week. Time to take a look at what's on offer, I've been remiss.

      1. I have had the salumi stuff at Tender Greens, has anyone had the Pascucci pasta before? I hadn't heard of it.

        Thanks again for the recommendations

        1. for anyone that wonders what the heck I am talking about

          http://www.specialtyproduce.com/fmb/

          Do they sell all this stuff at the retail location also? I have never been.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MrKrispy

            I, for one, had no idea whatsoever what y'all were talking about, so I found the link very interesting.

            1. re: MrKrispy

              I was there last week--end. They had the salumi, a variety of vinegars but, I didn't see any pasta. I wasn't really looking for that so I may have missed it. I'd suggest calling before you go.

              1. re: MrKrispy

                You place your order using the above link (and I think you need to have in placed by Sunday or Monday) for pick-up on Thur, Fri, or Sat at 1929 Hancock St. It's nice that you can order just in the weeks that you want.

              2. This week I just went with the veggies and juice box, the seafood, venissimo cheese, the chuao chocolate (which sounds really good right now), the hot links, the salami and some eggs.

                Haven't tried the rosemary/garlic salami or hot links before.

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Office Goat

                  We are going to try the fresh pappardelle in the delivery box next week, I will report back.

                2. Just curious if Ms. Krispy is working in the same building as the new Green Acre since they started delivering the Farmer's Market to this building

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: honkman

                    Isn't that where you work, honkman?

                    1. re: RB Hound

                      Yes

                      1. re: honkman

                        Then get me a job!

                        1. re: RB Hound

                          I would like to help but unfortunately the job market for your expertise is really bad in the moment in SD. If you are willing to move to SF or Boston you will have better chances

                          1. re: honkman

                            yep that's where she works! She wasn't thrilled when Green Acres first took over, sounds like it was a mess until just recently. I am really liking the Specialty box delivery though.

                            I agree with the assessment of the job market...but I couldn't move to SF and be stuck with all those rice-filled burritos, no matter what Josh says.

                            1. re: MrKrispy

                              I wonder if Ms. Krispy is working for the same company. Did she move in this building about the beginning of last year ?

                              1. re: honkman

                                No that is a different company. She is at Lilly/AME

                  2. reporting back after having received boxes weekly or so since I first posted this.

                    Generally, thinking the Specialty produce box is not for the 2 of us. I love the high quality produce but the problem is that it seems like most of the stuff has sat around for a long time in their warehouse or something. A lot of the greens we get are bad within 2-3 days which is not the experience I have had buying direct from CSAs. There are only 2 of us in the house and we can't eat a whole box in a few days. I will add the variegated turnips/radishes have been excellent lately (and those types of produce hold up better as well).

                    We have gotten the Catalina fillets almost every box and the quality has ranged from superb to (more often than not) poor. Several of the fillets we have gotten were fishy, always a bad sign and likely that they are several days old as well.

                    The farmers eggs have been fantastic, the Pascucci pasta is generally very good (the papardelle was way too thick).

                    Will probably get the occasional box when we need eggs or something, but IMO the convenience is more than negated by the produce going downhill rapidly. I am interested to hear if others have had a similar experience.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: MrKrispy

                      I, too, rarely get the Farmers Market bag from Specialty Produce. I used to get it every week. We had the same experience - often the greens were of the "use today or forget it" quality, and that doesn't fly in our household. I did find that it made me try more veggies that I normally wouldn't buy. I love the Seaport oils, vinegars, and salts, the fresh pasta, some of the sausages, and some of the sweets, but those are "occasionally buy" items for us. I'm not a fan of Sadie Rose bread, and quit getting the seafood when I got bay scallops too many weeks in a row. I get my eggs from a local farmer, so I didn't even try the eggs.

                      1. re: phee

                        well good to hear it isn't just us. Although, we did get some rapini and used it for the first time ever and really liked it haha.

                        1. re: MrKrispy

                          Exactly! That's the big plus factor for "bags or boxes" from places like this or CSAs - trying new things you wouldn't normally buy or order when out. I finally came to terms with beets and brussel sprouts. ;)

                          1. re: MrKrispy

                            First time for rapini, love it, a great veg loaded with good flavor. How did you prep it.

                            1. re: cstr

                              Been trying to respond all day on my phone but the mobile site has issues. Anyway, MsKrispy sautéed the rapini in olive oil with shallots, garlic, and red pepper. She made some polenta croutons to serve with it...very tasty. You can do that with just the leaves or with the stems/bulbs.

                              1. re: cstr

                                We make orechiette (means "little ears" pasta in Italian, which they vaguely resemble) with rapini. Just sauté some garlic in EVOO, throw in the chopped rapini, a few red pepper flakes, cook lightly and mix with al dente orechiette. In Italy it is often served with grilled sausage on the side. I recommend the Italian sausage at Mona Lisa Market for this dish. They also sell orechiette in the dried pasta section.