Monday, September 11, 2006

A sure sign of fall: apple cider. Benuel Kaufman says he'll have it starting this Thursday at his Reading Terminal Market stall.

I ate that big apple Sam Consylman sold me last Thursday. Definitely a Delicious on steroids, though with more flavor and slightly less sugar that those mealy Washington State examples. If I was going to give an apple to a teacher, this would be the one.

Next Monday at the market will be the "Local Food Expo," sponsored by the Fair Food Project. A similar event was held last spring for the restaurant and food supply industry, but this fall's event will be open to the public on Sept. 25 to 4 to 6 p.m., giving us mere consumers a chance to meet more than 20 family farmers and food producers from the region, showing and offering samples of the goods they offer.

On this week's RTM agenda (Thursday, Sept. 21), the monthly "Producers Corner" program. "Indian Summer" is the theme with samples to taste of tomato and corn salad, peach cobblers, plum tarts and sangria.

Some of the new cases are ready to be installed at Charlie Giunta's new natural meat store. There's a lot of work to be accomplish quickly if he's to make his goal of opening before the end of the month.

No way will Hershel's deli be open before the Jewish high holydays; although design work is complete the vendor still needs permits from the city's Health and L&I departments. Until that happens, Spataro's stays put. LeBus, however, figures on beginning construction of its new stand this month.

Blackberries were briefly availble at Benuel Kaufman's this past Saturday morning ($2.95 per half pint), but by the time I left the market at 11:15 they were gone. That's probably it for the season. Lots of Barlett pears at $1.49/pound. White peaches and green and colored bell peppers sold for $1.99, prune plums for $2/pint.

Over at Iovine Brothers, local green peppers featured at 50 cents/pound, but all the colored varieties (none local) priced at $3.99. Local Gala apples also two pounds for a buck, local eggplant 79-cents a pound. Another sign of autumn, pomegranites $1.99 apiece. Hass avocados $1.99 (vs. $1.49 at O.K. Lee). Black figs $2.99/pint, red and green seedless grapes 99-cents, red globe, black seedless and muscatine grapes $1.99. Looking at my receipt I noticed that it offerd a 10 percent discount at the Down Home Diner; Jimmy Iovine said he's had that offer for months.

Also offered at O.K. Lee, orange and yellow cauliflower at 99-cents a head. Excellent cactus pears still 79 cents apiece.

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