If you’re visiting San Francisco, make sure you bring your appetite to its downtown gourmet hub, the Ferry Building. Here are some tasty treats you won’t regret checking out once you get there:
Fried foods-to-go at Delica. This fabulous Japanese deli serves yummy bento boxes and à la carte items, including kaki-age tempura, shrimp cake and potato croquette, fried to a perfect light crunch. My favorite is the kaki-age tempura, a haystack of veggies (burdock, carrots, onions and edamame) and shrimp in a light tempura coating.
Mt. Tam triple-cream cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.
Even if my cousin weren’t the fabulous Cowgirl herself, Sue Conley
, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention their award-winning organic triple-cream Brie. It’s incredibly versatile, pairing well with many varietals of wine — its light, nutty, buttery taste and texture goes beautifully with white wines while its earthiness and depth of flavor pairs nicely with red. I love Mt. Tam with fresh fruit, fruit preserves and hearty wheat or olive-oil crackers. I always thought I could never get tired of Mt. Tam, and lately — having much greater access to cousin Sue — I’ve been testing that theory and have found so far that I’m right.
Mt. Tam cheese. OM NOM NOM
Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I love how light, yet rich and complex is this olive oil, which has strong green undertones that connect well with fresh herbs. I’ve been lucky enough to see and smell the olive trees lining the gorgeous, rolling hills of the McEvoy Ranch just north of San Francisco, and I’m angling for a tour of the place when springtime is in full swing. I’ll keep you posted.
McEvoy olives and olive oil. Photo by Slow Family Online
Sea Salt Caramels. The Farm Fresh to You
store sells these (along with other drool-inducing impulse buys) in bins for 50 cents apiece at the checkout counter. Don’t miss the Celtic Sea Salt and Salt Chocolate caramel chews — silken, buttery caramels punctuated with bursts of salty crunch. The seductive texture and flavor combination will forever make unsalted caramel seem so blah.
When it comes to caramel, sea-salted is the way to go.
Tartlettes from Frog Hollow Farm.
Fruit as at the heart of everything Frog Hollow Farm does, and fresh seasonal preserves go into these light, tart, sweet fresh-baked pastries. These tartlettes are pretty ideal at any time of the day — for breakfast with coffee, for dessert with crème fraîche, or at wine tastings topped with a slice of Mt. Tam cheese (above).
Cherry Tartlettes, OMG, perfect.