Tuesday, September 3, 2013

San Diego's Fishermen's Farmers Market Opens


Last Wednesday Catt White (of the Little Italy Mercato, the San Diego Public Market, the North Park Farmers Market, and the Pacific Beach Farmers Market) launched her newest venture, the Fishermen's Farmers Market at Driscoll's Wharf. It had long been a dream of White's and the late Cathy Driscoll, who managed the wharf for years before her death earlier this year.

The market brings together the seafood-loving public and San Diego's local commercial fishermen, enabling shoppers to buy just-caught seafood from the folks who catch it--bringing it straight from their boats to the wharf-side market. And, while they're there, shoppers can also buy the produce and other foodstuff they need from local farmers and artisan vendors.

The market's soft opening found the seafood stall manned by John Ford of Salmon Slinger, who docks at Driscoll's Wharf. He had a collection of local seafood--sea urchin, grouper, yellowtail--some pretty local from Baja--bay scallops and sea bass--and a mix of others. Ford told me currently they're working with a variety of purveyors, including Catalina Offshore Products and Chesapeake, as well as his own company, Salmon Slinger.





You can also pick up cedar planks for grilling.

Eventually, this one stall will expand into a full aisle of fishermen-manned seafood booths, with cooking demos as well. But, says White, while the focus is on our local fishermen, the reality is that fishing is seasonal and there will always be a mix of local and regional with other retailers participating to make sure that there will be enough seafood for consumers.

Along with the seafood, I found a bountiful number of farmers, including Pure Foods of Lakeside, Behneman Farms of Valley Center, Kawano Produce of Oceanside, and two of my favorites, J.R. Organics and Maciel. And, there were plenty of the regular artisan vendors--from Bread & Cie and  Majestic Garlic to Nicolau Goat Farms and Epicurean Gourmet. And, if you need refreshment, there's always Blue Quetzal's octopus tacos, Seb's Paninis, Gourmet Tamales, and Madison Avenue Pies.

Parking is available on site behind Driscoll's Wharf buildings. And the view while shopping? Spectacular! If you happen to enjoy bay views, of course.



So what did I purchase? Only some of the biggest, most beautiful Mexican shrimp I've ever seen.



After cleaning them, I tossed the shrimp with a blend of extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, minced red chiles from my garden, and wonderful saffron salt from We Olive Oil, then roasted them for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Here they are on a plate of steamed farro with homemade sriracha drizzled on top. I couldn't get over how sweet they were, as large as they were.



The Fishermen's Farmers Market is located at Driscoll's Wharf off North Harbor Dr. in Point Loma. It's held every Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. Read more about it and its history in my new story in the fall issue of Edible San Diego.

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