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Winter is Alive

Lucky Californians are we. Winter does not mean the end of delicious local, organic produce, but it does mean a slight slowing down. Even as the winter chill enters the air we continue to flourish and thrive down on Colusa Circle. Check out our new and returning vendors below and watch our neighborly circumference expand and become ever more flavorful. 

Firebrand Artisan Bread
Restaurant bread often holds a special place in the hierarchy of bread. Either a gluttoney of soft starch can take hold as endless baskets of bouncing rolls pass over the table or a deep appreciation for the perfect symphony of crackle that accompanies each bite of the single requested freshly baked piece. Firebrand Artisan Bread falls in the later category. In fact, it surpasses that category in that it comes from our own backyard of Oakland and is baked to perfection in brick ovens, lending the bread a dense, roasted and smoky quality like you've never had. What adds even more depth to the crust is Firebrand's unusal use of natural, wild yeasts in the air which literally adds a local flavor to their loaves. 

Firebrand is a rare treat, as it can only be found in restaurants like
 Michael Mina's Prospect or Contigo, and other S.F. restaurants such as Fifth Floor, A-16, Salumera and A-Q. It can also be found at S.F. grocery retailers Bi-Rite and Rainbow groceries. These breads are all made at their brick oven bakery every day and include crusty wheat breads, Rye, Olive and Sprout breads. Take them home and have a five star dinning experience without worrying about how much to tip.

Friends Back In Town
Many of your favorite vendors will be back after the holiday. Included are your favorite tortilla españolas from Patatas. You will also be glad to find that Scott with The Fifth Quarter Charcuterie has returned. Ask him how his camping trip to Big Sur went. North Bay Curds and Whey will be back with their handcrafted artisan cheeses, a perfect complement to our new vendor's firey bread. Thomas Farms will be back with the start of their Winter flower selection. Like many of our vendors already do, they can take credit cards too.
 
Come join us for a jolly good time! Hope to see you here this weekend. 
 
Chris Hall
Your Market Manager (AKA El Jefe)



Food Fun: Romanesco Broccoli, Forbidden Rice and Purple Cabbage Stir-Fry

Everything is fractal. 

Romanesco broccoli is nature's mathematic and asethetic acheivement of perfection. (Of course it's Italian). A vegetable in the shape of a spiral, each floret contains a series of smaller florets which contains a series of smaller florets etc. etc.  It also tastes delicious. And looks a little strange (just look at the first picture below the cookbook swap blurb). To put it simply: it tastes like broccoli, has the texture of cauliflower and has a Martian appearance. Did I mention that its delicious? Especially when roasted. Look out for it at Moon Fox's table and then try this recipe.


Charles Wheal Jazz

Music this week will be provided by the Charles Wheal Jazz tones and roots band. Accompanying Charles will be William Beatty, one the Bay Area's finest keyboard players. You won't want to miss this group. It's their debut at our Sunday market.
 

Cookbook Swap

Sometimes the best gift someone can give is either a delicious baked good or a dish that warms you down to your toes - both made with love of course. Get into the giving mood and find inspiration for hearty gifts by participating in our continuing cookbook swap. In December, all you have to do is bring a book to share to the market table and then pick out a new book to take home. You'll also have the opportunity to win a big raffle basket!

The Many Flowers of Broccoli

Above is a picture of the Fibonacci-esque Romanesco Broccoli. A cross between broccoli and cauliflower. Below is a picture of what is typically imagined with the word "broccoli." These little trees orginally come from southern Italy and come in a variety of colors including green, white or purple. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. 



Below is a picture of Broccolini or Sweet Broccoli. It is a cross breed of broccoli and Chinese broccoli. Slightly sweeter than its pure bred cousin, it also has notes of asparagus. 



Below is a picture of Broccoli Rabe or Rapini. It also originates from the Mediterranean region, but unlike broccoli it has a slightly bitter taste and is more "leafy." The stems, leaves, floral buds and flowers are all edible. You can use it in any dish that you would use broccoli to add a more pungent kick. 




Credit: Information about broccoli comes from The Visual Food Lover's Guide. QA International. pp. 113 - 114. 
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