Sunday, April 13, 2014

Seattle: This Little Piggy Went to the Market

For your listening pleasure: Willy Wonka's Pure Imagination

Like a proper tourist, I heeded the countless recommendations to go to the market...Pike Place Market. My friends, "The Swedish Twins," have previously gone before I did, and took the Savour Seattle Food Tour . They came back madly in love and ready to elope with Seattle and the market.  I have visited the market on a previous trip, with the mission to see fish fly! I did, and uneventfully checked it off the list... and nowhere in love with the place. Not giving up on love, I decided to stop being cheap and give it a second chance. I took the Savour Seattle Food Tour...thank you Groupon!
My alarm clock blared at 8am to make it to the 10:30am tour with Nick, the pink umbrella toting man. He started off handing us napkins while telling us that those would be our utensils, and that we may be eating off the same container. Ha?! WHAAAAT?! I had to self talk the germophobe that possess my soul, down! Ohhhhm....Moving on...

First stop is the Daily Dozen Donuts. It's described as "tiny, hot, sugary, and delicious" Supposedly people line up around the block for these. I saw it as carbs, sugar, deep fried, OK, but I wouldn't line up for them. 
Pike Place Fish: Time to see fish fly again! This time, I contemplated about volunteering to be the catcher so I could show off my spectacular hand-eye coordination...NOT! I left it to a brave soul, who's down to smell like eeew eau de parfish all day. (Nope! I did not take a picture! My camera decided not to! ) Finally, the fish monger called my skills to the plate...eating!!! He gave us samples of 3 different kinds of salmon. I'm so used to getting nasty salmon that I was ready to do my Negative Nelly face...But NO! I wanted more more more! They nicknamed the peppered as the converter. It will make a salmon lover out of anyone.
Left:Smoked. Top Right: Peppered. Bottom Right: Jerky.

 MarketSpice:This picture is not what it looks like. Whiskey shot this is not. It's tea and some gourmet salt (I forgot what it was! Trust me it's not Morton's.) The tea had clover and cinnamon in it. It was like a hug from a crush... refreshing and warm. The salt was well...salty. This would be a great stop for the gourmet cook. I'd go back for the tea and queen worthy teacups.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese: Cheese is actually made on site, which means squeaky cheese curds! What people really come for is the mac and cheese made with their Flagship cheese. It's got a semi hard cheese feel and taste, but it's delicious stink melts in your mouth. You can sample them in store. I got greedy and tried to pile up a few on my skewer, only to have it crumble and fall to the ground. Lesson learned?

Chukar Cherries: This was my favorite! The place where cherries crashed into salsa and chocolate. Yes, salsa! The sweetness from the cherries went surprisingly well with the tangy and spicy flavors of the salsa. If my luggage wasn't full, I would've hoarded a few. Now on to the chocolate topic. There were 2 different  kinds of chocolate and cherry concoctions, a raspberry and cranberry concoction, and Oh there was a random pecan, the one that's dusted with white stuff. Powdered sugar perhaps? It tasted like a slice pecan pie! Does Willy Wonka work here?!

 The bing cherry is the reddish tinted morsel in the cup. They decided to mess with mother nature and made bing cherries in chocolate form. Does this grow on trees? The darker morsel is the Cabernet cherry. It tasted like wine and chocolate in one bite. The vibrant red thing is the Raspberry truffle. The bright red color is from the raspberry dust that was hiding the white chocolate, that was holding the cranberry hostage. I approve of this delicious crime! The wrinkly looking thing is a dried cherry. I expected it to taste like a raisin, but it was way better!

The orange tinge shot is the bisque.
Pike Place Chowder: Chowdah you say? Before this, I only knew the Campbell's kind.We got shots of the New England Clam Chowder and the Lobster Bisque. I was a big fan of the chowder. It was very creamy and not watery or slimy. They were not stingy with the meaty clam either. The bisque was definitely overshadowed by the chowder.

Piroshky-Piroshky: "From Russia with love." That was how it was listed in the tour flyer. Indeed love was involved in the history of this place. Story has it that the owners of this place had a limited amount of money, and bought everything they needed to build this place. When all the money was spent, they realized that they forgot to buy eggs and flour! Penniless the night before opening day, they had set to turn opening day into breaking down day. The next day, they woke up to a mystery envelope containing enough money to buy flour and eggs! Years after, it was discovered that the donor was from a lady who also owned a piroshky shop a few blocks down. Awww. With my heart swollen from this tale, out comes  Nick the tour man with a tray of piroshkies. An apple and a meat version.
It reminded me of a strudel, with a heartier dough. It's as if a croissant and a bread bun had a baby, and the baby had a play date with meat and apples...and they all lived happily ever after.

Etta's Seafood Restaurant: Crabcakes! These sea critters landed on my napkin, freshly made, which then my mouth quickly realized how fresh from the fryer it was! It was oh so hot! Yes, we were substantially warned, but my brain turns into Homer at the sight of food. Although I singed  my mouth, it's crunchy outer layer and juicy inner crab was a delicious distraction to my pain receptors. Burn? What burn?
Oh what a wonderful way to explore the market and try out foods that I would not otherwise have tried. At the end of the tour, we were given a business card that I can flash like someone of importance, and get discounts at countless of places at the market. Do you smell a sequel to this adventure? Stay tuned to find out!

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