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Market Watch: Five Things Not to Miss in August

Bronx grapes

Bronx grapes

Even with the dreary weather we’ve been having lately, summer is alive and kicking at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. While we city folks complain about the gloom and cold, the Bay Area fog means warmer temperatures inland, which is good news for our farmers. That heat brings all of  our favorite summer treats to the peak of ripeness. So, don’t let Karl the Fog keep you away from the farmers market this August. Here are a few things you won’t want to miss:

Bronx grapes: If you blinked, you may have missed the brief return of Lagier Ranches with sour cherries in June. But don’t worry. Farmer John Lagier is back for August with an even more coveted rare treat: Bronx grapes. The sweet and floral Bronx has extremely delicate skin, and is only harvested for sale at farmers markets. John is one of only two growers of this variety in all of California. He’ll have bunches of these beauties at his stand each Saturday through late August.

Fresh mozzarella: In addition to their awesome blue cheeses, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company also makes fresh mozzarella in the summer months. Their mozzarella has a light and luscious texture and sweetness that pairs perfectly with summer tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. But you’ll want to get to the market early, as Point Reyes only makes their mozzarella in small batches and it sells out quickly on Saturday mornings.

Field-grown tomatoes: With so many varieties to choose from, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but some tomatoes—like the dry-farmed Early Girls at Dirty Girl Produce—have almost cult-like status among market shoppers. My favorite way to enjoy a perfectly ripe summer tomato is sliced and sprinkled with a bit of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s also a good time to roast and can or freeze tomatoes for use when their fresh counterparts are long gone. Check out more ways to use summer tomatoes on the new and improved CUESA website.

Stone Fruit Celebration: Peaches, pluots, and plums rule the school in August. We’ll focus our attention on all the great varieties available in mid-summer at the Stone Fruit Celebration in the CUESA Classroom this Saturday, August 10. From 10 am until 1 pm, we’ll sample stone fruit and naturally fermented stone fruit soda, hand out some of our favorite stone fruit recipes, and play the “What’s Your Stone Fruit Name?” game. We’ll also welcome chefs Christopher Thompson of A16 and Dmitry Elperin of The Village Pub for two stone fruit-centric cooking demos. All demos take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all.

New coffee vendor at the Saturday Market: A good cup of coffee can help fuel the juices for a sprint around the Saturday market. On August 17th, we welcome a new way to get your morning java fix as we are joined at the market by Sightglass Coffee. Sightglass will serve up coffee and espresso and sell freshly roasted beans to take home at their new location in the back plaza, adjacent to Cowgirl Creamery. Stop by and say hello.