Yesterday, a friend and I decided to explore the Hudson Valley Harvest at New Amsterdam Market downtown at the site of the former Fulton Fish Market and by the South Street Seaport. She’d never been down to this market before and was intrigued to see what it had to offer firsthand. This is one of my favorite ones in the city for a number of reasons, but I haven’t had a free Sunday to make it down there since the Ice Cream Festival in August.
Next to them were the folks at Real Live Food Company, which had several soft cheeses mixed with different flavorings and some raw milk cheeses. All teeming with probiotics and all sorts of bacteria that is beneficial for our guts, I can tell you that these taste good as well.
As part of the educational aspect of this particular market Sunday, there was also the opportunity to buy seeds to grow your own plants and flowers. Unfortunately, I can barely grow anything in my apartment, so I didn’t pick up anything, but I do have dreams of one day being able to at least keep some herbs alive.
Can you hear that sound? Mmmmm, yes! That is the sound of these wonderful brats from Mosefund Farm‘s humanely raised hogs. With one small bite of these hearty, gently seasoned sausages, I fell in love with the rich, meaty flavor. Some of them are now in my freezer to be paired with a pile of lentils, a dollop of potato puree, and one of the chutneys I’ve picked up on my market visits. If folks are very nice to me, I might even invite them over to share in this meal, and we can crack open the bottle of wine from Benmarl Winery to have a very special Sunday supper.
Another of the glories of the Hudson Valley region is the gorgeous vegetables and fruit that are grown there. Even as a committed carnivore, I couldn’t help but stop and stare at the beautiful array of seasonal items that Upstate Farms brought to the market. How could you resist any of these specimens? From their website, I found the link to their CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) in case anyone is looking to find how to get their hands on these items when they are delivered to the city.
Ledgenear Farm had an incredible display for their amber-colored maple syrup. This is what real maple syrup should look like, and the glass bottles really showed off the product to its advantage. My friend tasted a sample of it and pronounced that it was really, really good. Unfortunately, I am already over-stocked in this department due to a generous former co-worker who had given me some from last year’s harvest, but the next time I run out, I’m going to look for one of these lovely bottles.
Just in time to keep us going through the rest of the market we found Mast Brothers Chocolate. This is farm-to-table chocolate, produced in small batches from their location in Brooklyn. The smoothness of the dark variety they had out for us to try was unbeatable. Again, another stocking stuffer to add to my list. I hope that we have very large stockings to hang by the tree this year.
Next to them was another Brooklyn-based business, Brooklyn Oenology. We had a chance to chat with one of the folks involved with the winery who let us know that they’ve just cleared out a space to have a Tasting Room for the public where they will not only be serving their wines but they will also have meats and cheeses and small bites from local sources as well. Check out their website for more information, as it wasn’t quite ready for opening. My friend and I agreed that we’d gather up some of our pals to go visit it some evening.
This is one of the tables where I goofed and forgot to go back to get some of their wares. I absolutely loved the tangy, rustic, chewy texture of Nordic Breads‘ Finnish Ruis Bread (made in New York and 100% organic). The samples we had were served with a thin layer of butter, a sliver of cheese, and a slice of cucumber. Perfect! I could see this going very well with the butter from Vermont Creamery and my favorite jam from Schoolhouse Kitchen. Maybe this is my colder Northern European roots taking hold, but I really liked this bread.
Our second-to-last vendor stop was at the table for Bellwether Cider made in the Finger Lakes in New York. They use a combination of varieties of apples to produce their several flavors and were nice enough to let us sample several of them. I’m a bit more used to European ciders, so I found some of these to be a bit on the too light side for my tastebuds. The one flavor that I did find interesting was a Blackcurrant and Apple one.
Which would have gone absolutely perfectly with the sandwich that I got from Porchetta. At the furthest edge of the market were several vendors selling sandwiches and ready-to-eat items. I’d already been to Luke’s Lobster the day before during East Village Eats, and much as I would have had something at the Jimmy’s 43 table, it was really the porchetta sandwich that was calling my name. I mean, I hadn’t had one since Pig Island, and that was almost a month ago. The perfectly-seasoned meat cut into large slices with the juices and fat absorbed into and flavoring the crisp roll. This is heaven on a bun, especially when eaten on a bench sitting by the water basking in the cool autumn sunshine.
Before we left the market, we stopped by Liddabit Sweets to see what they had to round out our day at New Amsterdam. The Beer and Pretzel Caramels were really yummy, but it was the Caramel Popcorn that I wanted. With caramel, semi-sweet chocolate, and honeycomb, this was the perfect sweet end to the day.