JP Koehler (on the left) of Home Maid Ravioli is our vendor of the week! A visit to JP’s tent is like visiting a long lost relative who is happy to see you and eager to feed you. If you are innocently walking by his tent you are unlikely to leave without a mouth full of cheese spread or artichoke dip and a smile on your face. A master salesman, JP loves working farmer’s markets because it gives him independence and the luxury of spending his days outside in the sunshine chatting people up, meeting families and making people happy with samples and deals on his delicious pastas, dips and raviolis. Jp is known for joking with his customers and his positive energy is infectious. A San Francisco native, hailing from Noe Valley, JP has worked as a banker, a bouncer, and with the special needs tenants of a residential care facility. JP was also a high school wresting coach! Come meet JP this Thursday at the market and enjoy some of his garlic cheese spread!
Did you miss our Chef’s Market Box last week? If you did make sure to order one for next week! In the meantime here’s a sample recipe for you to try and you can get all the ingredients at our market on Thursday night. This recipe comes from Cynthia of Dandelion Chocolates, one of our vendors, and this is her favorite way to eat nibs!
Spring Mix with edible flowers from Happy Boy Farms
Oh! and the beautiful bowl? handmade and local by Smokin’ Pottery.
Nibs are pieces of dried raw cacao, which is chocolate in its simplest form, and before it’s mixed in with sugar, cocoa butter and milk. This means that when you eat a nib, you might be surprised by its bitter taste, its nothing like the taste of chocolate that we all know and crave. Eating chocolate in nib form, however, does have its benefits.
Eating chocolate makes us feel good, this is because it releases neurotransmitters like serotonin and phenylethylamine in our bodies that promote feelings of well being, love and can even make us focus more. This therefore also means that cacao can lower blood pressure! Cacao is rich in minerals like Zinc, Copper and Manganese, and it has more antioxidants than red wine or green tea. When eaten in nib form, the antioxidants in Cacao can dissolve plaque build-up in the arteries for those suffering from heart disease. Eating chocolate bars with added sugars, fats and dairy dilutes the benefits of cacao so if you enjoy chocolate or are looking to try a new super-food, nibble on nibs!
Dandelion Chocolate, based in the Dogpatch, comes to the Mission Community Market every week. Their representative Cynthia, loves to educate the public on all matters chocolate. She can talk to you about the process of making chocolate and most importantly, she has samples for you to try! To learn more about the benefits of nibs, go here. Otherwise, come try some nibs at the market this week and stay tuned for a recipe featuring nibs very soon!
Summer fruit is here and we can’t get enough strawberries at the market. It is important to know, however, that not all strawberries are created equal. A quick stop by our market and you’ll see 3-4 varieties of strawberries varying in shape, size and sweetness. How do you know which one to pick? Yerena Farms, challenges you to their Strawberry Taste Test! Compare three varieties side by side and let your taste buds decide! Not only are Yerena’s strawberries delightful, their business practices are also impeccable: Yerena Farms was awarded with the 2012 Outstanding Small Business award from the Monterey Business Council! Come check them out this Thursday at the market!
Thanks to the good people at GoodEggs we are very excited to bring you our second Chef’s Market Box at the Mission Mercado available for pick up this week! The Chef’s Market box features fresh ingredients that have been carefully selected and sourced from the Mission Mercado vendors. What makes our Chef’s Market Box Special? Also provided with your produce is the personal recipe of a Bay Area rock-star chef and everything in the box is perfectly portioned for you to make this recipe at home.
Our first box featured a delicious farro salad from Chef Jake Des Voignes of Local: Mission Eatery. If you missed it, read about it here. This week Eskender Aseged of Radio Africa is providing us with his own Alicha and Couscous recipe. Also new this week: A protein add-on brought to you by 4505 Meats. Order a box before they are gone!