SF Ferry Building and Its Farmers Market (yet again)

Today I headed up to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building, partially because I wanted to sit on a train and read. The Caltrain was packed on the way up because of a Giants game, so the usual crowd at the Saturday farmer's market seemed pale by comparison. Another beautiful day and a plenitude of fresh foods.

I grabbed a potato croquette from Delica rf-1, a Japanese-inspired fusion joint. Take potato croquette was like a large, thick potato pancake, so thick the center is mashed potato goodness and the outside is actually slightly breaded. I enjoyed it.

I also sampled a lot and either ate or came back with three different types of figs -I was going to do a taste test and write up the results but the figs are at different stages of ripeness so it's hard to tell what flavor differences are caused by the ripeness and what by the variety-, an artic pride nectarine, a few flavor king pluots, a bunch of grapes, a piece of sweet and spicy chicken from Delica rf-1, and a chocolate chip cookie from Scharffen-Berger.

San Mateo Farmer's Market

To get a feel for my new town, I drove by the San Mateo Farmer's Market last Saturday. It's a small affair, a few factors bigger than the North Berkeley one but nowhere near the size of the Ferry Building's. A nice amount of crowds and friendly local farmers.

I went hungry and ended up picking up a bunch of items for later. While there I had a tamale (okay) and a peach for lunch. I came home with, however,
* a piroshki, made by an immigrant (still has the accent) and sold out of a cooler. A pastry filled with chicken and flavored with a bit of onions, it was bland like Eastern European food tends to be. I definitely liked whatever type of dough he used. Decent.
* a Top Nosh pastry filled with butternut squash, cheese, and other stuff. I sampled it at the market and had it later as part of dinner; quite tasty. I'll have to try more of their productions.
* a bunch of okra. Having never cooked okra, I figured this was a rare chance to buy some organic okra and to just experiment with it later.
* snap peas, for an analogous reason that I haven't cooked them in ages.
* tomatillos. I go through tomatillos fairly fast due to my current Mexican cooking kick.

Interesting Articles: August 2nd-14th 2006

Food & Health:
* Mad cow disease might linger longer (Science News). In short, the only other known prion disease in people has a long incubation period, suggesting that possibly mad cow disease has a similar length one. Scary. Details available in the source article: Kuru in the 21st century: an acquired human prion disease with very long incubation periods (Lancet).
* In utero factors shape responses to stress, sugar (Science News). In short, eat healthy, balanced meals. In long, children of women who ate a high-meat, low-carb diet while pregnant can, even now that the children a middle aged, be distinguished in terms of stress response from women that ate balanced diets while pregnant. Details in the source article: Maternal consumption of a high-meat, low-carbohydrate diet in late human pregnancy programmes cortisol responses to stress testing in adulthood (Endocrine Society).
* For portion control, look to the container (CNN). It's not new news, but still a fun warning piece nonetheless. The ending section is the most interesting.

* Statins might lower risk of cataracts (Science News). Sometimes drugs have unknown benefits. Posted for the readers of this blog that take a statin.
* Letters (Science News, login required - no alternative). Some follow-up to the mighty mouse article from this previous past.

* Chaotic Chomp: The mathematics of crystal growth sheds light on a tantalizing game (Science News). Solely posted because it's about combinatorial games. I'm surprised to see this in such a prominent news magazine; I saw a preliminary version of it presented at a conference and it got a fairly lukewarm reception. In short, they don't have many results other than some pretty pictures and some "probabilistic" results that says certain things are likely true. Nothing very rigorous.

* Out of Sight: Physicists get serious about invisibility shields (Science News). Very cool.

* Why people punish (Science News). In short, punishment people mete out usually depend on retribution, not deterrence. Details in the source article: The roles of retribution and utility in determining punishment (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology).

* Pornucopia (WNYC's On The Media via NPR). On how the food network is like porn. The audio has some segments (excerpts from shows) that aren't in the transcript; I'd advise listening to the program rather than reading the transcript.

Interesting Articles: July 24th-August 1st 2006

  • Celebrating Puzzles, in 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 Moves (or So) (New York Times). A simple article about a puzzle museum in Indiana.
  • Grass-Fed Rule Angers Farmers (New York Times). The Department of Agriculture tries to soften the definition of grass-fed cattle but the industry resists.
  • Nice Rats, Nasty Rats: Maybe It’s All in the Genes (New York Times). As a friend states, "it's amazing how quickly animals can be domesticated."
  • Device uses waves to “print” on water surface. Very cool.