Saturday, January 26, 2008

This Is Hot...

North One10 Chef Dewey LoSasso's Wattle-Seed Seared Scallops With Dragon Fruit, Virgin Dewey, and Hot sauces (above). I mention Chef LoSasso first because he had the smart idea to bring Owner/Grower Roger Washington from Red Dragon Fruit Company to the Upper East Side Green Market. You wanted farmers? You got farmers. Roger was handing out samples of his heirloom tomato varieties, which include Pink Brandywine, Red Brandywine, Cavern, Cherokee, Green Zebras, Black Prince and Garden Peach (below), so named for their lightly fuzzy texture. All the tomatoes I tasted were vibrant with flavor, with subtle nuances that surprised and delighted me, including the tiny yellow teardrop, fresh from the farm. He had organic avocados and bananas. He also grows lychee's, longan, jack fruit, and mangoes. (Funny, but mangoes almost sound ordinary in that group.) He was cutting up a canistal for a kid who 'only had three dollars' (this exotic fruit can get expensive), and showing him how to eat it (you scoop out the flesh with a spoon). Coincidentally, his farm is adjacent to Gaby's Farms and he supplies her with passion fruits for her sorbet. As Dale LoSasso looks on (third photo down), Sandra Stefani enjoys a Virgin Dewey. Let me just say that we both felt it was a great drink on a hot day, refreshing and nutritious, and that we were both looking at each other to see who had brought the ice-cold vodka. I assumed she had it under a basket at her booth, but she demurred (she also told me she sold out of her artisan breads). The hot sauce has habaneros in it, the second hottest pepper in the world, but the guava hot sauce starts out sweet, and then the fire builds. Just when you think you're going to start tearing, it magically dissipates. The Hot Sauce is pretty hot. I slurped down a teaspoon, and almost instantly I thought I was in trouble. Hot, hot, hot....and then just a lingering peppery taste, just as you start nervously looking around for a bottle of water.

Vito was selling fresh handmade Mozzarella ($6/lb), caprese's ($3 each), and burrata's ($4 each), and fresh ricotta $6/lb). He also sells canolli's that looked so freakin good, as well as Taralli, kind of like a small Italian pretzel (below), that is typical of Apulia, where Vito is from. The item I was most intrigued by, however, was the ricotta muffin. Mengya they looked good.

'Be Organic', the chalkboard said. I missed the escargot ($10), but everyone seemed to be lusting after the mango mousse. And I didn't get to try the handground spice mixes, from the spice lady, although everyone seemed to be lusting after them (and maybe her), as well.

And finally I had to go, so I said goodbye to the boys, to the girls, to the girls with dogs, and to the dogs. Chow.

...and this...