Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pike Place Market Food Tour

Even for a Seattleite who is a regular at Pike Place Market, the market is still an unknown territory. So many purveyors, stalls, foods, restaurants, cafes, where you can start and end? Some aspects of it are known, others are unfamiliar.  Like the sign The market for the Producers or tiny alleys that were never followed. In an effort to explore it all, I spent nearly three hours with Leslie, our culinary tour guide of the Pike Place Market food tour organized by the Seattle Food Tours. Leslie as an insider of the Market does not only share the culinary details but also the history. We tasted gelato at Bottega Italiana, visited the DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine from a back door, met Rachel, the pig and indulged with donuts from the Daily Dozen Donut. Historic facts came along with tasty food. When the market started? When did it decline? What or who saved it? What is happening now? 

Through the buzzy storefronts to quiet side streets, freshly made chowder, Greek yogurt and crumpets with honey, you will explore unique layers of this wonderful, world-known market. The last stop was at Tom Douglas Rub Shack with a spicy salmon burger that the entire group appreciated even with a full stomach. I won’t reveal more as a personal experience of the tour is the best way to find out.

Leslie also answered the question that everybody often asks: do locals shop there? Of course they do, Leslie confirmed. But they know where to go and what time. Just avoid the weekends!

Seattle Food Tours:

The group

Friday, September 26, 2014

IFBC- My favorite product

During the International Food Blogger Conference, we were all exposed to several new and old products from cookies and nuts to bread mixes and seeds. This year my favorite product -and I vote for it-is the Noosa Pumpkin Yogurt. And this was unexpected as I  am not a pumpkin fan. I don't like pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins or even pumpkin beer or gum (they both exist). The only pumpkin related dish I enjoy is the pumpkin and corn soup, flavorful and smooth!

Therefore, I was surprised with this Noosa flavored yogurt. It is soft and creamy and tasty and the pumpkin puree blends perfectly with the creamy substance. Easy to eat, you will ask for seconds. And I don't blame you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

International Food Blogger Conference - The best off

One of my favorite things at the International Food Blogger Conference was this year's tote bag. I like it better full with the goodies but it is lovely empty as well. I wonder what people will say when I will carry it around in Seattle and in locations that my travels will take me. Here it is in color and in a Mad Men-like black & white version:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Chateau de Trirquevedel Tavel Rosé 2013

Last night I tasted for the very first time The Chateau de Trirquevedel Tavel Rosé. This wine has a long and glorious history. Favorite wine of Louis XIV and celebrated by author Balzac, I felt that I had to pay my tributes before I had my first sip. I love the deep pink color, very different than the traditional Provencial rosés. Tavel is the only A.O.C entirely made up of rosé, which prohibits any whites or reds from wearing the label of this Southern Rhône cru. This wine is a blend of 56% Grenache Noir, 20% Cinsault, 10% Clairette, 4% Syrah, 4% Bourbelenc, 3% Mourvèdre, 3% Grenache Blanc.

This said to be one of the best rosés of Southern Rhone, was dry with balanced acidity, pleasantly juicy and with red-fruit flavors that you can't miss. I would definitely recommend it even if it was slightly oversold by my friends and its historic timeline. I would like the fruits riper but all the same, it is an awesome choice for a hot summer day. Pair it with a light salad or slices of cheese. 
PS: Glasses were chosen with a practical angle as the wine was enjoyed at the park so they had to be different!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Discoveries in Wenatchee

I got just got off the train, walked a few blocks and I made my first discovery in Wenatchee's Public Farmers Market minutes before closing. The waffledog! A hot dog wrapped in a waffle with a stick and offered with syrup and/or mustard as a dip to go. It was an interesting pairing with the sweet and savory flavors balancing together; the syrup was a good addition even if it made the waffledog slightly sweeter.

OHME Gardens Wine & Food Gala

The watermelon salad with lime and chili was refreshing and a pure bliss in a 107 degrees day. It was offered at the Wine & Food Gala at the OHME gardens.

The chipotle popcorn was also a light and popular desert made with chipotle and caramel and was served in colorful paper bag. Spicy and addictive, I kept going back for seconds...

The Snowdrift Summer Red Apple Cider was a surprising red-colored cider made with the skin of red apples. This dry thus refreshing cider was lovely in aromas and flavors and what I needed in such a hot day.

Ohme gardens, an oasis for everybody

Downtown Wenatchee

Cherry Ice Cream Soda

Root Beer Float

The Owl Soda Fountain was a nice finding while strolling on the main street. I entered, sat at the bar and ordered the ice cream soda made with cherry syrup, cherry ice cream and soda water on top all mixed and served with a straw and a long spoon in a tall glass. But I couldn't leave without giving the soda float a try and I chose the root beer float. For the float, first  is added the root beer and then the ice cream on top served in a tall glass with a spoon to indulge. Both are the perfect remedy for the hot days in the summer; for the history they were discovered in the days of non-air conditioning. The Owl Soda Fountain made me nostalgic and brought childhood memories of ice cream parlors.

The Pybus Market

The cherry pizza at Fire

At the Fire restaurant, I had my first cherry pizza, made with fresh cherries, goat cheese, pieces of bacon and a pinch of salt and pepper. The pizza was one of a kind as the sweetness of cherries balanced off the strength of the goat cheese. Offered only in July when it is a cherry season, it was a treat. I also enjoyed the Italian margarita drink - a twist on the traditional margarita with a bright yellow color.
The market which turned one year old in May is a foodie's heaven: from fresh meat, fish and fruit to artisan oils, demonstration cooking classes, local wines and an array of restaurants, you can get it all. In addition, on Friday evenings, there is a live music concert on a rail car.

Wenatchee has more to offer: the Apple Capital Loop Trail for biking, paddle boarding at the lagoon (offered by Osprey Rafting), kayaking or just a nice swim at your hotel's pool. The summer months are hot and dry and the winters are super cold, ideal for skying on the mountains! Don't forget, it is the capital of Apples in the USA and maybe in the world.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sauvignon Blanc and Banana Flavored Popcorn - Seattle

Black pepper Sexy Pop -super spicy!
Back in Seattle after weeks of travels and absence from my blog, I spent some time at my local Lincoln Park. I found an interestingly named Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, the Ranga.ranga. Flavorful, light, fresh and with notes of grapefruit, it paired very well with the newly launched banana popcorn from Sexy Pop. The black pepper was also tasty but super spicy! Witness the experience with Samsung Mini photos:

Bodacious Banana Sexy Pop

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Paleo Diet bread and wraps are here

A fan or not of the paleo diet, you now have the option to get a bread made with coconut flour and almond. Paleo wraps are also available -those are made with coconut meat (I have no idea of what this is). All of the above are gluten free of course, non-GMO, vegan and overall low in calories.

Tasting notes: The wraps have a sweet taste as they are made from coconut (meat) so they will be ideal if you added some nutella on top. I wouldn't use them for savory creations. They are thin, nice in texture and tasteful.
The almond bread is flavorful but I can see a weird black ingredient (I assume it's the psyllium seed powder) that disturbed my tasting experience. The coconut bread has a better texture but it comes with a bitter taste.
They are both available at Seattle's Whole Foods so get them, try them and form your own opinion.

 Julian Bakery is the producer and is based in La Jolla, California. They offer a variety of paleo products. Their idea is fantastic but I hope that some of their items have a better texture and taste.