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Posts Tagged ‘London’s Borough Market’

I’ve been itching to check out the New Amsterdam Market since its 2009 debut in September.  The New Amsterdam Market is a self-described “public market”  in the tradition of London’s Borough Market, which is hands-down the finest food market I’ve ever had the privilege to visit (Program Note: I picked up some gorgeous stinky French cheese there that, if we hadn’t inhaled it for dessert, had all the elements of a primordial goo for a brilliant future civilization. It was truly exceptional, but sadly my delicate American gut was not properly colonized for such otherworldly things. Alas, I could not stomach a homemade full English breakfast the following morning).  Well, Borough Market it’s not, but I’m totally down with the aspiration.  Perhaps with time it will become a contender.

The market emerges once a month on South Street, where the old Fulton Fish Market once stood.  It’s different from a greenmarket in that it welcomes “butchers, grocers, mongers, farmers and provisioners, bakers and distributors, brokers, importers, and sellers of cooked foods”.   The goal, in part, is to incubate small, local, food producers and introduce New Yorkers to the bounties being hand-crafted right in their own backyards.  I was happy to see that Brooklyn had a strong presence.

As much as I enjoyed the market, I do have a criticism. While I acknowledge that most food is far cheaper than it should be and doesn’t fully reflect the social and environmental costs of producing it, the New Amsterdam Market was not designed with a low to moderate income person in mind.  Perhaps this is in the works, but unlike most NYC greenmarkets, using your EBT card was not an option.  It felt more like a rustic fancy food show rather than a public market, which, I think,  should increase access to locally-sourced, high quality food for the general public.  Most items were priced and geared toward upper-income food snobs (which I guess is me, sans the upper-income component).

With that said, here are a few highlights:

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Freshly shucked Robins Island oysters

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Wild Gourmet Food- Fairlee, Vermont. This guy had all kinds of strange mushrooms and medicinal herbs. They're foragers. I heart Vermont

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Porchetta - some of the most delicious roasted pork. Ever

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Aimee (left) and me enjoying magical bratwurst from The Meat Hook - so good you can't see it. Regretted not bringing a pack home

Honorable mention goes to the tremendously creamy and smooth ricotta we tasted from Narragansett Creamery in Rhode Island. Luke’s Lobster also turned out some fine lobster rolls: toasty buttered potato rolls loaded with lobster.  You can check it out for yourself at the next market on Sunday, November 22nd. Photos by Tim Kelley.

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