Looking outside my window onto my snowy backyard, my California visit seems eons ago, not just a few days before. Eight days of nature and city walks, Farmers' Markets, restaurants, bakeries, ethnic foods, beautiful San Francisco and the reason for my visit - The San Francisco Fancy Food Show.
So, needless to say - I ate well and beautifully for 8 days! Watsonville, where I started with a visit to my friend Devorah, is the strawberry center of the country and the whole area provides the American salad bowl. The Santa Cruz Farmers Market, just up hwy 101, offered fresh citrus, variety of mushrooms, artichokes and greens, cabbages, dates and more. Such a feast for the eyes and senses!
My taste buds went to town when I sampled the Mexican delicacies at the local bakery, Rebbeca's and then I singed my palate on tacos and salsa at the sprawling Mia Pueblo grocery store in Watsonville. That green salsa was so fresh, singing with limes and jalapenos that I couldn't get enough of it. Ended up buying a container of it, just to slather on EVERYTHING!
Just couldn't get enough of the Mexican flavors and strolled the isles of the Friday afternoon Watsonville Farmers' Market. Take your pick: spiced peanuts, arepas, seasoned grilled corn, tacos, fresh roasted garbanzos, spiced fruit drinks - I didn't know where to start!
The surprise of the day was a fruit drink that Devorah insisted that I try. "You gotta try this! no charge" the guy says... Fresh fruit in a quart plastic container in natural fruit juice. Fresh, yummy - nice, right? I'll try a sample , free too - nothing to lose...
That drink just shifted on my palate like a gini from straight forward fruity sweetness into complex layers of heat, spice, tang and freshness - wow!! Had to take a picture with Oscar, the owner, who paraded his 5 (!) kids in front of us, told us about his new ice cream shop and his quest for freshness and excellence. Mexican hospitality, largess, entrepreneurship and zesty flavors! Delicious combination!
Following full days we were welcomed at home by Evelyn, the princess, soaked in the view and relaxed with a glass of wine. Lots more to share as I bundle up in my chilly kitchen and dream of California...