It seems impossible, but each year the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers' Market gets better and better. Newer heirloom varieties, more organic choices and as always married with the same passion and commitment to quality that spawned this amazing location.
Heirloom tomatoes are hitting the market now in a bright and powerful rainbow force. Did you know there more than 600 heirloom varieties in existence? Each one is uniquely interesting and beautiful.
I have been studying and tasting many different types of heirloom varieties, and some, like the Cherokee Purple, I enjoyed so much that I saved the seeds for my pop's garden next year.
I miss having a garden, and one of the flowers that I miss most is my Arabian Nights dahlia as pictured above. Just look at those perfect cone petals.
I must confess that the reason I came out to San Francisco was to enjoy the incredible bounty of ripe ambrosial, aromatic and honeyed stone fruits.
Whenever buying nectarines, I always look for blushed bumpy rough patches of skin, which indicates a high sugar content. These beauties had a very summery mango flavor. $3/lb
These organic bing cherries are from Hidden Star Orchards, which is CCOF certified and sell for $6.25 per pound. If you can't make it to the Ferry Building on Saturdays, they also sell their produce at the farmers market in North Beach at Mason and Columbus on Sundays, sometimes offering lower prices to boot.
Of course, the luscious berries deserve their own spotlight. These "Jeweled" blueberries are sold under the table at Hidden Star Orchards Farm. Why under the table? Because they are so sought after that you must reserve your share before it sells out. $10/lb.
I also make sure to restock on my organic skin toner from Allstar Organics. These refreshing hydrosols are made with only water and organic herbs such as bay laurel (my favorite), lemon verbena, lavender, rose, rosemary, douglas fir and sage. $7 per 2 oz bottle
Allstar also offers a wide variety of organic dried spices and herbs, all CCOF certified. $10 per jar
This may be the first time I've seen red carrots.
Also not to be missed is the incredible array of outdoor food that is served at the Ferry Building each Saturday.
Tamales filled with chicken and covered with mole sauce from Primavera Tamales stand. $4.25 per tamale
If you've never had mole sauce, it is a concoction of cocoa, multiple herbs and hot and smoky spices and is oh-so-good!
You can watch the corn tortillas being freshly pressed.
Come early if you want to try these tamales, the line grows longer by the hour.
4505, another food stand, offers porkalicious bacon filled hotdogs fresh off the grill, and a supply to take home, if you'd like. That's right, say it sexy, "Chichar-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-ones!"
If you miss the farmers' market at the Ferry Building on Saturday, you can enjoy a scaled down version at Fort Mason over the next few months.
French fingerling potatoes from Happy Boy Farms, which is CCOF certified, offer tender flesh with concentrated earthy potato flavors. $2.50/lb
Unfortunately, no matter how cute you are, dogs are not allowed at any San Francisco farmers' markets. :-(