Monday, December 13, 2010

A New York State of Mind....


With the Advent of the holidays, a must see seasonal attraction of New York City's infinitely fascinating facets sets up tent in Union Square & Columbus circle. The last time I had roamed this awesome bazaar was a decade ago in the waning days of  grad school. When the opportunity to do this again arose, boy! did I grab the opportunity. This time I had a mission, the food stalls! (not that the others were of no use, boy the kinds of knick knacks from all over the world on sale there, you have to see this to believe it!).
 For those of you who are wondering what the %^&^% I'm jabbering about, let me back track. The Union square Farmers Market is a part & parcel of life in New York city.. Remember the scene in 'You've got mail' where Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan grab a bag of Pretzels & fresh flowers & sit down wondering how they keep accidentally bumping into each other? That's the spot! (http://www.grownyc.org/unionsquaregreenmarket)
  The Holiday market is a seasonal event, with stalls set up between Thanksgiving & Christmas, a fabulous place to buy your gifts, & nosh on all the lil stuff that New York is famous for. There is NO way one can really indulge in everything thats out there, but here's a list...

1. Sigmunds Pretzel Shop (http://www.sigmundnyc.com/)


For those of you who think that pretzels are those dry chewy things hanging from vendors carts, Think again!
These look more like a bagel sized bialy, the only giveaway being the pretzel like texture peeping out from the generous fillings within.. My favorite, the goat cheese & olive


& this one is still waiting to be shared with my other half!
PS: Shared, Polished off & boy was it GOOD!!

2. Nibmor chocolates.  (http://www.nibmor.com/index.php)

 These guys had a stall with a crowd around it. SO obviously there was something good to be had there. Wended my way thru & figured out they had the right answer to a chilly day. Hot Chocolate. 2 flavors, original & 6 spice, which I was told had cayenne, cinnamon,  & well... they had me at cayenne. The drink was perfectly sweetened, rich with a creamy mouth feel,  with the flavor of the cocoa complemented by the spices without overpowering the chocolate, & the Cayenne released a perfect heat at the back of the throat that made this the perfect pick-me-up to sip while wandering around.

The Sample of the 6 spice that bowled me over!

In fact it was so good that the first thing I did when my friend joined me was to drag her here to try it.. It was then I was told that there wasn't any milk or cream in the hot chocolate, It was completely vegan & was made with almond milk!! So All you vegans out there, this one is a MUST HAVE!

Another indulgence I got to sample were the truffles from 'NO CHEWING ALLOWED',  (http://www.nochewingallowed.com/ ) at first the brand name sounded like a joke, but its worth obeying this command. the melting sensation of the truffles in your mouth is unparalleled & its not worth letting this decadent dessert melt away on the enamel of your teeth unless, by some mutation, you have sensory nerve endings on them!
Sorry no pics, would have been well worth it though!

 One of the things I really wanted to find out more about in New York City was the pink Himalayan Salt that seems to be in the news in the World of 'Haute Cuisine' these days. & yes there was a stall selling these as well! the website for this stall is http://www.candleladysusans-himalayanrocksalt.com/.

Although I did not buy any salt (they ran out of the size I wanted.) I did get a chance to taste it, & its so unlike the varieties of Salt at your local supermarket. Its the color of rose quartz (& looks a lot like it too), with a clean mild taste (in contrast to table salt that can feel grating on the sides of your tongue. I hope to get some in the near future to incorporate into my recipes.


 Other names of repute represented in the markets include David Chang's Momofuku bakery selling their signature cookies. Nope,  didnt get a chance to taste these, but they sure looked delicious!


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