Madison Market Inspirations

peppers

On a recent trip to Madison for a little R&R we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of one of the best local farmer’s markets that we have ever been to! Vendors were selling tons of local Mid-Western produce and artisanal sheep and goat cheeses (and of course cow), plus new exotics like sea buckthorn berries, hickory nuts and chocolate habeneros. Saw some ridiculous local Asian veg too– water spinach, bitter gourd leaves, yellow Thai eggplants and three-foot-tall lemongrass. There was other awesomeness like wild yeast artisanal loaves, Elk Jerkey from Gooch Farms (dude. I wish they had that shit at our local 7-11).  And the Gourd Guy!  And Harmony Valley! The Emu Lady! Needless to say, Madison Farmer’s Market Rocks! Unfortunately, we couldn’t exploit this market to the fullest for our fellow Chicagoans. Know anyone with a spot in town for us to Pop-Up, in, say, October?

Elkhorn Sumac

We found this awesome Elkhorn Sumac. We intend to use it as a substitute for tamarind in our rendition of Canh Chua Tom, a hot and sour soup from southern Vietnam. Think accents of pineapple, tomato, and scallion (and shrimp stuffed pasta). This should be an excellent addition to our Greeknamese dinner. We will letcha know how it goes.

edamame, peppers, beans

These little guys over here are screaming succotash for Indian Indian. Or maybe a composed salad for Japtaliano with Burrata and Shiso.  We’ll see what mad trickery we get up to in the kitchen …

sea buckthorn berries

Holy Bizzang! There hasn’t been a definition of the word because the folks at Merriam Webster haven’t  tried these little gems. These sea buckthorn berries are tiny explosive mini bombs of face puckering acid with aromas reminiscent of passionfruit, pumpkin, and gooseberry on citric acid steroids.  We picked some up and plan to pickle them to give rich dishes that je ne se … oh yeah! Bizzang! Wiki Source maybe?

gourds

bouquet

red okra

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