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Market Watch: A Symphony of Bittersweet Flavors

Juicy blood oranges ferry plaza

Juicy blood oranges, a farmers market staple in the winter months

From kumquats and blood oranges to sweet, fragrant green garlic, lemony sorrel and punchy dandelion greens, winter at the farmers market is a symphony of bittersweet flavors. This month at CUESA and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market we’ll be celebrating the bitter, the sweet, and everything in between.Here’s what not to miss this month:

Knead Patisserie

We are thrilled to announce that Knead Patisserie will be popping up at the market for one day only on Saturday, February 8. Owner and pastry chef Shauna Des Voignes tells me that for their guest appearance, she’ll be serving pastries—both sweet and savory—showcasing fruits and nuts from Ferry Plaza farms. Look for Knead at the end of the south driveway this Saturday with an assortment of treats, including fruit-filled tarts, pecan croissants, morning buns, herb and cheese rolls, and her famous pomme d’amour—a salted caramel tart with a crème brûlée top inside of a flaky pastry crust.

Chino

After toying with the idea of a casual and modern dumpling restaurant for a few years, Tacolicious owner Joe Hargrave decided to debut his concept under the name Chino last month at the Saturday market. Chino's pop-up appearance at the market is a chance for Hargrave and his team to get their feet wet and try out new recipes each week before they open a brick and mortar in the Mission later this spring. We are pleased to also welcome Chino to the Thursday market where Joe's wildly popular Tacolicious first got its start. Joe told us more about his new venture in an article on the CUESA website.

Bittersweet Love Potions

On Wednesday, February 12, join CUESA and the San Francisco chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) in the Ferry Building’s romantic Grand Hall for a night of creative love potions that play on both the bitter and the sweet. An all-star lineup of bartenders and chefs will highlight California citrus—prized for its bitter rind and sweet flesh—as well as other fresh winter treats from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, like kiwis, cherimoyas, fennel, and more! Guests receive two full-sized signature cocktails, 11 sample sized drinks, and delicious hors d’oeuvres from eight of the Bay Area’s hottest chefs. For tickets and a complete list of participating chefs and bartenders click here.

Bittersweet Celebration

After a brief seasonal hiatus, our Market to Table cooking demos have returned to the CUESA Classroom. On Saturday, February 15, we’ll be hosting a Bittersweet Celebration with samples of pairings from Chef Nate Keller of Sprig from 10 am until 1 pm. Ask Nate about his favorite bittersweet fruits and veggies and learn more about how to create pairings of your own. At 11 am we’ll welcome Jen Musty of Batter Bakery to the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) for a bittersweet-themed cooking demo complete with recipes to take home and samples to try. Check the CUESA website for a complete schedule of upcoming cooking demonstrations this month.

Candied Citrus and Cocktails Workshop

On Wednesday, February 19, we’ll learn how to preserve the complex flavors of California’s citrus bounty with a hands-on class led by pastry chef Luis Villavelazquez. We’ll try our hands at candying citrus and creating delicious elixirs that play on the sweet, tart, bitter and sour flavors of citrus and the roasted depth of mezcal. Reserve your spot now for an evening of bittersweet concoctions.

For market updates and seasonal tips follow Lulu Meyer @farmersmarketlu or check out @CUESA on Twitter