Reading Terminal Market

Reading Terminal Market

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A blog about what's happening at Reading Terminal Market.
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5 Reasons Your Family Should (Sometimes) Stick to Scratch

5 Reasons Your Family Should (Sometimes) Stick to Scratch

Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines may have their place in the kitchen, but when it comes to family time, sticking to scratch can have advantages. It can take more time or effort, but it is important for children to interact with their food.

It’s beautiful when your kids can see that a meal is greater than the sum of its parts– just like your family.

Ambrosia Food Group gave us 5 more reasons to consider ditching the mix when making food with your kids.

1. More time = more bonding.

Recipes can be difficult. They can sometimes be hard to visualize or time exactly right. But what better way to bond as a family than to overcome a challenge?

Pro Parenting Tip: Are you mixing in ingredients one at a time? Are you creating the perfect gourmet sandwich? Start an assembly line and get the whole family involved! All of you will have contributed to the yummy finished product.

2. It is empowering.

Kids live a life of being told what to do and when to do it. Their food options are often dependent on when food is ready– or worse, they rely on the snack drawer full of processed food. Give your kids the ability to turn nothing into something. It is a lesson they can take far beyond the kitchen.

Pro Parenting Tip: It can be difficult, and it may not work with every child, but try making food shopping a treat for your kids.  Let them pick out a few vegetables on their own. This way, they will be more inclined to participate in the actual food preparation. They will be able to see something through from start to finish.

3. It makes math fun.

When your child goes to school, they will learn how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.  But doing these equations on a worksheet does not highlight real life application. When you prepare recipes at home, your children can double them, cut them in half or use a smaller measuring cup multiple times. If only every math problem had a final solution so yummy and delicious…

Pro Parenting Tip: If you have an ample amount of time and want to challenge your kids, try “losing” your bigger measuring devices like a cup or a tablespoon. Let your kid work through the math in their head.

4. Taste buds can fuel creativity.

School art and music programs are being cut left and right, but part of being a child is having access to creative expression. We all have to eat, so why not make the kitchen a canvas?

Pro Parenting Tip: In reality, you just aren’t going to cook every meal or every baked good from scratch. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on being creative.

Make sure you have ingredients like vanilla extract and cinnamon to add to your sweeter items.  For savory creations, let your child add a small amount of fresh herbs and spices. These little tips will help make boxed items seem, well, less boxed.

5. Julia Childs said, “no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

Sometimes we fail. It is human. But in the kitchen, every mistake is a lesson for next time.

*****Super Pro Parenting Tip***** : Sign your child up for an Ambrosia Kid’s Sunday cooking class. It is a social and educational way to jumpstart your child’s passion for food.

Kid’s Classes run every other Sunday and are available for children aged 6-11 and 12-16. Join us March 13th for our pasta making classes! 

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Kids in the Kitchen

Kids in the Kitchen

"Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment and creativity." — Guy Fieri

 

Some of us remember helping in the kitchen as a kid. We remember the messes and the smells and the tastes– and the love.

Others may not have such experiences. The kitchen may bring flashbacks of worried warnings: “beware of this and don’t touch that!”

Regardless of our backgrounds, we all hope to instill our children with important life skills. Nothing could be as important as fostering a love and respect for food.

Real life prevents us from including our kids in every meal. Sometimes we just need to get the chicken in. the. oven.

City Kitchen is running a series of Sunday cooking classes for kids. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage childhood independence and enrich the entire family’s passion for food– while making the mess in someone else’s kitchen…

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“And the Winner Is: The Market's New Evening Movie Series,” By Carolyn Wyman

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Since January, people-watching has had some competition for the title of "Most Entertaining Thing to Do at Reading Terminal Market." That's when the monthly Movies at the Market dinner-and-a-screening series began. And what better time to report on this new and different way to experience the Market than Oscar week?

The series was inspired, in part, by the successful summer outdoor movie series Market manager Anuj Gupta started in his previous job as head of Mt. Airy USA. The hope, says Market marketing director Sarah Levitsky, is to attract people who can't get to the Market during the usual daytime hours or who need the added attraction of a film to get them in the door. "Plus we thought it would be fun," Levitsky said.

The inaugural schedule of five movies includes the food-focused Chef and Burnt, one movie partly shot in Reading Terminal (April 14's National Treasure) and the seasonally themed An Affair to Remember and Little Shop of Horrors (to coincide with Valentine's Day and the Flower Show, respectively).

Movies at the Market begins as the regular Market day ends at 6 p.m., when two big movie screens are set up at opposite ends of Center Court, with facing tables and chairs. About a dozen merchants remain open with abbreviated menus of sandwiches and snacks (including two kinds of popcorn). Merchants not located on Center Court -- such as Old City Coffee, Bassetts Ice Cream and the Pennsylvania General Store -- set up temporary stands on it.

Admission is free, and though event-goers are asked to sign up online ahead of time, walk-ins are also welcome. Entrance and check-in is by the Welcome Desk, just inside the 12th and Filbert corner of the Market.

Those entering at 6:15 p.m. for the second Movies at the Market event last Thursday found a comfortable, casual vibe, with music playing and people ordering food (small or no lines!), and people who already had their food eating, drinking and chatting with friends.

Karen Beeman and Megan Farley of South Philly were among about 150 people who ventured there on that frigid evening. Market first-timers, the couple came because featured film An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, "happens to be my favorite classic movie of all time," Beeman said before diving into her Molly Malloy's burger.

Fellow millennial Felicia Ramos invited friend Christina Russo to join her at Movies at the Market after learning about it from her husband. Ramos said she usually patronizes the Amish stands when she's in the Market. But with the Amish not open, both she and Russo were enjoying Hershel's sandwiches. "It's nice to try something new," Ramos said.

Russo liked the chill vibe. "Normally when I come to the Market, I'm bumping into people."

The event also attracted several tourists. Tommy Poole and his grandson, Ryan Chisholm, were eating cheesesteaks and doughnuts before heading down Filbert to catch a bus to Cleveland. Like them, Jane (who declined to give her second name) of Colorado found out about the movie while visiting the Market earlier in the day. Had she not, "I probably would have eaten at an expensive restaurant and watched TV," she said, between bites of a big chicken salad.

Nurses Nora Brennan, Andrea Blount and Maureen Bonnell made the event the locus of a long-delayed Christmas/birthday get-together. Explained Brennan: "It's was close to where we work, a unique event ..."

"Don't forget the food," Blount chimed in, to loud assents from her friends.

Meanwhile, several rows away, Market regular Carol Ruddick sat waiting for husband Jim to get back from the Down Home Diner with their sandwiches. She praised "the new manager for trying to bring really fun activities into the space. We also love the Kitchen. We went to one event there featuring Vedge. And we're coming to a chocolate one there this weekend."

And then, after a brief greeting from the just-lauded Gupta, the lights lowered and An Affair to Remember lit up the two screens.

For many in attendance, that title would also apply to their Movies at the Market evening.

The next Movies at the Market is on March 17 and features Little Shop of Horrors. It will be followed by National Treasure on April 14 and Burnt on May 12. Screenings start at 7 p.m. though you should get their earlier if you'd like to eat, drink and socialize before the lights go down. Food is pay-as-you-go and screenings are free, though pre-registration (at http://readingterminalmarket.ticketleap.com) is encouraged.

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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“Scrapple Gets Its Biennial Moment in the Market,” by Carolyn Wyman

UPDATE: We apologize, but due to the impending snow storm, ScrappleFest has been canceled.  We are so sorry to disappoint all of our Scrapple-lovers!

 

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Reading Terminal Market gets a lot of love for its cheesesteaks, hoagies and pretzels. But as Philadelphia's premier showcase of local food specialties, the place is also a sea of scrapple. Virtually every Market meat stand and breakfast place sells it.

This Saturday the Market celebrates or, at least, owns up to that fact during its fifth almost-every-other-year ScrappleFest. There will be music, free scrapple samples and a possibly oxymoronic in-house best scrapple dish contest. Past entries have included scrapple pretzel roll, scrapple breakfast pizza, scrapple bread pudding, scrapple sashimi, mahi mahi scrapple hushpuppies and peach Dijon-glazed turkey scrapple meatloaf.

As anyone who has lived in Philly for more than a few minutes probably knows, scrapple is Philadelphia's Spam in being an amalgam of somewhat questionable -- or at least mysterious -- pork "scraps" (along with, in the case of scrapple, grains like cornmeal and buckwheat). And it gets Spam-like giggles from a lot of people. As a result, Market scrapple sellers double as scrapple pushers and/or defenders.

Servers at the Down Home Diner let their T-shirts do the scrapple talking. "Eat more scrapple," urges the front side while the back answers the questions, "What is it?" and "Where are the scraps?" "Nowhere. The name is derived from" panhaskreppel, a Medieval English word for leftovers mixed with meat, is the T-shirts' learned -- though perhaps not sufficiently reassuring -- reply to that second question: Down Home's Jason McDavid says only about 20 percent of breakfast meat eaters at his family's diner give scrapple a try.

Three groups of people buy scrapple at Smucker's sausage stand, says owner Moses Smucker: "People who live here, people who used to live here and can't get it anymore -- they go crazy for it" and "frontiersman" i.e. people who are trying it for the first time. "You really have to acquire a taste for it," he says when asked for the newbies' reaction.

Moses speaks with pride about being among the first Philadelphia merchants to put scrapple in a breakfast sandwich but with disappointment about having to drop another Penn Dutch pork oddity -- a personal favorite called puddin' -- from his product line due to lack of sales. He says "it's like scrapple without the cornmeal," or scrapple's one sure safe ingredient, which could explain puddin's fate at Smucker's.

Fellow Frank's brand scrapplemonger Justin Hollinger of Hatville Deli says he believes scrapple is actually "growing in popularity," along with many other locally sourced foods, showing up at "trendy places like Sam's Morning Glory Diner [of Bella Vista]. Scrapple is having its moment," Hollinger concludes. While Hatville sells lots more bacon than scrapple, Hollinger says such a comparison "is not fair to scrapple," since it's mainly a breakfast food and bacon is now used in all kinds of dishes.

Interestingly, most of the Market merchants who are rising to the challenge of the ScrappleFest recipe contest do not sell scrapple. That's probably because of that challenge, making a great-tasting dish containing scrapple being much more of a test of culinary skill than making one featuring a food almost everyone likes.

This year Bill Beck of Beck's Cajun Cafe is tweaking a dish that competed in ScrappleFest 4. Based on a French Quarter New Orleans egg-and-ham concoction he once enjoyed, it consists of a pouched egg, grilled cornbread, sautéed spinach, Creole Hollandaise and scrapple he makes himself with fish as well as pork, mainly because "I didn't read the contest rules carefully enough to know I could use a packaged scrapple." Named for Beck's long-suffering wife, his Eggs St. Rita dish will be offered for sale at Beck's on ScrappleFest Saturday as well as on Mardi Gras.

Valley Shepherd Creamery, which won the recipe contest last ScrappleFest with a panzanella salad featuring scrapple in place of the traditional bread, will be defending their title with a new dish, cook and concept.

Stand chef Rebecca Foxman explained the idea behind her 2013 award-winning scrapple dish as accenting "something light and acidic with small amounts of something rich and fried" (i.e. the scrapple). This year's entry, created by stand manager Zeke Ferguson in a little intra-stand rivalry, is "the antithesis of that," Ferguson says: He'll be hollowing out squares of scrapple and filling them with Valley Shepherd's also-rich mac and cheese.

"I'm still the champion," Foxman reminds him after hearing this plan.

Ferguson will be making his dish with scrapple from Leidy's, a company that supplies a number of Reading Terminal merchants and that will be sampling pig shaped bites of its scrapple at ScrappleFest.

Asked what he would say to people who would like to try scrapple but who are feeling a little nervous/squeamish about it, Leidy's sales analyst Travis Knapp answers, "Don't read the ingredient list." After a moment, he adds, "Did you know that people in Scandinavia eat horsemeat?"

Or the scrapple wary might instead just want to try the guaranteed pork-offal-free vegan scrapple that will be sampled by South Philly's Vegan Commissary. Asked how it's made, business owner Steve Laurence says, "You know how regular scrapple is made? Well, we make ours the same way, only instead of pork, we take vegans, grind them up, add cornmeal ..."

Want to find out what it's really made of? Come to ScrappleFest!

ScrappleFest, Sat., Jan. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Center Court, free. Recipe contest judging at 2:30 p.m.

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

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“The Market's Underground Thanksgiving Feast,” By Carolyn Wyman

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Will you be shopping the Market for your Thanksgiving meal? If so you should know that your purchases, indirectly at least, help make a Thanksgiving dinner possible for more than 300 low-income, isolated local senior citizens.

Most Market shoppers are familiar with February’s Party for the Market, where Market merchants donate food and labor to help raise money for their own nonprofit home. Much less well-known but second only to the February bash in size and scope of generosity is the Market’s decade-long tradition of serving an early Thanksgiving meal to area seniors -- one that will play out across Filbert Street on SEPTA’s Jefferson Station concourse again this weekend.

The meal dates back to 2000 when Jack McDavid of the Down Home Diner -- then a regular donor to the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging's (PCA) Meals on Wheels program -- called PCA's president asking if "there was anything else he could do to help," says PCA special events manager Amanda Buonomo. That "something more" became a Thanksgiving dinner offered by PCA invitation to seniors who could most benefit. For the first six years, the dinner took place on a Sunday afternoon in the Market's Center Court with a number of merchants splitting up preparation duties. But when the Market began opening to the public on Sundays in fall 2006, the dinner was taken over by a restaurateur outside the Market.

Then one day in 2012 then Market manager Paul Steinke wandered across Filbert Street to what was at that time called the Market East concourse and saw Tootsie Salad Express owner Marion “Tootsie” D’Ambrosio catering a SEPTA retirement event. "I told her right then and there that, with SEPTA’s help, it could be the perfect place to revive the senior Thanksgiving dinner," Steinke recalled recently. The first dinner in the new location took place that fall and has been held there every year since.

Almost all of Market merchants continue to be involved, often with donations of raw ingredients that Tootsie's Salad Express prepares. D'Ambrosio estimates that she and her staff peel about 100 pounds each of regular and sweet potatoes. Dinner founder McDavid, Godshall's, Halteman's, Giunta's and Hershel's all either donate and/or help cook the 150 to 200 pounds of turkey.

D'Ambrosio calls it a senior-pleasing “very, very traditional menu,” that also includes stuffing from The Original Turkey, cranberry sauce and either mixed vegetables or string beans polished off with coffee from Old City Coffee, and pumpkin and apple pies and lemon bars from Beiler’s and Flying Monkey bakeries.

Market management absorbs the cost of incidentals like table rentals and linens. Stands that do not sell or serve traditional Thanksgiving foods provide gift certificates for the raffle or much-needed before-meal nibbles because, D'Ambrosio explains, “When you tell seniors that dinner starts at 2, quite a few will show up at 1.”

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Carmen’s Famous Italian Hoagies and Cheesesteaks owner Carmen DiGuglielmo donates four lunches to the raffle and also has volunteered at the event with his family for the past three years. DiGuglielmo says he does it because the Market community is also family “and when the family is doing something, you do what you can to help.” And also because, “I love seeing the seniors' faces when I come toward them with the hors d’oeuvres.”

Top brass and staff from co-sponsors SEPTA, PCA and the Market (including this year for the first time, new general manager Anuj Gupta and his daughter, Leela), several Girl Scout troops, even a roller derby team also help set up, serve and clean up.

Seniors actually comprise a significant percentage of Market shoppers. Those living alone on fixed incomes appreciate the stands' reasonable prices and willingness to sell small quantities. Tootsie’s Salad Express -- particularly its hot bar -- has a large number of senior regulars.

Carmen’s stand does not. And that's OK.

“For me, this is not customer appreciation. It’s about showing the seniors that we care; that they have not been forgotten,” says DiGuglielmo.

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

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Fair Food Farmstand to Raffle 10 Locally-Raised Turkeys to SNAP Participants

Fair Food Farmstand to Raffle 10 Locally-Raised Turkeys to SNAP Participants

The Howe Farm of Downingtown, PA is donating 10 naturally raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free turkeys to be raffled off to Double Dollars participants for Thanksgiving by the Fair Food Farmstand.  Fair Food has been selling turkeys from Howe Farm, a small-scale second generation farm, since 2013, but this is the first for the raffle.

 

"We wanted to make these turkeys available [as a donation] out of gratitude for our relationship with Fair Food," says Nate Howe.  Along with Julie, his wife, and their five children, he raised around 4,200 Broad Breasted White turkeys for Thanksgiving this year.

 

Fair Food has been serving SNAP participants through its Double Dollars program since 2010.  For every $5 spent using SNAP benefits, customers can receive a $5 Double Dollar coupon (up to $10 each week) to be redeemed on all SNAP-eligible products at the Farmstand.  The Farmstand's convenient location at Reading Terminal Market provides year-round access to healthy local food; SNAP sales have increased by nearly 300% since the Double Dollars program launched in 2010.  Since then, the program has provided more than $45,000 of additional fresh, local food to program participants.

 

Double Dollars participants can enter the raffle by receiving or redeeming Double Dollars at the Fair Food Farmstand by November 16th.  10 winners will be chosen at random and winners will be notified on November 17th.  Participants can enter multiple times, but only one turkey will be issued to each winner.  Winners will pick up their turkeys on November 24th or 25th at the Fair Food Farmstand.

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“It's Scary Times (in a Good Way) at the Market,” By Carolyn Wyman

 

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The artificial Christmas trees have just bowed at the chain discount stores but the merchants at Reading Terminal Market are still looking forward to Halloween. This week we took a quick broomstick ride around the Market to find out about products that can help with your Halloween party or in warding off young goblin visitors' tricks.

"Great Pumpkin" jumbo cupcakes ($5) are twice the size of Flying Monkey Bakery's regular ones, and feature pumpkin cake and cream cheese frosting decorated with orange and black candies.

Decorate for the holiday with pumpkin-like orange habanero hot peppers ($1.99 a box or $9.99 per pound), real full-size regular or cheese pumpkins, and big bumpy green Hubbard squash from Iovine Brothers Produce. Iovine's little bags of sesame cracker mix, dried cranberries or banana chips and pumpkin seed kernels ($1 each) could also make a better-for-you treat alternative to candy.

The secular Halloween holiday is one and two days away from and conceptually related to the Catholic All Saints' and All Souls' holy days, respectively. Termini Brothers Bakery stand commemorates with the traditional Sicilian "bones of the dead" cookies ($30 per pound), which look like bones, are flavored with honey and clove and available only through Nov. 2 (or until sellout).

Mueller's Chocolate Co.'s foil-covered milk chocolate pumpkins ($5) or solid chocolate brain ($19.95) would make great gifts for your favorite goblin. Put out bowls of their gummy brains or skulls , melocreme pumpkins or large or regular-sized candy corn at your Halloween party. Mueller's pumpkin-image-adorned chocolate or pumpkin-and-chocolate flavored truffles would make a good hostess gift for a grown-up Halloween costume party. This stand also sells caramel-dipped apples ($6 with nuts, $5 without).

Among the Halloween offerings at the Pennsylvania General Store: lollipops (both clear toy orange jack-o-lantern and chocolate ghost and bat-adorned ones, $3 to $4 each), bags of fall-color-hued nonpareils, gummies, jelly beans and candy corn (also $3-to $4) or, for last-minute trick-or-treat giving, individually wrapped mini Mallow Cups, Peanut Chews or York Peppermint Patties (3 for $1), bags of Double Bubble bubble gum ($3) and Pennsylvania Dutch candy sticks in a variety of flavors (eight for $1).

Make Halloween cookies with witch, broomstick, cat, pumpkin and leaf cookie cutters ($1 each or $8 per set) from Amy's Place. Amy's is also selling cute little foam jack-o-lanterns ($3) and scarecrow felt dolls ($10 to $13).

Also for bakers: mini black bats and orange pumpkins, among a number of holiday candy baking decorations, from The Head Nut. This stand also sells body part, bloodshot eye and witch-hat-shaped gummies perfect to place out at your Halloween party, and a number of individually wrapped mini candies and chocolates for trick or treat giving.

Miller's Twist and Bassetts Ice Cream both have pumpkin ice cream. Bassett's is also blending theirs with graham crackers and topping it with cinnamon sugar and whipped cream in their limited-edition pumpkin pie milkshake.

Beiler's Bakery sandtart sugar cookies are currently being decorated with seasonally appropriate green and orange sugar. That bakery is also selling cupcakes and doughnuts adorned with orange and black candy sprinkles.

Give your trick-or-treaters a taste of the past with old-fashioned penny candy from Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe. (Mix and match root beer barrels, Mary Janes, Bit-O-Honeys, Cow Tales etc. for $5.99 a pound.) The stand's Halloween candy trays or boxes ($9 and $14.49 respectively) would make great hostess gifts or ready-to-serve holiday party treats.

Looking for a Halloween table centerpiece? How about Market Blooms' bouquet of pumpkin trees? These are woody sticks adorned with what look like mini green pumpkins. (They're actually ornamental eggplants.)

 

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

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Cheese Tray 101

A cheese plate is a great way to entertain and impress your guests. Cheese plates work well for parties because they allow you to freely snack and chat with your guests! At Reading Terminal Market we have five cheese merchants, with plenty of cheesy knowledge to share!

Cheese

First, let’s start with the star of the show— the cheese. For a well-rounded cheese board, it’s key to incorporate a variety of textures and flavors. To do so, we recommend choosing one cheese from each category: soft, aged, firm and blue.

 

Soft

Brie

Brie: AKA “The Queen of Cheeses,” is a soft-ripened cheese with a buttery, rich flavor and a wonderfully creamy interior.

Recommended:

  • Downtown Cheese: Homemade White Truffle Brie; Saint André (not exactly a Brie, but a richer, creamier cousin)
  • Fair Food Farmstand:Thistle Raw Cow Milk (Valley Milkhouse)
  • Riehl Cheese:Brie Couronne (Henri Hutin)
  • Salumeria: Fromager d’Affinois; Brie de Meaux (Meaux, France)

Pair with: Chardonnay

 

Goat (chèvre): A simple, yet flavorful soft cheese. Goat cheese comes in many different tastes, shapes and textures.

Recommended:

  • Downtown Cheese:Honey Goat Log; Purple Haze (Cypress Grove Chevre)
  • Fair Food Farmstand:Ash Log (Pipe Dreams Fromage); Demi Sec
  • Riehl Cheese: Silver Goat Chevre
  • Valley Shepherd:Fresh Goat Cheeses 

Pair with: Sauvignon Blanc

 

Aged

Sharp Cheddar: Sharp cheddar goes well with everything and is always a crowd pleaser. It is aged anywhere between six to 18 months and as it ages, the flavor deepens and the texture hardens.

Recommended:

  • Fair Food Farmstand:Mature Cheddar (Clover Creek); Sharp Cheddar (Conebella Farm)
  • Riehl Cheese:Cheddar Smoked Bacon Horseradish; Raw Milk Sharp Cheddar
  • Salumeria: NY three-year Cheddar; Fiscalini Clothbound Cheddar
  • Valley Shepherd: Valley Thunder

Pair with: Pinot Noir

 gouda

Gouda: A semi-hard cheese loved for its smooth texture and rich, unique flavor. Gouda has an almost sweet, fruity taste that develops with age.

Recommended:

  • Downtown Cheese:Smoked Gouda (Netherlands)
  • Fair Food Farmstand:Old + Gold (Hidden Hills); Seven Sisters (Doe Run Farm)
  • Riehl Cheese:Gouda; Smoked Gouda with Bacon
  • Salumeria:Red Wax Gouda
  • Valley Shepherd:Califon Tome

Pair with: Merlot

 

Firm

goat

Gruyere: A hard, yellow cheese from Switzerland. As Gruyere ages, the flavor matures from creamy and fruity to more earthy and nutty.

Recommended:

  • Fair Food Farmstand:Idyll (Parish Hill Creamery); Washington’s Crossing (Ely Farm)
  • Riehl Cheese:Gruyere
  • Salumeria:Caveage Gruyere
  • Valley Shepherd: Somerset

Pair With: Pinot Noir

Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan): Considered to be one of the most popular cheeses, Parmesan has a very hard, gritty texture. Often used grated over Italian dishes, Parmesan’s fruity and nutty taste is even more delicious when eaten on its own. 

Recommended:

  • Downtown Cheese: Parmigiano Reggiano (Italy); Reggianito (Argentina)
  • Salumeria: Parmigiano Reggiano (Italy)

Pair With: Chianti

 

Blue

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Classic Blue cheeses like Stilton and Gorgonzola (just to name a couple) will introduce a pop of flavor to your cheese board. Blue cheese has a salty, creamy taste to it, which will be sure to add a funky contrast.  

Recommended:

  • Downtown Cheese: Stilton (Nottinghamshire, England); Bleu Des Causses (Auvergne, France)
  • Fair Food Farmstand: Birchrun Blue (Birchrun Hills)
  • Riehl Cheese: Blue Stilton Cheese
  • Salumeria:Bleu d’Auvergne (Auvergne, France); West West Blue (Parish Hill Creamery)
  • Valley Shepherd: Azure; Crema de Bleu

Pair with: Riesling

 

Accompaniments

Now it’s time to focus on what you should serve your cheese with...and on. Jazz up your board with your favorite meats, spreads, and other small garnishes!

salumi 

Charcuterie: Stop by Salumeria, Downtown Cheese, or Valley Shepherd for prosciutto, dried salami, and many other cured-meats. For an added treat, visit La Divisa Meats for their house-made cured meats and pates.

olives

Olive Bar: Peruse Salumeria, Downtown Cheese, and Valley Shepherd, for a large selection on olives and other savory goodies that are perfect to nibble on.

 

Spreads: Sweet spreads like Apple Pepper Jelly (Fair Food Farmstand), Bauman’s Apricot Butter (PA General Store), or Fig Jam (Kauffman’s Lancaster County Produce) will introduce contrasting, yet complementary flavors to your board.

 

Fruits and Nuts: Apples, pears, and grapes are classics, not to mention easily prepared and inexpensive, but get creative by using sour cherries and dried apricots. For nuts, Spanish Marcona almonds are always a unique and tasty option.

         

Bread or Crackers? This is your cheese plate, so choose your preference! However, we recommend serving both bread and crackers to continue playing with different textures. Try choosing bread and crackers that match the cheeses being served.

Here are a few RTM options:

-          Locally made wheat thins (Riehl Cheese)

-          Carr’s Table Water Crackers (Salumeria, Downtown Cheese, Jonathan Best Gourmet Grocer)

-          French Baguette (Market Bakery, Metropolitan Bakery)

-          Petits Toast (Salumeria, Downtown Cheese)

-          Homemade Crackers made by Flying Monkey (Valley Shepherd)

 

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Cheeseboards, Platters, Knives, and more: Visit Amy's Place for handcrafted USA made slate and wood boards from J.K. Adams; specialty knives and spreaders from Swissmar; and Fromaticum coated cheese paper for the leftovers (if there are any)!

 

Voilà! And just like that, you’re a cheese board expert! Next time you’re planning a get together, remember Reading Terminal Market is your one-stop shop for your ideal cheese tray. Enjoy!

**All wine pairings can be found at Blue Mountain Vineyards and Cellars**

Follow our Cheese Mongers on Instagram:

Valley Shepherd: @curdiologist

Riehl Cheese and Deli: @riehlsdeli

Salumeria: @salumeriartm

Downtown Cheese: @downtowncheese

Fair Food Farmstand: @fairfoodfarmstand

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"Reading Terminal Market Cookbook 2.0: An Old Favorite Gets an Update," by Carolyn Wyman

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Ann Hazan (left) and Irina Smith with their newly revised cookbook

 

When the Reading Terminal Market Cookbook was first published in 1997, Spataro's was still serving buttermilk, DiNic's was a low-key purveyor of "hearty sandwiches" (so described in a single paragraph) and the late Harry Ochs was every Philly meat-lovers friend and guide.

By cookbook co-authors Irina Smith and Ann Hazan's very rough estimate, 20 to 30 percent of the merchants who were in the Market then are not there today.

No wonder it took them almost two years to revise their book for its newly published second edition, boasting recipes for the Flying Monkey's Elvis cake, Beck's Train Wreck sandwich and Metropolitan Bakery's chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries, among many other modern Market favorites.

The change in the Market in the 18 years between the book's two editions has been "remarkable," Smith exclaimed from the Market's Rick Nichols Room the other day as lunchtime approached and tables began filling up around Smith, tall and blonde and of Center City, and Hazan, short and dark and of Wayne. Even more impressive is the change since the two women began shopping here in the 1970s, when only a couple of dozen merchants toiled under a "roof so bad that there was water in the aisles," Smith recalled.

Having penned the Original Philadelphia Neighborhood Cookbook for local publisher Camino Books in 1988, the women pitched the idea of a Market cookbook to the same company even before they both started teaching cooking classes and doing cooking demonstrations in the Market in the mid-1990s, jobs they held until the Market's demo kitchen closed for a time in 2007. Their cookbook remained in print until just recently, when, running out of copies, the publisher decided to commission this new edition.

While it's called a cookbook, the book also chronicles Market history: most obviously, in its overview first chapter but also in the stand profiles and recipes from now-defunct stands. "[Then Market manager] Paul Steinke pushed us to keep the book in the present, but we felt strongly that least some of the original recipes should stay," said Hazan, both as a way of keeping these stands "alive" and because Harry Ochs' leg of lamb, Jill's Vorspeise's vegetarian chili and Siegfried's German deli's choucroute garni are among the women’s personal favorites. Smith said she still makes the latter at least once a year.

With its recipes for regional specialties like cheesesteak, scrapple and shad, the cookbook has long been popular with tourists. Even locals who don't cook will find the stand profiles useful in navigating the Market or identifying popular and interesting dishes. Keven Parker's is not just good for fried chicken but also for seating that is "a bit removed from the maddening crowd," the women write. And have you ever tried Franks A-Lot's pizza dog or unique French fries ("a cross between a potato chip and a regular French fry," according to the book), Salumeria's marinated artichoke heart hoagie or Profi's Nutella, banana and strawberry crepe? I haven't because I didn't know about them until I read this book.

Only some of the book's recipes are for Market dishes. Others utilize ingredients sold at the stands (like the Pennsylvania General Store's chicken with raspberry shrub and Old City Coffee's espresso-enhanced chocolate sundae sauce, both Hazan's favs) or are stand owners' family recipes (Godshall's cider stew and Alex Spataro's buttermilk pancakes with raspberry sauce, which hearkens back to his family business' origins as a buttermilk stand).

The only requirement of merchant-donated recipes was that "they should fit on one page." As cooking teachers, Hazan and Smith wanted to be sure recipes would not intimidate but be ones that home chefs "would be able to take home and make."

The women will get a chance to make that case on Friday, Oct. 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m., when they will revisit their old jobs as Market cooking instructors and demo some of their cookbook's recipes in the Market's City Kitchen. They'll also be signing books in Center Court from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2.

The Reading Terminal Market Cookbook, Second Edition, $19.95 at the Market's Cookbook Stall and many other local bookstores and online nationwide.

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

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Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Pennsylvania Dutch

Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Pennsylvania Dutch

 

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From Thursday, August 6th – Saturday, August 8th, help our Pennsylvania Dutch merchants celebrate their 35th anniversary in the Reading Terminal Market! Each of them will be offering 3 days of specials, and then on Saturday, August 8th we will be bringing a good ol’ country fair right to Center City. Get ready for horse and buggy rides, a farm animal petting zoo, and live bluegrass music. Rides and activities are free; food is available for purchase. All ages are welcome!

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Look for these delicious specials* at your favorite Pennsylvania Dutch merchants:

Beiler’s Bakery

- All homemade white bread, $1

- 10” homemade Shoo-Fly Pie, $7

- 8” homemade Shoo-Fly Pie, $5

 

Beiler’s Salads

- Homemade Amish Potato Salad, $2lb

- Homemade Healthy Fiber Balls, $3/pack

 

Dienner’s Bar-B-Q Chicken:

- 35% off whole chicken

 

Dutch Eating Place

- Grilled Reuben Special with freshly sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and homemade Russian dressing on Rye toast, plus fresh cut French fries, and fresh squeezed lemonade, $7

 

Hatville Deli

- Hickory Smoked Bacon, $3.99lb (10lb limit)

- White American Cheese, $2.99lb

- Hot Country Ham sandwich with Swiss cheese + small drink, $6.05 + tax

 

Kauffman’s Lancaster County Produce

- 20% off all popcorn

 

L. Halteman Family Country Foods

- Choice grade Delmonico, NY Strip, Porterhouse, and T-bone steaks, $9.99lb

 

Miller’s Twist

- Regular pretzels, $1 (3 per person limit)

 

Smucker’s Quality Meats & Grill

- 20% off all 14 flavors of beef jerky

 

Sweet as Fudge Candy Shoppe

- 35% off 35 items throughout the store

 

The Rib Stand

- Rib sandwich, 2 sides, and a drink, $7

- 3 spare ribs, 2 sides, and a drink $7

 

The Riehl Deli & Cheese Shop

- Buy 2 cream cheese spreads, get one free

 

*Specials valid August 6-8, 2015 only.

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