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“Mardi Gras Celebrating the Big Easy Way with Beck's Cajun Café,” by Carolyn Wyman

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This is the time of year when most Market merchants catch their breath after the busy holiday season.

 

But for Bill Beck of Beck’s Cajun Cafe, Christmas and New Year’s are just the ramp-up to the equally busy Mardi Gras time.

 

Between the retail business at Beck’s stands at Reading Terminal and 30th Street Station and catering Mardi Gras parties, February 2016 was “totally crazy,” Beck recalls.

The week preceding this February 28 promises to be equally crazy, if not crazier, due to several Fat Tuesday promotions.

 

First are his King Cakes, a Mardi Gras specialty yeast bread tradition at Beck’s and elsewhere that are flavored with cinnamon and decorated with colorful icing named for the kings who delivered gifts to the baby Jesus. The sheet-size version of this cake must be ordered ahead and contains a hidden plastic baby Jesus. (New Orleans tradition dictates that the baby finder is king and must host next year’s Mardi Gras party.)

 

This year Beck’s stand is also offering Mardi Gras party bags by pre-order featuring a mini king cake, a wedge of muffaletta and New Orleans brands of potato chips and root beer for $10.95.

 

Beck will also be helping Mardi Gras party do-it-yourselfers with a free demonstration on how to make gumbo (and the roux at its base) in City Kitchen on Saturday, February 11, at 11:30 a.m.

 

The Market’s expert on New Orleans’ cuisine is actually a Long Island, N.Y., native who  traces his love of Cajun and Creole cooking to road trips to the South he took with his grandparents as a kid. Beck also notes how New Orleans cuisine is a mix of French, Spanish and Italian, “or pretty much all the important cooking traditions” he’s used in his long career as a chef.

 

That career includes stints at Steve Poses’ Frog Commissary as well as his own Pompano Grille on Fifth and Bainbridge, a 1990s-era Cuban restaurant which earned Beck several Best of Philly awards from Philadelphia Magazine and two invitations to cook at New York’s prestigious James Beard House.

 

Is it any wonder, then, why Market management was receptive to his 2009 pitch for a New Orleans-themed stand?

 

Within three years, Beck’s Cajun Cafe had won a Best of Philly magazine award for  Sandwiches in Reading Terminal Market -- impressive considering all the wonderful sandwich competition in the Market.

 

The award specifically referenced Beck’s po boys, muffaletta (like an Italian hoagie but with a spicy olive topping) and signature Train Wreck, featuring andouille sausage, salami, Creole mayo and Cajun spices in addition to the traditional cheesesteak’s bread, meat and cheese, and which Beck boastfully describes as “what a cheesesteak wants to be when it grows up.”

 

Other stand best-sellers include giant fried balls filled with mac and cheese, the jambalaya and perhaps surprisingly, alligator gumbo (whether as a dare-me food or because people like the slightly sweet, slightly gamey taste of its alligator sausage, Beck isn’t sure). And he says nobody doesn’t like his bread pudding. Or, he clarifies, “Even people who don’t like bread pudding love [its] vanilla whiskey sauce.”

 

The all-star menu is the result of trial and error. Boudin (rice and pork) sausage, barbecue shrimp and whole crawfish boil are some past stand flops: the shrimp because the traditional New Orleans barbecue shrimp recipe he made had white sauce when Philadelphians were expecting something closer to what's used at The Rib Stand; the crawfish, he thinks, because of its “mud bug” rap (all he knows is that he was laboriously picking the meat from those critters and serving it in pasta salad, etouffee and po boys for days).

 

Not that Beck is through experimenting. After Mardi Gras, the cafe will undergo both a decor and menu “freshening”: Food additions will include a short rib po boy which Beck describes as an “upscale take on New Orleans’ famous debris” or beef roast ends, sandwich. New for breakfast are omelets (with or without gumbo topping) and brioche French toast topped with a praline sauce.

 

As for what he will be doing on Mardi Gras: If he’s as busy this year as last,  “Probably nothing. Definitely not partying,” he says.

Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour (www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com).

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“Winging Your Way Around the Market in Time for the Big Game,” by Carolyn Wyman

Chicken wings were one of the cheapest things sold at Godshall's poultry stand when it opened in the Market in 1916. At that time and for many decades afterward, people only bought chicken wings to make stock or to feed animals, if they bought them at all.

Now chicken wings are among the priciest parts of the chicken at Godshall's and anywhere else chicken wings are sold, all because a Buffalo, N.Y., bar ran low on food one night in 1964 and decided to try serving chicken wings with hot sauce. Hence the wildly popular Buffalo wing appetizer was born.

That's why you can now not only buy fresh chicken wings at Godshall's and Guinta's in the Market but also already cooked ones for lunch or dinner or parties at Dienner's, Franks A-Lot and Keven Parker's. Sales of wings rise during the fall football season and the holidays but fly out of the Market in the days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday (i.e. right now).

Dienner's only sold whole rotisserie chickens when the stand opened in the Market in 1980.  Its first wings -- also rotisseried -- followed two years later and soon became best-sellers. Wings now account for about three-quarters of stand sales.

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"They're portable. That's the way people eat today," explains third-generation family owner Anthony Dienner. About 60 percent of Dienner's wings' business come from only two flavors: the original rotisserie and the smoked (Anthony's personal favorite). The rotisserie are flavored with both a dry rub and a wet sauce before being cooked for about two hours. The smoked sit overnight in a dry coating before being cooked in a smoker containing hickory chips for a similar long time.

Fried and the spicy ranch-flavored San Antonio round out Dienner's whole wing menu. The Thai chili is the most popular of three party-style fried half wings the stand introduced alongside Memphis sweet and honey Buffalo just four months ago.

As its name implies, Franks A-Lot mainly sold hot dogs when it opened in 1982. But it probably should be called Wings A-Lot based on sales cited by employee-turned-owner Russell Black.

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Franks A-Lots' first wing was honey barbecue. Introduced in 1991, it's still the stand's most popular. Franks A-Lot cook Lana Santoso says they go through 1,200 pounds of wings a week to make this flavor alone. The wing is baked in a confection oven then seared on a stovetop "to enhance the barbecue flavor," Black says.

Their fried and Buffalo wings are Santoso inventions, introduced within the last four years. The fried are redolent of garlic and reminiscent of the salt and pepper wings popular in nearby Chinatown. The Buffalo is really a Buffalo/barbecue sauce hybrid and so only mildly spicy.

As at Dienner's, you can buy Franks A-Lots wings by the pound or as part of platters with sides, including, in Franks A-Lot's case, the unexpected salted cabbage and the Black-lauded cornbread. Cornbread is, in fact, only one of two side dishes regularly featured in the spiffy display case that tempts Reading Terminal Shoppers walking down Avenue C.

Food Network personality Robert Irvine called Keven Parker's fried chicken wings (not to mention his fried chicken thighs, breasts and drumsticks) "the best thing I ever ate" on the food channel's show of the same name in 2012. Irvine praised the chicken's "salty crispiness and spiciness" as well as its "juicy, soft flesh." Based on owner Keven Parker's grandmother's recipe, the chicken marinates in a spicy wet sauce, then is coated in seasoned flour before deep-frying. The wings are sold as part of a meal dish with one side, or per piece.

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The Market also offers help for wing do-it-yourselfers.

The aforementioned Godshall's carries whole chicken wings in two sizes: the jumbo ones many grocers carry as well as smaller fryer ones co-owner Dean Frankenfield gets from a farm in Maryland that many of his customers covet. On the other hand are the sizeable minority of Godshall's patrons who prefer to make their game day appetizers with whole turkey wings. Godshall's will cut any of these wings to order for free.

Guinta's sells both whole and cut (into "party-size" flats and drumettes) fresh wings but also 4-pound packages of wings marinated in Buffalo sauce. Just take and bake. The "boneless wings" sold at most butcher stands and restaurants are actually refashioned chicken breast meat but for special occasions like the Super Bowl, Guinta's actually debones chicken wings and fills the resulting cavity with either prosciutto and Italian spices or blue cheese and hot sauce to create a unique appetizer that stand owner Rob Passio says "taste phenomenal."

Passio gets the hot and wing sauces he uses from Market merchants and so can you.

Condiment's fresh-made sauce offerings include the traditional Buffalo as well as several styles of barbecue. In addition, stand owner Elizabeth Halen says her rosemary-heavy Italian, hot, spicy sweet chili and peanut sauces could make "excellent, nontraditional wing flavorings."

If you're looking for a hot sauce to plug into a Buffalo wing sauce recipe, the shelf behind the cash registers at The Head Nut are lined with dozens of varieties. That stand also carries Wing It, Stubb's, Hoboken Eddies, Guy Fieri and (the beer-containing) Yuengling brands of dedicated wing sauces. Jonathan Best stocks Cholula, Crystal and Frank's hot sauces (the latter was reportedly used on the original Anchor Bar Buffalo wings) as well as Moore's Alabama steakhouse wing sauces.

If you're trying to figure out amounts of wings to buy for a party: Market wing sellers generally agree that you will need 4 to 8 whole wings per person if no other hearty appetizers are served; and 2 to 3 per person if the wings are just one of several meat offerings on the table. (Double that if you're buying half-size party wings.)

As for cooking tips: Franks A-Lot's Black recommends making your own wing sauce, like he does. "It's not that difficult and you'll know what's in it." To achieve the "crispy skin and moist interior everyone wants" in a home oven, Anthony Dienner recommends starting out at a low temperature and increasing it later. "If you turn it too high too fast they will dry out." He also recommends "adding moisture in any way you can" -- like putting a tray of water on a low rack.

For those who need more precise instructions: Halen will be posting wing recipes at Condiment Super Bowl week. Or pick up Wing It!, a cookbook of "flavorful chicken wings, sauces and sides," by Robert Quintana at The Cookbook Stall. Or go to http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/02/the-best-buffalo-wings-oven-fried-wings-recipe.html

for what is probably the most popular wings recipe now on the Internet.

Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour (www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com).

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"Thanksgiving Traditions at Reading Terminal Market," by Michael Holahan

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At 7:30 am inside the Reading Terminal Market on the day before Thanksgiving there is a mad dash of activity.  The green grocers are frantically stacking mounds of collard greens, yams, and onions.  Butchers are icing down freshly killed turkeys and the Pennsylvania Dutch bakers are wondering if they’ve made too few or too many pumpkin pies this year.  For many of the 80 merchants inside this over 100 year old public market in downtown Philadelphia today is the busiest day of the year.

Outside customers sip coffee provided by Market management as they wait for the Market to open.  To pass the time, they map out their strategies for getting their shopping done as quickly as possible.  Traditional wisdom holds that you save the heaviest purchases, like turkeys and potatoes, for last, for in this bustling 2-acre public market, jammed full with all manner of fresh and prepared foods, there are no shopping carts or centralized checkout.  If, however, you save your turkey purchase until the end of your shopping list, thus avoiding carrying a 20lb bird around for an hour, you may find your favorite butcher surrounded by an impenetrable wall of customers.

At 8:00, as the doors open, the planning stops and the shopping frenzy begins.  Couples split up to divide and conquer the shopping list with a promised rendezvous for blueberry pancakes or croissants.  As the line at Termini’s Bakery slows to a crawl, good natured patrons start folding the bakery boxes to help speed the process.  As the customers move like hordes of locusts through mounds of produce, workers hustle to restock and replenish the ravaged displays.  The ticket machine at Godshall’s Poultry completes the first circuit of 001 to 100 and back again.  The game is definitely afoot.

In the midst of all this, of harried buying and selling, there is a sense of collegiality.  Customers share and debate cooking tips and shopping secrets.  “Do you brine your turkey?” “Of course.”  “Where do I buy lemon zest?”  “You don’t buy it; you get it from peeling or zesting a lemon a lemon.”  “Oh thanks.”  And despite the pressure to finish waiting on one customer to get to the ones that are waiting, merchants make the time to quickly trade milestones with customers: birthdays, funerals, weddings, etcetera.  For customers and shopkeepers alike, today is part business and part family reunion.

At Godshall’s Poultry, the staff works feverishly to keep up with the demand for locally raised, freshly killed turkeys, sage sausage for stuffing, and bacon for the weekend.  In between calling out the next number in line or asking “can I get you anything else today?” they pause to advise a nervous first-time Thanksgiving hostess on the ins and outs of cooking the perfect turkey.  “Cook it at 350 degrees, 14-15 minutes a pound.  If it’s stuffed, you want an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  You’ll want to use a meat thermometer.  You can buy one down the aisle at the kitchen store.  You’re welcome.  Good luck.  Number 88.”  The next day, if all goes according to plan, a beaming young woman will take a bow for serving a Thanksgiving masterpiece and a lifelong customer will be born.  It is in these moments that they keys to the Reading Terminal Market’s longevity can be found.  For in this exchange of money for merchandise, there is also something more personal and less transactional going on.  What happens here day in and day out is not complicated; in fact it is simple, simple and very, very hard to do.

Many of today’s customers first discovered the Market as children brought here by parents or grandparents.  No doubt overwhelmed by the crazy quilt of sights, sounds, and smells of the place, they quickly learned the value of patience.  For after being dragged from stall to stall seeking the freshest meat or ripest tomatoes, there was always the hope of a dish of Bassetts Ice Cream.  Today they return as prodigal sons and daughters of the Market, having moved out to the suburbs away from the row homes where they or their parents were raised.  They find themselves drawn back to the city, foregoing supermarkets offering free turkeys to shop in this place where food is not so much a commodity but a central part of someone’s life work.  It’s not a sign of unoriginality that leads the shopkeepers to name their stores for themselves, Giunta’s Prime Shop, Bassetts Ice Cream, Beiler’s Bakery, etcetera, but rather a sense of pride in the foods they grow, prepare, and sell.

For those travelling some distance, perhaps the trip to the Reading Terminal Market is not a necessary evil to find what they need to prepare Thanksgiving dinner.  The trip itself is an essential part of the Thanksgiving experience; it is the quest that reminds them that preparing and sharing food with the ones they love is a sacred experience.  Perhaps today includes the initiation of a young family member into the hurly burly of the Reading Terminal Market, making them part of a tradition that stretches back to 1892, when the Reading Terminal Market first opened its doors to the public, a tradition that hopefully includes a dish of Bassetts Ice Cream.

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Michael Holahan, who co-owned the Pennsylvania General Store with his wife Julie and twice served as president of the Reading Terminal Market Merchants' Association, passed away suddenly on March 16, 2016.  Michael penned this piece in 2011, and it has been our tradition to share it every year since.  This year, we share it in his memory.

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“A Practical Guide to Condiment, the Market’s Newest and Most Innovative Stand," by Carolyn Wyman

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Think gourmet food store where all of the food products are freshly made on-premises daily.  That’s Condiment, the Market’s newest vendor, which opened last month.  Condiment’s co-owners Elizabeth Halen and Jason Wagner have done their homework and have yet to find another store like theirs anywhere in the country.  If you’ve had trouble figuring out how best to access Condiment, we are going to fix that with this brief introduction to their products and services and how it all works. 

At its most basic, Condiment is a place to buy fresh, high-quality versions of familiar foods like butter, mayonnaise, salad dressing, salsa, jams, cookie dough, and barbecue and dessert sauces to use in the usual ways. Says Halen: “We make them exactly the way you would make them if you had endless amounts of time, the way everyone made them years ago,” that is, from scratch without preservatives or artificial ingredients.

But it’s much more than that if you:

• Ask to see one of their product books. These contain ingredient lists as well as less-obvious ideas on what you can do with what they sell. That book suggests subbing their pistachio pesto for red sauce on pizza, and mixing it into scrambled eggs as well as putting it on pasta. Ice cream might be your first thought upon seeing their salted caramel sauce. But “the book” suggests it would also work well on a cheese plate, as a filling for cookies and cupcakes and as a topping for yogurt or pancakes.

• Look for the two recipes of the day previewed on their Instagram and Facebook pages but only posted at the stand. These feature the usual ingredient lists and instructions but also where in the Market you can get the (non-Condiment) ingredients. Neither of those current recipes appeal? Ask to see the archive of recipes from when Condiment first opened -- Buffalo chicken sandwiches, Italian stuffed- zucchini, pasta with spicy meatballs, and roasted broccoli cheddar soup, among them.

(FYI: The stand also sources its products from other Market merchants as much as possible, including, in some cases, sustainably repurposing waste. They use The Original Turkey carcasses to make their turkey stock, for instance.)

• Get a head start on your dinner prep by having Condiment marinate the meat, fish or chicken you buy from another Market merchant in one of their dressings or sauces. They will put both products in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag and store it in one of their refrigerators while you finish shopping.

• What you see in their refrigerator cases is not all they have. Condiment’s biscuit dough is stored in a freezer -- as are stocks and some jams and curds (to extend the availability of out-of-season fruits). Little signs atop the stand’s front window tell you what’s back there.

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• Check out the fresh herb “mix-ins of the day” (listed on the window in the front of the stand). These allow you to customize their butter and mayonnaise and really just about anything they sell. (Garlic-thyme hummus? Why not?) In the case of butter, Condiment employees work the ingredients in on a refrigerated marble slab Cold Stone Creamery-style while you wait.

• Posted prices generally range between $3 and $8 per 8-ounce portion but you can buy as much or as little as you want (thus cutting down on waste and making the offerings affordable for singles and small families).

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• Afraid their Sambal Oolek might be too hot? Ask for a taste. It’s expected, nay, encouraged.

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• Having a game-day party? Halen suggests tossing some baked or fried chicken wings with their Buffalo, spicy sweet chili or Fra Diavolo sauces or serving one of their salsas or dips (hummus, pimento or their best-selling roasted eggplant) with their own crackers or chips from 12th Street Cantina or Jonathan Best.

• Condiment naturals for Thanksgiving include (the much-feared) turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, jam, and pie crusts (available already rolled out or in a ball).

Don’t have the time to shop more than one Market stand? Hang on. Condiment will eventually also offer meal kits of Market produce, protein and their own sauces and recipes, and, sometime even further in the future, precooked dishes that will simply require reheating.

Condiment is located at the west end of Center Court, and is open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 215-574-7698, www.condimentphl.com.


Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour (www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com).

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Celebrate Fall at Reading Terminal Market's Harvest Festival

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Saturday, October 15, 10am-4pm, Free (Food is pay-as-you-go)

It wouldn't be fall at the Market without our annual Harvest Festival!  Taste the flavors of the Pennsylvania harvest as Filbert Street is transformed into an urban farm.  Enjoy hay rides, arts and crafts, live music, and of course, delicious food!  This year's offerings from a dozen Market merchants include a beer garden, turkey legs, grilled pork ribs, pumpkin humus, pulled pork, candy apples, harvest cookies, jewelry and crafts, skincare and lip balm, and much much more.   

Stop by the Reading Terminal Market Sampling Station where General Manager Anuj Gupta will be sampling a selection of products from our purveyors.  

From 11am-3pm, enjoy live music by Bobby Mansure's Stars & Stripes band.

And don't miss our Guess the Weight of the Giant Pumpkin contest!  Visit the giant pumpkin in Center Court, guess the weight of the pumpkin for a chance to win a $100 gift card to the Market.  The contest ends October 28th.

Admission and activities are free; food is available for purchase.

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"Slurp and Sip Like an Old-Time Philadelphian at OysterFest, by Carolyn Wyman"

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 OysterFest featuring 12 oysters from Pearl’s and 12 beers from Molly Malloy’s, 7-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 23, $50, ReadingTerminalMarket.TicketLeap.com.

Philadelphia was once the oyster capital of America. In the late 19th century, the Delaware Bay’s 2 million-bushel annual haul were served up by almost every Philadelphia bar, restaurant and street vendor, in addition to 379 dedicated oyster houses. The discarded shells paved the streets, formed makeshift wharves and served as ship ballast.

It’s perhaps ironic that Reading Terminal Market’s (nearly) annual fundraising OysterFest was inspired not by Philly’s long and strong oyster heritage -- but by an annual oyster festival held at a counterpart public market in Milwaukee since 2010. (As you might have guessed, oysters are not indigenous to the Great Lakes.) In 2013, then-Market-manager Paul Steinke had heard about the Milwaukee Public Market’s Oyster Fest and approached David Braunstein of Pearl’s Oyster Bar about the idea of doing it here.

Reading Terminal’s OysterFest debuted that September and was held again in fall 2014. (The event paused in 2015 because of the pope’s visit.)

The Braunstein family has owned the Market’s lone oyster bar since the early 1980s and oyster stew and fried oysters were longtime specialties. But Steinke’s idea for a Philadelphia Market OysterFest was in part sparked by a serious program of fresh-shucked local oysters that Braunstein had started earlier that year. Pearl’s still offers a menu of six fresh-shucked raw oysters daily. It usually includes four from the Jersey Shore, at least one from the West Coast and, often, one from Atlantic Canada.

What’s the difference?

“West Coast oysters are normally sweeter and creamier,” says Braunstein. “East Coast oysters are brinier. The further north you go, the brinier they are.”

Although Braunstein won’t know for sure what oysters will be available for the festival until just before OysterFest, Pearl’s oyster menu regulars and Braunstein favs Cape Shore Salt and Sweet Amalia’s, both from Cape May, are two likelies.

The Delaware Bay’s identity as the nation’s oyster bar ended by the early 1900s due to overfishing and pollution and today most local oysters are farmed. That mollusk’s relative rarity today compared to colonial and Victorian times makes them more of a higher-end treat, though Braunstein notes that modern aquaculture oysters have the advantage of being a lot more consistent than wild-caught.

Considering local oysters’ brininess, it’s good that OysterFest will pair the 12 oysters with 12 beers -- almost all local -- curated and poured by Market bar Molly Malloy’s. And historians say beer was probably the drink accompaniment of choice for lower and middle-class Philadelphia oyster eaters of yore. Every style of beer known to go well with raw oysters will be at OysterFest, including sours, ambers, lagers, pilsners, India pale ales and even stouts (in the form of a black and tan). Brands include Yuengling, Yards, Straub’s, Philadelphia Brewing Company, Neshaminy Creek, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish and Evil Genius.

When you consider that the average price of a craft beer is $5 to $7 and fresh-shucked oysters, $16 or $17 per half-dozen; and the fact that this event is all you can eat and drink, OysterFest is a great value that can also make you feel great because proceeds will fund a weekly cooking class held in the Market’s City Kitchen for kids from the nonprofit Strawberry Mansion Learning Center in North Philadelphia.

Given the city’s oyster heritage, attending OysterFest should also make you feel like a true Philadelphian.

Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour (www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com).

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OysterFest is Back!

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Friday, September 23, 7-9pm

For information and tickets, visit https://readingterminalmarket.ticketleap.com/

We are happy to partner with Molly Malloy's and Pearl's Oyster Bar to bring you this year's OysterFest!  Sample a dozen different varieties of raw oysters (including Cape Shore Salt oysters, Cape May Salt oysters, Sweet Amalia oysters, and Forty North oysters) alongside a dozen local craft beers from local breweries such as Evil Genius, Philadelphia Brewing Co., and Yards. Net proceeds will benefit Reading Terminal Market's programming for the Strawberry Mansion Learning Center.

Thank you to this year's sponsors:

Lead Sponsor:

 fisher phillips

Benefactor:

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Sustaining Sponsor:

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Supporting Sponsors: 

health mats

maurer

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Celebrate National Bacon Day at Your Favorite Market

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Saturday, September 3, 2016 is National Bacon Day, and we have all the bacon you could ever want!  Throughout the Market, our merchants are celebrating with special offers and special dishes to satisfy every bacon-lover.  Enjoy!!

Beck's Cajun Cafe: Fried Mac and Cheese Balls with Bacon

Dutch Eating Place: Egg and cheese on a Kaiser roll, loaded with Lancaster County bacon, side of fresh-cut homefries, and coffee, $6.50

Giunta's Prime Shop: Sliced hickory, applewood, & pepper bacon, 2lbs for $10; Bacon Jam, $11.95

Godshall's Poultry: Turkey Bacon, 3lbs for $13

Hatville Deli: Buy 1lb hickory smoked bbq bacon, get 1lb free

L. Halteman Family Country Foods: Buy 2lbs of any bacon, get a 3rd lb of equal/lesser value free

Martin’s Quality Meats & Sausage: $1.00 off per lb for a purchase of 2 lbs or more of any bacon product (Pork, Turkey or Beef) Sept. 2-4.

Meltkraft: The Riehl Deal: classic grilled cheese with L. Halteman Family Country Foods’ thick cut hickory bacon, $8

Miller's Twist: Bacon, egg & cheese pretzel wraps, 1 for $3 or 2 for $5

Olympia Gyro: Bacon Ranch Gyro (lamb and beef gyro with onions, tomatoes, bacon & Ranch dressing)

Pennsylvania General Store: 20% off all bacon and pig related products including Eat This's Bacon Marmalade, Bacon Jams' assorted bacon jams, chocolate-covered bacon, Girls Can Tell's Butcher Pig tea towels, Paprika Letterpress's Meet me at the Pig prints, and Chocolate Scrapple

Smucker's Meats & Grill: BLT sandwich, $5

Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe: Caramel Chocolate Bacon Fudge & Bacon-Peanut Brittle

The Head Nut: 15% off bacon-flavored sauces and other products including Kevin Bacon trail mix

Wursthaus Schmitz: Add bacon to any sandwich for $.50; bacon-potato salad

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Reading Terminal Market Welcomes the DNC!

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This weekend, the delegates, volunteers, media, and other participants in the Democratic National Convention will begin to arrive in Philadelphia, and Reading Terminal Market is ready to roll out the welcome wagon!

 

From Monday, July 25th-Thursday, July 28th, the Market will open an hour early, extending our operating hours to 7am-6pm.  Among the merchants who will open earlier are: 12th St. Cantina, Beck’s Cajun Café, Beiler’s Donuts, Down Home Diner, Downtown Cheese, Famous 4th St. Cookie Company, Flying Monkey Bakery, Giunta’s Prime Shop, Godshall’s Poultry, Golden Bowl, Hershel’s East Side Deli, Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer, Market Bakery, Old City Coffee, Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Pennsylvania General Store, Profi’s Creperie, Smucker’s Meats and Grill, and Termini Brothers Bakery.

 

Numerous merchants at Reading Terminal Market will be offering special products to celebrate DNC week including:

  • Bassetts Ice Cream: "Red, White & Blueberry" ice cream
  • Beiler’s Donuts: Red, white and blue donuts
  • Famous 4th St. Cookie Co.: Red, white and blue flag cookies and M&M cookies
  • Flying Monkey: Red, white and blue whoopie pies and vanilla cupcakes
  • Mueller’s: Chocolate donkeys
  • Pennsylvania General Store: Chocolate Liberty Bells, red white and blue treats, Americana gifts
  • Termini Bros: Red, white and blue cupcakes
  • Terralyn: American flag soaps

 

In addition to the extended hours and unique merchant specials, the Market will be offering more frequent and Presidential-themed Taste of Philly Food tours during DNC week, operating on a daily schedule. The tours take visitors through the history of the Market and signature Philadelphia treats like cheesesteaks and soft pretzels. For the DNC, the revamped tours will feature fun details about President Barack Obama’s and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s eating preferences at the Market. Tours leave from the Market’s Welcome Desk at 12th and Filbert Streets and cost $9.95 for children (age 7-11) and $16.95 for adults. For more information and to make reservations, visit www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com or call 215-545-8007. 

 

#DNCDontMissThis #LoveRTM #ReadingTerminalMarket #DNCPHL2016

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"Market Merchants' Summertime Favorites: Recipes for your Barbecue or Picnic," By Carolyn Wyman

By this point in the summer you've probably made your favorite hot-weather recipes several times. It's time to try something new, preferably something time-tested from someone who knows food.

Market merchants to the rescue with the following recipes: some, personal favorites; others, for summertime dishes sold at their stands. So, if you run out of time before your next outdoor cooking event, there is an alternative to doing all the work yourself! (Many merchants will prepare larger, catering-size portions of their offerings on request.)

 

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Kale, Fennel and Red Cabbage Coleslaw with Lemon-Tarragon dressing

Meltkraft chef Rebecca Foxman says Greek tzatziki sauce and sweet and sour German salads were the partial inspiration for this variation on classic American coleslaw. “It’s really great in the summer and as an add-on to your favorite sandwich,” she says, which is exactly how this is sold at Meltkraft.

1 large head red cabbage, cored and sliced thinly

1 large bulb fennel, sliced thinly

1 medium red onion, sliced thinly

1 large bunch kale, stems removed and sliced into thin strips

1 pint mayo

1 pint Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon (about 1 clove) minced garlic

2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon

2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Thinly slice all ingredients through kale (a mandolin slicer works best) then place them together in large bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk well. Dressing should be tart and sweet. 

Combine veggies with dressing, making sure the two are well incorporated. Let sit in fridge at least three hours. Mix well before serving. Serves 12. 

 

Grilled Lamb Shoulder Chops with Mint Chimichurri

This is La Divisa meat stand owner Nick Macri’s take on a recipe that accompanied New York Times’ columnist Mark Bittman’s 2013 paean to lamb shoulder, a cut that both men think is too often and unjustly overshadowed by rib and loin chops.

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups mint leaves 

1 1/2 cups flat leaf Italian parsley

1/4 cup red wine vinegar 

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup olive oil 

4 lamb shoulder chops, cut 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients through olive oil in food processor and pulse 15 to 20 times. Put 1/2 cup of this mint chimichurri in a sealed bag with the chops and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate remaining chimichurri separately.

When ready to cook preheat grill to medium high. Wipe marinade off and season with salt and pepper. Grill chops over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Serve chops with remaining chimichurri. Serves 4.

 

Watermelon, Feta, Mint and Olive Salad

Jill Ross of The Cookbook Stall got the idea for this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer cookbook. “I was living in Europe and we were hosting a barbecue and I wanted something that was very refreshing and seemed very American,” she recalls. “Funny that it came from a Brit!” It’s still Jill’s go-to summer salad.

1 small red onion, cut into half-moon slices

Juice from 4 or 5 limes

Small (about 3 ½ pound) seedless watermelon, cut into bite-size chunks

9 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled

¼ cup mint, chopped

½ cup medium pitted black olives

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onions and juice the limes. Then put the sliced onions in a small bowl with half the lime juice. Let sit while preparing the rest of the salad. Cut up the watermelon and chop the mint. Combine watermelon chunks, cheese, mint, olives, olive oil and the remaining half of the lime juice in a salad bowl. Add the onions-lime juice mixture just before serving and remix. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

 

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Raw Kale Salad with Citrus Dressing

Marion "Tootsie" D'Ambrosio got this hearty, healthy salad recipe from her nutritionist about four years ago. “Like a lot of our dishes,” she initially put it on her Tootsie's Salad Express bar so that she could eat it herself. It became so popular that she printed recipe cards that have since run out. What makes it great for a picnic: The kale is so sturdy that even after being dressed and sitting out for a few hours, “It doesn’t get limp.”

1 head of kale, washed, dried with stems removed and then cut in small strips (like with cole slaw)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

7 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup dried cranberries

Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the kale and place in a large salad bowl. Blend the juices, honey and olive oil thoroughly (in a food processor or by hand in a bowl or pitcher). Top the kale with the cranberries and dress and season to taste. Serves 10.

 

 

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Citrus Angel Food Cake

Light, zesty and low in fat, Metropolitan Bakery's Citrus Angel Food Cake could be the perfect dessert for entertaining down the Shore. Though it appears frequently at their Reading Terminal Market stand and sold both by the cake and by the slice, it also can be special-ordered (by calling 215-545-6655 at least 48 hours in advance).

10 large egg whites, at room temperature

¼ tablespoon cream of tartar

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tablespoon kosher salt

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Grated zest of 1 orange

Grated zest of 2 limes

1 ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar 

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large, clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. With a whip attachment at low speed, beat the whites until foamy. Increase the mixer speed to high; beat the whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add ¾ cup of the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. When all the sugar is incorporated, continue to beat until the mixture is shiny and just holds firm peaks when the beaters are lifted. (Do not overbeat.)

Sift together the remaining ¾ cup of sugar, the flour, and the salt onto a piece of parchment paper.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold all the lemon and orange zests, and half the lime zest into the egg white mixture. Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the whites; gently fold in with the spatula. Repeat twice more with the remaining flour mixture just until blended. Pour the batter into an unbuttered 8 1/4” x 4 ¼ angel food cake pan. Gently run a knife through the batter to remove any air pockets.

Bake the cake on the center oven rack 40 to 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and invert onto a tray to cool. This will ensure a light and airy texture.

While the cake is cooling, make the citrus glaze. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and remaining lime zest;  whisk until smooth. 

Turn the cake pan right side up; run a spatula around the sides of the pan and tube. Invert the cake to unmold. Place the cake on a serving tray or cake stand. Pour the glaze over the top. Let the cake stand 15 minutes, until the glaze sets.  Serves 8 to 10.

Carolyn Wyman is the Market's news correspondent and operator of the Reading Terminal's bi-weekly Taste of Philadelphia Food Tour (www.tasteofphillyfoodtour.com).

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