market

Findlay Market Tour circles the globe

Findlay Market Tour circles the globe

We met a true kindred spirit when we signed up for a Findlay Market Tour led by Barb Cooper (90 minutes, $30). She and her husband used to operate a fresh produce and specialty shop at the market. In 2012, she founded Cincinnati Food Tours (cincinnatifoodtours.com) to show visitors the ins and outs of the market. Her company has expanded to offer nine different tours, but the Findlay Market tour is the original. Just as Findlay Market, completed in 1852, is itself an original. It's the oldest continuously operating public market in Ohio. Like all such markets in the pre-supermarket days, it provided fresh produce, meat, and fish to city residents, including the large German population of its Over-the-Rhine neighborhood (OTR). “In the last 10...Read More
Chili, bbq, fine dining, social justice rise in Queen City

Chili, bbq, fine dining, social justice rise in Queen City

Cincinnati chili was the lure. We always have high hopes for any community that has its own food specialty, especially if it's a signature fast food. It means that the folks who live there take pride in their traditions—and it usually signals a strong dining culture. That proved to be the case when we spent a few days eating our way around Cincinnati this summer. The Queen City has all the hallmarks of a great dining destination. In addition to that chili, we discovered delicious and eye-poppingly colorful raspberry chocolate chip ice cream at Graeter's. A welcoming breakfast and lunch place crossed the traditional breakfast sandwich with pimento cheese. We dined at an upscale riverfront barbecue institution as well as an elegant gourmet restaurant whose...Read More
Saint John City Market reveals the city’s foodways

Saint John City Market reveals the city’s foodways

One of the first places we visit when we arrive in a new city is the public market. Sure, we're curious about what's in season, what the fishermen are catching, and what local food specialties we might discover. But it's more than that. People who make a living nurturing their neighbors are among the friendliest folk you could hope to meet. We always feel welcomed and at home after spending some time chatting with food market vendors. That's why we found ourselves in the Saint John City Market (http://www.sjcitymarket.ca) on the first morning of a short trip to this small New Brunswick city. Given the hour, we made our first stop at Uptown Donuts, where Melissa Whiting from Grand Bay, New Brunswick, has been brightening...Read More
Robust harvest from New Mexico’s high desert

Robust harvest from New Mexico’s high desert

Sometimes we just get lucky. We drove straight for the Santa Fe Railyard on the opening day of Indian Market earlier this month. We smugly figured we could park there and walk into the plaza where the gigantic gathering of Native American artists had already sucked up the downtown spaces. When we opened the car doors, the air was heavy with the come-hither scent of fire-roasted green chile peppers. We knew we were on to something good. In fact,we had stumbled into a glorious celebration of northern New Mexico bounty, or more specifically the Santa Fe Farmers' Market (1607 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, 505-983-4098, santafefarmersmarket.com). Now 50 years old, this institution takes over the Railyard plaza every Saturday year-round, as well as Tuesday mornings...Read More
The lavender lady of Aix champions the scent of Provence

The lavender lady of Aix champions the scent of Provence

“This is the 'gold of Provence.'” a lovely older woman exclaimed us as she handed us each a sachet so that we could inhale the minty-floral aroma of lavender. To us, the purple blossoms are the signature scent of Provence. But, according to Béatrice, not all lavender is the same. She insisted that the best is grown in the fields surrounding the ancient fortified village of Sault in the High Vaucluse. She is dedicated to spreading the word. “I want to keep the tradition alive,” the former French teacher told us. “The family has been growing lavender for 400 years. The soil and sun around Sault impart unique flavor.” Béatrice's table at the Tuesday produce market in Aix almost overflowed with sachets stitched from traditional...Read More
Sun-splashed markets make Aix a shopper’s dream

Sun-splashed markets make Aix a shopper’s dream

Just 45 minutes north from Marseille by train, Aix-en-Provence is incredibly cute and utterly Provençal. It almost seems fabricated by a clever group of artisans to send tourists home with suitcases full of the accoutrements of French country design and the ingredients for the celebrated cuisine of the sun. Since it was our first opportunity to visit one of the great market towns of Provence, we scheduled our trip for a Tuesday for the broadest range of open-air markets. Also available on Thursdays, the produce market, flea market, flower market, and textiles and crafts markets are less crowded during the week than on Saturdays. Or so we were told. It's hard to imagine if any more people could have crowded into the mostly pedestrian streets...Read More
Marseille swirls with scents and sounds of North Africa

Marseille swirls with scents and sounds of North Africa

If we were placed blindfolded on bustling rue d'Aubagne, the scents of ginger, cumin, and mint and the liquid sounds of Arabic spoken around us would convince us that we were in a North African kasbah instead of the streets of France's second-largest city. That cosmopolitan worldliness is part of the allure of Marseille. It is a global city in the midst of the region that gave “provincial” its name—Provence. To locate an immigrant culture in any city, we always look for the food market. The main thoroughfare of Le Canebière assumes a North African accent a few blocks uphill from the Vieux Port. A jog east onto rue d'Aubagne suddenly immersed us in the immigrant district. A few streets up, a jumble of carts...Read More
Relicatessen: heavenly products for earthly delights

Relicatessen: heavenly products for earthly delights

Relicatessen in Barcelona solved a problem for us. When we're in Spain for any extended period, we enjoy seeking out the cookies, sweets, and other foodstuffs from the country's 38 monasteries and convents that make products for sale. Often that means placing money on a revolving window (called a retorno) and getting a box of cookies, a jar of jam, or a pot of honey in return. But we're not always in a town with a cloistered order that makes products for sale. Thank god (so to speak) that Francisco Vera opened Relicatessen (www.relicatessen.com) three years ago in stall 988 in the Mercat Sant Josep, better known as La Boqueria. Located right on La Rambla in a Modernista-style iron frame shed, the Boqueria is one...Read More

Cradle of Mexican cuisine, Oaxaca relishes mole negro

No one escapes untouched by Oaxaca. This lyrical, magical city has been a powerful cultural and trade center for millennia. It is also arguably the cradle of Mexican cuisine. You can always eat well in Veracruz, Mexico City, and Puebla. But in Oaxaca, you feast. Every dish is a taste revelation. Tomatoes and chile peppers were domesticated in northern Oaxaca around 4500 BC—presumably to spice up all those meals based on beans and corn, which the ancient Oaxacans had domesticated 3,000 years earlier. And Oaxaca continued to expand its larder. By the time the high culture of Monte Alban (right) arose around 500 BC, the Oaxaca Valley was a crossroads of trade between South and North America. Foodstuffs poured in from as far north as...Read More

St. George’s Market in Belfast shows what’s fresh

We always advise friends who want to eat well while traveling to spend some time in the local fresh food market. It's the best way to see first-hand what's in season and fresh so that you can make good choices when perusing a restaurant menu. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, the best place to head is St. George's Market at 12-20 East Bridge Street. It's open Fridays from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The handsome red brick market building opened in 1890 to sell butter, chicken, and eggs. Its offerings have multiplied since then and recent refurbishments have made it one of the leading fresh food markets in the United Kingdom. You'll find freshly dug potatoes, beets, and carrots...Read More