We're back from our weekend in Boston. The weather was good and the food was fun. Early Saturday afternoon we decided to do one of the most tourist-y things we could do -- go to Quincy Market. I couldn't help it. I've loved it since I was a kid. It was a warm day, but not so warm as to force us inside, so the Market seemed like the place to be. Plus, it's almost on the waterfront, and I love the ocean. We got off the T, tried to get our bearings, and found ourselves staring at a group of white tents. "That looks like some kind of market," said Kevin, which was exactly what I had been thinking. Not Quincy Market, but an open-air, farmer's market type market. We went to check it out... it was a produce market and it was HUGE! It had a very European feel to it, except it was not quite as neat and clean as European markets tend to be. It was chaotic -- mobbed with shoppers, the vendors shouting about the virtues of their product. Upon closer examination, it was amazing. Everything imaginable was there: papayas as big as a child's head... pineapples... mangoes... greens... onions... stone fruits... potatoes... carrots... tomatoes... and the list goes on and on and on. Best of all, it was so cheap! Inexpensive, I mean, not lacking in quality. The giant papayas were 99 cents. Peaches 8 for $1. Pineapples 2 for $1.50. Limes 10 for $1. I couldn't believe it. In my part of the world, we have to buy fruit at the grocery store. It's expensive there. Pineapples are $4 - $5 each. Limes, 2 for 89 cents. Peaches, about $2 a pound. We need a fruit market in Bangor.
Being temporary visitors, unfortunately, did not allow us to reap too many benefits of this market. We had just arrived at the Quincy Market/waterfront area, and could not carry too much produce around for the entire day. We bought a few peaches for a snack, and ten limes to bring home for... well, limeburners, of course! Plus, I use lime juice in a really great tofu recipe, which I will share with you the next time I make it.
Kevin Admires Our Limes (isn't he adorable?!?)
Upon my purchase of the limes, Kevin asked me how I was going to store ten of them, knowing we wouldn't go through them before they passed their prime. Here's what I did: I got out our trusty Metrokane Mighty OJ, which is, frankly, a kick-ass juicer. I juiced those limes to the tune of ten ounces of juice and poured it into an ice cube tray. Each cube compartment conveniently holds about an ounce -- just enough for a limeburner! Coincidence? I think not. Once the cubes are frozen, I will transfer them to a storage bag and pull out cubes as we need them.
When we finally tore ourselves away from the produce market, the next thing on my mind was falafel. I had some at Quincy a couple years ago, and was really looking forward to trying it there again. We found the only stand selling falafel, and I was pretty sure it was the same one. What they offered were "falafel wraps." I didn't think that was what I had the last time, but I got one anyway. It was disappointing. It consisted of lettuce, tomato, and a couple of falafel patties in a big, white-flour wrap. No hummus, no yogurt-tahini-sauce, no lubrication of any kind. The patties themselves were actually very good -- they had a kick of crushed red pepper that I have never had in falafel. I'm not sure how traditional it is, but it was the only redeeming quality to the wrap. Maybe I'm just a complete falafel snob after all my trips to L'as du Fallafel in Paris...
For dessert, we couldn't resist "Gelato by Joey." We've had gelato in France, and of course, in Italy, but had only had store-bought Haagen-Daz gelato in the states (which isn't very good at all). I got hazelnut and talked Kev into getting panna cotta flavor. Panna cotta itself is hard to describe -- Gale Gand calls it "grown-up Jello." It's a creamy, custard-style dessert with gelatin added so it holds its shape. I think it's Italy's version of flan. Panna cotta flavored gelato is good. Very good. It has a rich, tangy, almost cream-cheesy flavor, with a caramel swirl. Yum. But do you know what's better than panna cotta gelato? Hazelnut gelato. It tastes like pureed hazelnuts. I can't even begin to describe it any better that that. I was in heaven. Joey's gelato has got it going on!
We wrapped up our evening at Tealuxe in Harvard Square. I fell in love with the place when my cousin took me there a couple of months ago. Have I mentioned that I am a tea addict? I'm sure I'll get around to writing more on that someday. And I'll write more about Tealuxe tomorrow, along with the results of a culinary epiphany I will put to the test, inspired by a couple of beverages I had there.
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