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Market Watch: Thursday Now Means Tacos, Wood-Fired Pizza and More

Lunch is served! This week marks the return of the new and improved Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, with more food fixings than ever: wood-fired pizza from Pizza Politana, porchetta sandwiches for Roli Roti, tacos and homemade strawberry horchata from Tacolicious, the latest from the Laiola team, lox sandwiches from Cap’n Mike’s Holy Smoke and kimchi okonomiyaki from the folks behind Namu. Additionally, you can find the best seasonal produce from Dirty Girl, Tory Farms, Lucero, Swanton and Lagier Ranches. After lunch treat yourself to a market inspired sorbet from Scream Sorbet with selections like cherry—rhubarb and lemon—lavender and if you ‘re feeling in need of a pick up from your post lunch slump grab a Gibraltar at Blue Bottle coffee. Coming next week: 4505 Meats with their smoked hot dogs and too good to be true chicharrones.

I often find pastry chef Aaron Toensing in the market looking for seasonal inspiration for his dessert menu at Bix. This week he tells me he couldn’t resist the beautiful muskmelons at Hamada Farms and has whipped up batches of house spun Sharylnn and Galia melon sorbets that will be served at the restaurant with just a pinch of Maldon sea salt on top. The Galia melon, similar to a cantaloupe but slightly larger and with a green flesh and the Sharylnn, a cross between a cantaloupe and a honeydew, are deliciously sweet right now and just ripe for the picking.

Hunter Orchards visits the market for a brief time each year with fresh lavender, jars of peach preserves and gorgeous bulbs of Rocambole garlic. This hard-necked garlic variety— with its amazing depth of flavor—grows best in climates with colder winters and cooler springs, such as Siskiyou County, home of Hunter Orchards. In summer, farmers John Tannaci and Kirsten Olsen make the 300-mile drive down (in their bio-diesel fueled truck) to bring us some of the finest tasting fresh garlic around. Say hello if you see them; they’re never here for long!

Basil is back with a vengeance at the Chue’s Farm booth this week. The Chue brothers will have bunches of Italian, lemon and Thai basil for sale each with a flavor and fragrance that is hard to resist. I love lemon basil with grilled fish and chicken, in salad dressings or as an accent to a summer berry tart.

What’s special about a Fourth of July barbeque? In my house it’ll be the addition of something meaty from Fatted Calf Charcuterie. This weekend the folks at Fatted Calf will offer tasty spice-rubbed heritage breed pork spareribs and their latest creation—all-beef hot dogs made from Marin Sun farms grass fed beef. Be sure to come early because not only will the market be closing at noon but these BBQ showstoppers from Fatted Calf are sure to sell out fast.