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!
Raul Vasquez is a cheese-maker from Toluca, Mexico. In Toluca, Raul’s family made queso fresco out of the leftover milk from the cows in his grandfather’s ranch. When he moved to the United States, Raul started working for Spring Hill Cheese and has had a chance to help make the cheese at all levels of production from cutting, packaging and hand labeling to separating the curds.
Prepared with toothpicks, Raul has the most samples out of any vendor in the market! Some of his cheeses are fresh while others have been aged for several years. Raul can help you find a good staple like cheddar or discover a more rare variety like quark. Spring Hill’s butter is AMAZING and you can try some this Thursday at the market!
Did you know that Dolores Park was at one point a Jewish cemetery? Is there a correlation between gang territory and Mission bakeries? Mission Possible: A neighborhood Atlas created in collaboration between Mission Loc@l and students of the Cage Lab (part of the Geography Department at UC Berkeley) juxtaposes our beloved Mission with facts from various “phenomena” pertinent to the neighborhood such as: Craigslist Missed Connections occurrences, landmarks, local businesses and more. There are only 300 of these atlases printed, making them a collectible Zeitgeist of the Mission as we know it. Check out some of the other maps here. And come get your hands on a copy at the Mission Community Market this Thursday. All proceeds of the atlases go to support Mission Loc@l!