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rlibkind

Reading Terminal Market (Part 2)

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Limes and grapes were among the bargains this morning at Iovine Brothers Produce. The limes were eight fror a buck. Two-pound bags of loose grapes were selling for $1.99, vs. a pound price of $1.99 for slightly larger grapes still (mostly) attached sold in tray packs.

Vinnie Iovine touted the quality and price of the mangoes this season. I didn’t check today’s price, but a week ago the large Kent mangoes were selling for two for a buck.

The number of different varieties of apples is widening as we approach the autumnal equinox, at Iovine’s, Fair Food, L. Halteman, O.K. Lee and Kauffman’s Lancaster County produce. Winter squashes of all sorts are plentiful. In addition to buttercup, butternuts and acorns, I spied gooseneck pumpkins (they’ve got coloration like a watermelon) at Iovine’s. Another good deal at Iovine’s were 10-pound bags of New Jersey all-purpose white potatoes for $3.99; that will make a lot of kugel.

Summer hangs on, though. Expect to see local corn, peaches, tomatoes and summer squashes through the end of the month.

Kauffman had some late summer strawberries this week. While not quite as flavorful as those we get in late May and early June, the $3.95 a half-pint local hothouse fruits were a lot more flavorful than winter berries. Ben’s also been selling blackberries for $4.95/pint (vs. $7.50 at Fair Food), but the season for these is just about done. Apple prices ranged from $1.99 (Galas) to $2.49 (Honey Crisps). Bartlett pears were $1.49. His pound price for peaches are $1.99 (yellow) and $2.99 (white).

Over at Fair Food, peaches were $1.75. They’ve also got a profusion of beets, with Red, Golden and Chioggas at $2/pound. Pluots and plums ranged from $2.50-$2.75, depending upon variety.

S&B meats is long on sausages and wursts, but short on fresh pork. Only the jost common cuts are available, including baby back ribs, tenderloins, sirloin roasts, filets, chops and stuffed chops.

A new variety of tomatoes has cropped up over the past couple weeks at both Fair Food and Headhouse: Golden Peach. They do look like small peaches. Livengood’s was selling them for $3.50/pint. Livengood’s also has Cape Gooseberries, also known as ground cherries. This relative of the tomatillo has the delightful taste of a combination of tomatoe and pineaple. (Useless fact: Cape Goosberries’ scientific name is physalis peruvianna; tomatillos are physalais philadelphica. Both, like tomatoes, are members of the nightshade family.)


Edited by rlibkind (log)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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The crew at Iovine Brothers Produce brought out a cake this past week for Jim Iovine. The cake was adorned with the words “Congratulations Farmer Jim.”

The occasion was Jim’s closing on a 57-acre spread in Franklinville, New Jersey, about 10 minutes this side of Vineland, complete with farmhouse. This winter Jim and brother Vinnie will be planning what to plant there. So, late next season, you might expect to see a little truly home-grown produce at Iovine Brothers.

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Edited by rlibkind (log)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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For all you Dr. Phil fans out there, he filmed at the Reading on Saturday (where rlibkind and I had a brush with his fame...or notoriety??) The show is airing tomorrow.

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Marcus Samuelsson (co-owner of Aquavit in NY, Tokyo and Stockholm) made a visit to the Reading Terminal Market today before his tasting menu/cooking demonstration at International House tonight.

Although a caterer made his recipes for the tasting, Samuelsson bought some of his own supplies at the RTM, including salmon for his ceviche. He also stopped by DiNic's and enjoyed a pork/greens sandwich. He urged his audience tonight to take advantage of the RTM. His only criticism of the sandwich is that he would have liked a better bread, specifically, a whole grain. But, hey, he's Scandinavian and they even like Raw Bits! What did you expect? But he backtracked a bit on the bread critique and said the sandwich worked well as an entire entity, even if he would choose another bread.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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The Fair Food Farmstand expects to open at its new Reading Terminal Market location next Tuesday. They'll be closed this Sunday and Monday to make the move.

As we reported last Saturday, refrigerators and freezers were delivered, as well as all the shelving.

A formal grand opening celebration is planned for Friday, Oct. 2.

Also, Fair Food will selling Sam Consylman's paw paws this week. More details about other markets where you can buy Sam's paw paws here.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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becks090918.jpgAt the Reading Terminal Market, visible progress has been made at Beck's Cajun Cafe (above), shooting for a late October debut.

fairfood090918.jpgFair Food (above) figures they'll make their goal of moving to the new location by Tuesday.

When Fair Food vacates their present location, it will be restored to its previous incarnation as a seating area.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Iovine Brothers Produce featured a nice selection of edibles from the prickly pear cactus plant today. Both red and green cactus pears and cactus leaves (nopales) are shown here, along with Meyers lemons. the cactus pears were two for a buck, a very good price, and the nopales 89 cents pound.

Iovine's also offered limes at a bargain eight for a buck, and beautiful, large purple South Jersey eggplants at 89 cents a pound. New Jersey plum tomatoes were $1.49/pound. String beans were 99 cents, iirc. Avocados are a buck apiece, organic avocados $1.99.

Figs are still in season at Fair Foods. They're selling green figs gathered from a South Philly tree in egg cartons (six for $4). Plenty of apples and they've still got peaches.

Hershel's East Side Deli had plenty of cold brisket on hand for those who didn't want to cook their own for tonight's Rosh HaShana dinners. He also had sweet kugel, but not potato. Although they also sell hot brisket, the cold briskets allow the staff to slice it to whatever thickness you like.

In addition to bagels from New York's H&H, they also sell very good bialys. I buy them frozen then reheat for about 9 minutes in a 350-degree toaster oven. Plenty oniony and a great alternative to bagels.

pawpaws.jpg


Edited by rlibkind (log)

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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The Fair Food Farmstand opened for business today at its new location along the 12th Street side of the Reading Terminal Market. The space was last occupied by Rick's Steaks. The stall shut down at close of business Saturday to allow the staff to work over the weekend and through yesterday to prepare and move the stock.

With one reach-in refrigerator, two reach-in freezers, and an open shelf produce refrigerator, the new location offers plenty of additional cool capacity. That's in addition to the "arks" (the shelving which holds the produce at an angle), and tables painted with a milk-based paint, wood-finishing made from 40-year-old telephone poles, and chalkboard slate countertops. Although only one checkout was in operation today, there's a second checkout available to speed shoppers along. The west-facing windows brighten the space considerably, though additional lighting will be installed, according to Fair Food's Ann Karlen.

Fair Food as a way to go to take full advantage of the new space. The inventory that overflowed from the old stall doesn't come close to capacity now. Among the goodies you could have purchased today: heirloom tomatoes at $5/pound, organic field tomatoes at $2.50; Long Island "cheese" pumpkins (purportedly tops for making pumpkin pie), $1.70/pound; green Bartlett pears, $2; red Bartletts, $2.75; Seckel pears, $2.75; acorn, buttercup or butternut squashes, $1.75/pound.

Once the old freezer and refrigerator are removed from the former stall, RTM will convert it to a seating area.

I've got some photos of the new stall below. For a fuller documentation of the move, visit Messy and Picky's blog, co-authored by Albert Yee, one of the Fair Food Farmstand's staffers (that's Albert in the bottom photo, putting some finishes touches onto one of the "arks").

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Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Marion Nestle, dubbed "food warrior" by Time magazine for her intelligent, fact-based advocacy for good food and nutrition, will participate in the grand opening ceremony's of the Fair Food Farmstand's new stall at the Reading Terminal Market. The event will be held Friday morning, Oct. 2.

Nestle, the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University, is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health; Safe Food: Bacterial, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism, and What to Eat.

Nestle will be heading over to the Fair Food event after giving the keynote speech at the annual conference of Les Dames d’Escoffierm, a world wide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The 1,400-plus member group will meet Oct. 1-4 at the Sofitel. The Philadelphia chapter of the group boasts 83 members.

After the Fair Food ceremony, the non-profit's executive director, Ann Karlen, will head back to the conference to join a panel on food system partnerships with, among others, Marilyn Anthony, Southeastern Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Brisk Business at Fair Food

Since opening at its new location within the Reading Terminal Market Wednesday, the Fair Food Farmstand has been doing brisk business. Although long-term trends cannot be divined from just three days' business, manager Sarah Cain reports increased traffic and revenue. Weekly volume should be bumped up when the stall begins seven-day-a-week operation Oct. 5; in recent years it has been closed on Mondays.

While much of the business has been from regular customers, many are new, including a few clueless folks who said they never knew the Fair Food Farmstand existed at its previous location within the market.

Don't expect to be able to order a quiche, sandwich or salad for consumption at the RTM from Fair Food anytime soon. Although Fair Food plans to eventually use some of its prep space to create items for lunchers and munchers, RTM General Manager Paul Steinke said serious talks about adding the additional line of business haven't even started. Fair Food didn't elect to hook up to the market's extensive exhaust and ventilation system, so they definitely won't be making cheesesteaks or roast pork sandwiches. But expect items that could be prepped and cooked in a convection oven, sandwich press, induction stove top and similar small appliances.

Other Vendors Spruce Up

Convex display cases are all the rage among merchants at the Reading Terminal Market. If I recall correctly, it started when John Yi redid its cases a year or so ago. More recently the new meat seller, S&B, installed similar cases. Over the last month L. Halteman and Termini's updated their stalls with the attractive cases.

At Termini's, the refrigerated cases greatly expands capacity to store and sell pastries requiring refrigeration. Stop by and you'll see a much larger selection of cakes and other goodies that must keep their cool.

Produce Report

If you want some paw paws, you'll save plenty by buying them at Earl Livengood's in center court vs. Fair Food. Both come from the same source -- Lancaster hunter-gatherer Sam Consylman who forages for them along the banks of local creeks -- but Earl's are sold for $3.95/pound, vs. $6.50 at Fair Food. No matter where you buy them, select the blackened, soft ugly ones if you plan on eating them in the next day or two. They've got to be mushy to be good. They will, however, ripen on the counter top. Paw paws can be eaten fresh, but their highest use is in ice cream, puddings, cookies or other baked goods. For recipes, see the web collection of Kentucky State University.

In addition to the paw paws, Fair Food had French breakfast radishes, $2.50/bunch. Kabocha squash was $1.95/pound, all others $1.75. They've still got yellow peaches, $1.75, and both heirloom and cherry and grape tomatoes. The first rutabagas of the season are $1.50/pound. Also in stock are canned peaches in light syrup from Three Springs Fruit Farm (a regular vendor at Headhouse); I stocked up on these delicious canned goods last winter. Fair Food also has South Jersey canned tomatoes.

Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce still has corn, 50-cents an ear. Broccoli and cauliflower are $1.75 and $4.95 a head, respectively, red sweet potatoes $1.99/pound, whites $2.49. Large concord grapes are $2.50/pint.

Corn, peaches, raspberries, tomatoes and lima beans are finishing out their season at Livengood's, but cool-weather greens are in abundance, as are Earl's potatoes. Chestnuts made their apperance last week for the first time, $2.95 for a half pint; the local chestnuts are a tad smaller than the large Italian imports we should start seeing soon.

I picked up some halibut filet at John Yi's. I couldn't resist: the firm, snowy sides from Canada were priced at a relative bargain $12.99/pound. Porgys were $3.99, mackerel $2.99 and sea bass $5.99. I baked the halibut atop sauteed sweet red pepper julienne with shallot for dinner last night, and it was superb: flavorful but un-fishy (as all good fish should be) and meaty.

I'm no pasta maker, so I rely on packaged dry product for most of my consumption. But every year at this time I indulge in pumpkin ravioli from Pasta by George. It's not cheap ($10.99 for a dozen), but it is good. They served as the first course last night in a brown butter sage sauce.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Bill Beck is getting closer to opening his Beck's Cajun Café at the Reading Terminal Market. A few weeks ago he advertised for help on Craig's List, stating the target for opening is Oct. 14. This week the counters are largely finished. There's even a Facebook page with photos of those beignets I'm keen to sample.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Before the grand opening ceremony for Fair Food's new stall I wandered its aisles to check out the latest offerings.

Thanksgiving may be nearly two months away, but white and red heirloom cranberries from Paradise Hill Farm in Vincentown, New Jersey are much in evidence, making a colorful display next to pints of cherry tomatoes. For those who want to learn how cranberries are grown and harvested, Fair Food is sponsoring its third annual visit to the bogs. It will be held Oct. 25. For more info, email Louisa at farmtours@fairfoodphilly.org. It's a popular tour and includes a look at the farm's antique cranberry-harvesting equipment, so sign up soon.

It's been a sad season for pumpkins, as heavy rains took their toll on the region's crop. Iovine Brother's Produce has been holding the line on price so far, but as we near Halloween expect to pay more for your jack-o-lantern than in past years.

Limes are also dear: the price went up to 50 cents apiece this week at Iovine's. Lemons were three for a buck. A relative bargain are organic green peppers, which were actually less expensive than the conventionally grown variety this week: 89 cents a pound vs 99. Conventional red peppers were $1.49, orange and yellow bells $1.99, frying and hot peppers 99 cents. Ripe Jersey tomatoes were 99 cents. Rutabagas and size of small canteloupes were 50 cents a pound. Red, Savoy and regular green cabbages were 50 cents a pound.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Fans of the Fair Food Farmstand crowded the aisles for today's grand opening of the non-profit group's new venue within the Reading Terminal Market.

The news media was also there, including three local tv stations and Steve Tawa of KYW radio, shown in photo interviewing Fair Food's executive director and founder Ann Karlen.

Marion Nestle, a professor at New York University and leading activitist for good food and good nutrition (she's the go-to source for reporters covering the subject) was the keynote speaker, as she was earlier this morning at the annual conference of Les Dames de L'Escoffier. In her brief remarks Nestle linked the revitalization of small farms with the health of American democracy, and praised the symbolic importance of Michelle Obama's support of a farmers' market near the White House.

The U.S. Department or Agriculture, which funded a grant to get the renovated Fair Food Farmstand rolling, sent James Barham, an economist with the department's Agricultural Marketing Service. Though agro-industry remains the primary focus of the department, small farmers are getting increased attention. Barham discussed how the department's promotion of "value chain collaboration" is working to develop relationships between food buyers (stores, distributors and institutions) and small-to-medium-sized farms.

Although she didn't speak at the ceremony or sit with the assembled dignataries, a key presence at the event was Judy Wicks, founder of White Dog Cafe and the White Dog Cafe Foundation. It was under the sponsorship of the foundation that Fair Food got its start. Recently Fair Food was spun off as an independent, free-standing non-profit.

Some of the biggest cheers at the event were reserved for the farmers who attended the ceremony.

Mike Holahan, president of the Reading Terminal Market Merchants Association and proprietor of the Pennsylvania General Store, brought a bit of pointed humor to the proceedings in his brief remarks. Mike observed that when market merchants gather to discuss a new vendor, and question why the market needs a particular store, such as a non-profit vendor of local produce, you can be sure of its success.

The local locavore establishment was much in evidence. In addition to many of its loyal customers, attendees included staff and volunteers from both The Food Trust and Farm To City, which both operate farmers' markets in the region, and The Common Market, a non-profit wholesale operation trying to build markets for the area's small farmers.

Although the Farmstand is the most visible of Fair Food's progams, it's hardly the only one. Among its other activities:

  • The Farmer Outreach Project, which assists limited-resource farmers by preparing them to sell products to the wholesale marketplace;
  • Farm-to-Institution, an effort also involving the Food Trust, the Common Market and other non-profits, to encourage institutions, distributors, and mid-scale farmers to work together to fuel the local food system;
  • Publications, including the Philadelphia Local Food Guide and Wholesale Guide to Local Farm Products;
  • Participation in the Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign; and
  • The Restaurant Project, which encourages local establishments to source through local producers; Fair Food's twice-annual Farmer/Chef Gathering is an important part of this effort.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Bill Beck is getting closer to opening his Beck's Cajun Café at the Reading Terminal Market. A few weeks ago he advertised for help on Craig's List, stating the target for opening is Oct. 14. This week the counters are largely finished. There's even a Facebook page with photos of those beignets I'm keen to sample.

I wonder if they will be open at 3 am. That's when beignets seem to taste best.

I'm also wondering if beignets offer the opportunity for creativity - a variation with dark chocolate could be habit forming.

An exciting addition to the market.


Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Lots of events are on tap at the Reading Terminal Market this fall, starting out next Friday when The Reading Terminals, the market's own jazz combo, celebrates its' 25th anniversary.

The quartet is no ordinary group of part-time musicians. They're available for legal, political and medical consultations. Superior Court Judge Richard Klein bangs the skins. Ed Schwartz, former city councilman, tickles the ivories. Attorney Anthony Call plucks bass. Rounding out the combo is Dr. David Reider, assistant chief medical officer at Jeff, picking guitar. Before his death former City Councilman Thatcher Longstreth added vocals.

The Terminals technically celebrated their 25th back in August, but the market will officially observe their quarter century of jamming Friday, with special guest appearances from other Philadelphia jazz notables.

To learn more about the Reading Terminals, check out Dan Geringer's feature from the Daily News two months ago.

The RTM's annual Harvest Festival will be held for the ninth time on Saturday, Oct. 17. Filbert Street (a.k.a. Harry Ochs Way) will be transformed into an urban farm with bales of hay and corn stalks. The festival features seasonal foods, hay rides, a pumpkin patch, live music, pie eating contests, and more.

Throughout October, you can guess the weight of a giant pumpkin positioned in Center Court. The person who guesses closest without going over wins $100.

Old City Coffee roaster Art Dupras will lead a short conversation about the coffee roasting on Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. He'll showcase Old City's antique cast iron coffee roaster and demonstrate the complete roast cycle of a French roast. It's the free event is limited to eight attendees, so reserve your spot by sending an email to sandi@oldcitycoffee.com.

Rick Nichols' occasional columns in The Inquirer about the region's "forgotten foods" intrigued RTM General Manager Paul Steinke, who decided to stage a festival devoted to these traditional comestibles. It comes to fruition Nov. 14 when the market sponsors an all-day celebration of Pepper Hash, Snapper Soup, Cope’s Corn, Fried Catfish and Waffles, and many more goodies.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Due to what passes as a Nor'Easter, the RTM's Harvest Festival won't be held as planned tomorrow (who, after all, wants to go on a soggy hayride?). Instead, it will be held next Saturday, Oct. 24.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Jujubes at Iovine's

When I think of Jujubes, I think of the tiny gummy candies from Heide's I would buy during my pre-adolescent years at the Saturday matinees at the Elmora Theater in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where I saw such classics as "X the Unknown" and "The Blob".

Little did I know there was another Jujube, which I found recently at Iovine Brothers' Produce at the Reading Terminal Market. Unlike the sweet, sugary little pellets of my childhood, these Jujubes are alleged to have medicinal properties, as well as a more adult taste. They somewhat resemble dates and, indeed, are sometimes called Red Dates or Chinese Dates, though their origin is probably India. They have a wonderful scientific name: Ziziphus zizyphus. For those interested here's the Wikipedia entry.

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These kaffir limes are also purportedly medicinal and are primarily used in Southeast Asian and Indonesian cuisines, frequently in a curry paste. They are also available at Iovine's.

With the coming of winter (it sure seems close with our recent weather) Iovine's is bringing in more citrus fruit. This past week Valencia oranges were available in bags at a bargain price of $1.99 for a four-pound bag. Tangerines were six for a buck, and Florida navels were five for $2. Cara Cara oranges were 3 for $1. Limes were a bit less pricey today, 5 for a buck. Lemons were 3/$1, but they were heavy with juice. After a hiatus of a week or so, red and green cactus pears are back in stock.

Figs remain available, at least those from California. A pint box of about a dozen brown figs was selling for $4.99 at Iovines. Chile, which dominates the out-of-season fruit market in Philadelphia, is expanding into avocados to compete with Mexico. Iovines was selling medium sized fruits this week, 2 for $1.49; smaller ones were in a separate bin for a quarter apiece.

For as long as I've been shopping there Iovines has sold tofu, but only the medium firm type they package into plastic containers in water. This week they expanded tofu offerings to include three or four additional firm and super firm versions, including a "tofu cutlet" ready for cooking. You can find them in the refrigerated cases by the Filbert Street checkout.

Unpasteurized cider is back in stock at Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce, available in pints and half-gallons. (In the past Ben Kauffman has also sold it in quarts; maybe he'll have those next week).

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Kauffman's always has a nice selection of brassicas each fall, and this year is no exception, as demonstrated by the purple and white cauliflower, romanesco and broccoli above.

One of the joys of Lancaster County in the fall is the appearance of local celery. Livingood's had them at the RTM this morning, $2 a bunch. The celery grown in Lancaster County is a tad less stalky and more leafy, but it's crispy freshness (versus the trans-continental California product) and deep green color make it welcome. I'll put some stalks on an old-fashioned relish tray, with a selection of olives, at dinner tonight. (Drat! I forgort to buy some fresh radishes to complete that tray.)

If we're lucky when we get closer to Thanksgiving we might see some white celery, which is the same thing as green celery except that the stalks are buried so they aren't exposed to light; the process is the same that produces white asparagus. This labor-intensive celery makes a wonderful side when braised in butter with a little white wine


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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If you want to start up a stall at the Reading Terminal Market, you'll have to wait for an existing vendor to fail.

With the recent move of the Fair Food Farmstand to the 12th Street side of the market, the opening of S&B Meats and Barb & Suzy's Kitchen, and next week's opening of Beck's Cajun Café all available space has been leased for the first time in a couple of years.

The move of Fair Food expands the available seating in the court closest to Arch Street, and it will remain that way, according to Paul Steinke, the market's general manager.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Super Bowl Sunday is usually the peak day for guacamole. But with the Eagles playing Sunday, and the Phillies in the World Series Saturday, Sunday and Monday, why not dip into some this weekend?

The price of avocados and limes at Iovine Brothers' Produce shouldn't stop you. Large, Chilean Hass avocados were selling for a buck apiece today, and a lime will set you back a dime. Today the avocados were a bit on the firm size and could use a day or two of ripening. But they'd certainly be ready by Sunday.

Charlie, one of the managers for Iovines, says the Chileans have been in the avocado business for a long time, but the California Avocado Board worked to keep them out of the U.S. for the past 10 years. Now they're back, which means competition for both California and Mexico, the world's largest exporter of Hass avocados.

Beck's Cajun Cafe opened this past Monday. See my report in the dining section.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Forgotten foods of the region will be the focus of a festival at the Reading Terminal Market on Saturday, Nov. 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A number of merchants will be preparing some of these foods from our past, and they'll all be available for tasting at reasonable cost. (You'll probably buy tickets at a central point, then exchange the tickets for the tastes.)

Among the featured foods:

  • Copes Dried Corn, Wilbur Buds (the original from which Hershey derived his kisses), and Buttercreams from Pennsylvania General Store.
  • Fried Catfish and Waffles, Pepperpot Soup from the Down Home Diner.
  • Pepper Hash from AJ's Pickles.
  • Fried Oysters from Pearl's served with Chicken Salad (probably from Hershel's).
  • Snapper Soup from Pearl's.
  • Cape May Salt Oysters, Cranberries and Black Walnuts from Fair Food Farmstand.
  • Fresh Grated Horseradish from Hershel's.

Other items on the menu will probably include goose, fresh ham, heritage turkey and mincemeat pie.

Dominic Spataro, whose sandwich shop has been a presence at the market for decades, said fresh grated horseradish brings back fond market memories for him. Nearly half a century ago a merchant named Franklin Field made it on premises for sale at the predecessor to today's Spice Terminal, where he also offered fresh grated coconut. His grated both by hand on a tool used by carpenters to bevel latticework, wearing a leather apron to protect himself from injury. Another of Field's products that was quite popular was Irish dulse (seaweed). The tradition continued when Field's stall was taken over by Harvey Riley, who ran it until it closed in the late 1970s. The spice shop was located near where Iovine Brothers Produce stands today.

Poses: The Commissary At Home

Steve Poses, remembered by many as one of the movers creating Philadelphia's Restaurant Renaissance in the 1970s and 1980s through his Commissary restaurant, has spent his efforts since then with his catering business. Now he's published a book about home entertaining, At Home: A Caterer's Guide to Cooking & Entertaining.

Poses will be in the Piano Court next Saturday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. promoting the book and its companion web site and sharing his expertise and passion for home entertaining. He’ll present mini-courses designed to help plan a delicious and stress-free Thanksgiving. The book, usually sold only online (www.athomebysteveposes.com) will also be available for purchase.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Fennel, beets and celery root were among the fall produce goodies to be found at Livengood's at the Reading Terminal Market Saturday. Expect to see them this Tuesday at South Street and Thursday at Fairmount.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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It's a high-priced cup cake, as befitting the New York Yankees. Rebecca Michaels, proprietor of Flying Monkey Patisserie at the Reading Terminal Market created this goodie for any New Yorkers visiting for the World Series who had cash to burn.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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At least some merchants and the Reading Terminal Market have seen business fall off dramtically due to the SEPTA strike.

One of Iovine Brothers Produce's managers said volume was off 40 percent. On top of that, he and fellow managers had become a de facto taxi service, driving employees to and from work.

Other merchants saw lesser impacts. Over at the Fair Food Farmstand, while business was off a little, it wasn't devastating.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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