Friday was one packed day. In addition to a panel discussion full of zingers and insight, Slow Food Nation got started with the taste pavilions, a day’s worth of slow tours and of course, the Slow Marketplace and Victory Garden. This is where I spent the morning, eating, chatting and generally hobnobbing with friend and impromptu guide, the Tablehopper, Marcia Gagliardi.
We met up in the Victory Garden, which splays out in front of City Hall for an entire block, full of circular planters like these:
Tons more photos after the jump…
Breakfast consisted of one of Scott Peacock’s ham biscuits:
And a half a mufaletta sandwich from Salumi Artisan cured meats, of Seattle. Marcia, who spent her New Orleans vacation wandering around and tasting mufaletta, declared it excellent:
As we sat on our hay bale, chatting about this and that, the conversation turned to what you can and can’t get to eat in New York. Our bale-mate swiveled his head and announced, “I was never able to get a really thick milkshake there. They turn the machine on and walk away for five minutes, and by the time they get back, it’s chocolate milk.” He’s never been to the Shake Shack, he said, but then, he’s from the Midwest, so he knows from milkshakes.
This turned out to be Barry Foy, author of the soon-to-be-released Devil’s Food Dictionary, polishing off a plate of tlacoyos. I asked him what he was looking forward to eating this weekend. “I always make a bee-line for the cured meats,” he said. I’ll go to the end of the line and start over if I have to.” Look out, Taste Pavilion — get that second salumi ready.
After picking up a New Orleans Iced Coffee from the Blue Bottle stand, we took a stroll through the marketplace:
We met all sorts of folks selling all sorts of food, like Pierre Bellevue, of Pan-O-Rama breads, whose gigantic loaf seems to have eclipsed his head-shot. Sorry Pierre, but what do you expect with bread like this?:
We did manage to get a shot of James Freeman, of Blue Bottle, as we thanked him for the pick-me-up. He was pushing Blue Bottle’s Huehuetenango Highland coffee, from Guatemala:
Even though we were full of mufaletta and ham, Marcia and I couldn’t help salivating at the rich, red tomatoes on display from Blue House Farm. They’re dry-farmed, owner Ryan Casey told me, with a little help from the coastal fog and clay-rich soil:
Another mouth-watering dry-farmed product sat right next to the glowing pile of tomatoes. These apples come from Sebastapol, where husband and wife Paul and Kendra Kolling run the farm Nana Mae’s Organics. Volunteer Keith Borglum presided over the pile:
Marcia and I enjoyed a sample of a surprisingly rich peach cobbler-type-thing made with Massa Organics rice:
For some reason I thought the J&P; Organics sign was hilarious. Hey, dudes, you’re way closer than a quarter-mile. Here’s JP himself humoring a tired blogger:
Finally, we had a laugh with Dee Harley, a friend of Marcia’s, who runs Harley Farms Goat Dairy in Pescadero. She showed off her new credit-card-swiping-thing, which she said was the smartest investment she had made in preparation for this market. But I don’t know. That title could conceivably go to the goats who squirted out what would become this cheese. It’s heavenly:
And then it was time for us to go our separate ways, I to the Food for Thought discussion, and Marcia to own this freaking town as the queen of food news and gossip. But not before posing for a couple of photos of ourselves. See if you can guess who’s who:
By the way, yes, that is an upside down bus stacked on top of a right-side-up one to make one weird double-decker. It belongs to a group called the Whitehouse Organic Farming Project, or, awesomely, The Who Farm.
That’s all for now. Check back for photos of Alemany Farm, the Taste Pavilion, and whatever pops up.