Spring @ the Ferry Building

The weather is unpredictable as ever these days, what with rains well into April and May. Within the breadth of one day, you could see rain, fog and sun; or feel cold and hot. We walked out to the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market on a cold and gloomy morning one such day towards the end of April. En route is this pier which was quiet and foggy. We strained out eyes yet were unable to see Berkeley on the other side….

The sun burnt through the fog in the two or so hours we spent at the market and on our way back the same boardwalk was turned into a warm and cheery hangout. Only one of the many turnarounds this city sees in a day!

Farmers’ Markets abound with the bounty of cultivation these days. And there’s hardly a better place to see everything together that’s better than the market at the Ferry Building. Every Saturday morning, the Ferry Building Plaza becomes a weekly Farmers’ Market. This is easily the best (albeit the most expensive) Farmers’ Market around. We check it out once a month, not just for what’s the current produce but also for perennial favourites such as the Della Fattoria bakery, which has some of the best bread available anwhere..

…..and the rotisserie, which serves some of the best roasted chicken I’ve ever tasted, anointed with rosemary. We buy it and use it over the week to snack on or put in pasta.

That day there were new potatoes and English peas,which people were buying by the truckload, it seemed.

..not to mention an abundance of asparagus in the market.

There was this beautiful leafy vegetable I’ve never used and I couldn’t get close enough to the stall to find out what it was. Do tell me if you know. I’m on extremely cordial terms with spinach, maybe lettuce.With the rest of the leafy greens, I have a moderate acquaintance. Look at these rainbow-hued stalks!!

Fresh baby carrots were nonchalantly arrayed in cosy bunches. I bought some of these and they met an untimely but super tasty demise on a roasting tray with some olive oil and orange juice.

There were little baskets of kumquats, the little citrus fruits that I was recently and most happily introduced to, the only ones I know that you consume along with their thin rinds…

….and you also got to bid the last of the apples goodbye, sadly yet firmly affirming their flavour while somewhat woefully admitting their state.

Rain or shine, this market is extremely popular and there are always people about, taking in the produce, enjoying breakfast or people-watching.

While the vendors busy tending to customers or answering questions about their stock….

…local and talented performers entertain market goers. This was an especially melodic country music duo which was busy entertaining a baby and her grnadma.

But the Ferry Building isn’t just about the market outside, there is also a daily and exclusive market inside, having among many other vendors, Far West Funghi and Prather Ranch Organic Meats where I bought the ground lamb for this shepherd’s pie.

This interior place is such a foodie delight that to do it justice I have to cover it in another post. But before I’m done, I have to show you our rather quick shared lunch. The market vendors hand out samples on such a vast scale that there was no need for anything other than this small snack to carry us through our walk back home. We stopped at Delica rf-1, the onsite Japanese place that serves various yummy bites.

You pick either a bento box from the side or individual bits of what you’d like from the case and you can either enjoy it in the shop or outside.

We took our chicken and mushroom rice cakes, chicken dumplings and potato croquettes outside to enjoy the sparkling new day in the sunshine. Very tasty and just about enough to round off all the noshing we’d done in the past couple of hours. I highly recommend the croquettes and chicken dumplings in the finger lickin’ good barbecue sauce.

The flowers in the neighbouring flower shop were fresh in bloom in their minimal vases..

If you find yourself in the city on a Saturday morning, don’t miss Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. It absolutely delivers on its promise.


    • Cheeky Chilli

      Thanks Steve. The chard I’d seen before had dark red stems so I wasn’t sure about these The greens here are different from the ones I knew in India. Or at least I don’t know the English names for those so can’t look for them here. :):)