I finally made it out to the Queens County Market in July! Clearly I am a little tardy in writing about my experience there, or perhaps I should say my taste buds’ experience there. But it is never too late to tell you about a great food market, the inspiring food businesses I met there, and the range of delicacies I tasted.
I thought I’d post a lot of pictures so that I could show you a bit more readily the foods that came my way. I met and spoke with all the vendors there, and I ate a lot of absolutely scrumptious things. The one food I missed was the Crudo Sea and Land raw oyster bar because they sold out so quickly. But I heard people talking about the remarkable differences in taste among the four types of local oysters, and so I almost feel like I had eaten them myself.
My first stop was Bittersweet NYC. I long ago gave up the convention of eating savory and then sweet. In a busy food market, I go where the line is the shortest at that moment. I know it’s all going to be good, so why wait for one thing when you can try another right then and there? I tried a luscious cake pop and some flaky baked samosas from this Indian-inspired food company. I loved chatting with Chef and Owner Surbhi Sahni about her delicacies and about my mad crush on Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan.
Next up was The Ravioli Revolution, makers of Hawaiian braised shortrib ravioli that could make a grown man cry. Not to mention the fact that owners Maggie and Mike Porzio are so nice and excited about their creations. They prepare every hearty ravioli plate with special care and attention to the fine details, like tiny bits of onion on the top. I didn’t try the Nutella ravioli, but it’s on my Bucket List.
Mel’s Melting Pot is a Queens based condiment company. I have been nursing my jar of apple quince sauce since I opened it because it is so fine and delicate. One of their regular customers came rushing up to restock on their Spicy Fruit Ketchup. Apparently, life is no fun without it. I tried a sample, and it was tangy and tasty. I brought home a small container of garlic scape pesto, which was intensely delicious over handmade carrot pasta I picked up from Knoll Crest Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket!
The small Guyanese meat patties from Veda’s Cakes and Catering were three bites of warm, flaky goodness. The crust crumbled a bit in my mouth, and the spiced meat was super rich and satisfying. I brought some home for James. He loved them too.
Sol Exports has been making and packaging a traditional Spanish torta for retail under the brand Tassol. I was happy to sink my teeth in to a thick, comforting wedge of this traditional egg and potato dish. It was simple and subtle, and just the thing you want to eat when you don’t know what you want to eat.
I first came across Buenos Angie’s Alfajores last fall at the lovely Gowanus Girls Market, and I was thrilled to have a chance to talk with Angie herself. Her alfajores are distinctly buttery, with a traditional dulce de leche filling. Her larger chocolate covered ones are so rich that you won’t even mind sharing them.
At the far end of the market, I was finally able to get close enough to try a cup of Ice & Vice Ice Cream, and wowza! These are some crazy creative and intricate flavors wrapped up in creamy goodness. I tried all three flavors: Southern Belle, Movie Night and Burning Love. I won’t tell what’s in them because you really have to try them for yourself (but Movie Night has buttered popcorn).
Jen and Rich are local jam makers behind LOCAL. Their table was covered in glistening drops of jams in so many flavors it was hard to decide which ones I should even taste. They are fresh, rich and sweet jams, and it turns out you will love pretty much every flavor. I brought home a jar of strawberry rhubarb at Jen’s recommendation. I love their labeling too because it’s so simple and pretty.
On my way out the door, I grabbed a taste of Gustavo’s Salsa. I’m only half Gringa, but that half tears up at the hint of chipotle. Gustavo’s salsa is deep and smoky. It’s probably not that hot to most people, but it was perfect for me: hot enough to make me tear up but not hot enough to kill me.
And on that note, I headed out the door of Quaint, the hosting venue, and out into the streets of Queens. The next Queens County Market will be in September. Follow them on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss it!
My Market Haul: These are the items that actually made it home with me on that lovely and delicious day: