It was a long overdue trip, I know, but I’ve either been out of town or just plain busy every Saturday since Smorgasburg, the food fair put together by the folks who also run the Brooklyn Flea, kicked off. Knowing several vendors who sell at this Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront location, I was keen to get out there to support their efforts at this new market venture. Today, with sunny skies and the free ferry service running between Manhattan and the landing dock right near Smorgasburg, I didn’t have any more excuses not to visit it.
There’s just so much good food, great folks to chat with, and neat stuff going on, that it’s best just to plunge in and explore it on your own. I came back home with jam from Anarchy in a Jar, ketchup from Sir Kensington, popcorn from Liddibit Sweets, and organic pecans (which will make an appearance in brownies headed to a bbq tomorrow) from Rio Grande Organics. That is on top of the food that went into my belly at the market and the samples that I tried.
A sweet, cool chocolate-hazelnut ice cream sandwich made with stroopwafels from The Good Batch, ice tea and a delicious, hearty bread boat sandwich from the folks at Sunday Gravy, a red velvet macaroon from Danny Macaroons, along with shrimp rolls from Bite Size Kitchen (a fantastic concept) were my lunch today. I tried some cool new things, too, and wish I had had more room in my stomach to sample the other goodies that I saw. It’s so difficult to pick which of all the items I tried that are my favorites. I could have blown my whole grocery budget this week on all everything I wanted to take home to play with in my kitchen.
One of those was Morris Kitchen‘s amazing Ginger Syrup that I’ve heard raves about. Ginger and sugar heated together to make a pure liquid honey-colored creation. It starts off sweet and a bit floral and then wham! hits you with that spicy ginger-style punch at the end. Whoo-ee! That could make some awesome summer cocktails.
I might have to throw that party myself not just to use the Ginger Syrup but also to make some interesting little nibbles with Kors d’Oeuvres dips. The Horseradish and Bacon had a great zing and a creamy-smoky feel to it which would go well on thick-cut homemade potato chips, regular or sweet. World’s Greatest Onion Dip was fantastic, too with sweet caramelized onions, and I could see this being wonderful as a burger topping. Another dip that I sampled was the Cheddar and Beer combo. Put some of this on your fries or on your burger or, hey, even both, I won’t tell anyone. They have a party pack for sale, too, that also comes with the crudites and dippers, so that could be a great way to get the summer festivities started.
For this next find, I’ll have to come right out and say it: I haven’t jumped on the Kim Chi bandwagon yet. Yes, I’ve had a kim chi taco and enjoyed it, and, yes, I’ve tried some varieties of kim chi and been o.k. with it, and, yes, I know all the stuff behind how great for you fermented products are, but I’m just not that into it, I’m sorry. Maybe this has to do with the fact that I don’t really like pickles all that much either. SkimKim could possibly change my mind about this. I love her sense of humor about her products, which feature kim chi and Asian ingredients, and how she informs potential customers to use it. The flavors are great, too, as per my sampling the Kimchee Butter. The Asian Green Goddess marinade was so hard to resist on this visit. It will make me come back again to Smorgasburg to track it down as I have several ideas for how to use it.
Danny at Danny Macaroons pointed me in the direction of this incredible, spicy Tomato Garlic Dipping Oil by Cheeky Monkey Foods. This was also one of the items I should have picked up to take home with me as the good words about it were correct. Need something to pep up some fish? Looking for a way to dress up the umpteenth chicken dish of the week? This might just be the ticket. Robust, tangy, pop of spice, and long on flavor, I could see this being a staple in anyone’s pantry.
I’m not sure how much fun Smorgasburg would have been last week in the rain when I was inside at TECHMunch, but today it was a great day to get out there and see what was on offer. By no means does my list of the things that I ate, bought, and sampled do justice to the talented and hard-working vendors who were out there today. I didn’t even get to touch on the farmers market folks who were also selling gorgeous seasonal berries and greens, many of which were used by the food artisans to create their products. I highly recommend taking a break from your usual Saturday routine to check out this rapidly-evolving part of Brooklyn and to spend some time wandering around Smorgasburg to discover some of your new favorite things to eat.