Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reading Terminal Finds

Yesterday’s visit to the Reading Terminal Market saw the produce stands starting to bulge with spring produce.

Earl Livengood lacked strawberries, but his greens were overflowing: endive ($2.50/bunch), Napa cabbage ($2.95), kale, collards and chard ($1.95), lettuces ($3.25), and spinach ($2.95). Rhubarb was $3.95, and small bunches of Lily of the Valley were $2.95; he also had peonies. Earl’s Asparagus was $3.50 a bunch.

The Fair Food Farmstand had its usual broad selection from the region’s small farmers. The fiddleheads were dear but pristine at $19.50, though they still insist on calling them wild-crafted. What’s wrong with wild-harvested? Asparagus was $3.85 for chemical-free, $3.00 for IPM (integrated pest management). Rhubart was $5.50/pound for chemical-free, $3.00 for conventional.

Over at Iovine Brothers limes were a bargain at 10 for a buck; it seems that one of the wholesalers was stuck with many cases of 200-size limes, which are just a tad on the small side, but shoppers at Iovine reaped a bounting; these little guys still had plenty of juice. White grapes from Chile, where it’s the end of the season, were 89-cents for packs of about a pound each. And let’s not forget the pepper report, which I’ve skipped lately: green bells 79-cents a pound, orange and yellows $2.49, reds $2.99, and hot and frying peppers, 99 cents.

Two days earlier at Iovine I priced juice oranges at 5/$1, and bags of California clementines (three pounds each, I believe) at $5.99). The clementines’ meat is loose in the skin, but they’ve got great taste. Mangoes are showing up in abundance; Champagne mangoes from Mexico were 2 for $1.50, regular “tropicals” from Guatemala $1 apiece. Hawaiin Ataulfo’s were $1.99.

Boston mackerels are plentiful, $2.99/pound at John Yi. Soft shell crabs could be obtained $5.99, or four for $20.

Over at Giunta’s Prime Shop, Charles is selling duck legs from Pennsylvania’s Joe Jurgielewicz & Son for $5.99. Giunta’s organic chickens are from Coleman, $2.99/pound for whole birds.

Interview Rick Nichols

Turn the tables on Rick Nichols and ask him questions! Rick, the award-winning food columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, will visit La Cucina at the Market Thursday to discuss his experience covering the Philadelphia food scene. The two-hour session begins at 5:30 p.m. The tab is $55. For reservations call La Cucina at 215-922-1170.

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