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A blog about what's happening at Reading Terminal Market.

5 ways to Celebrate National Bacon Day at Reading Terminal Market

5 ways to Celebrate National Bacon Day at Reading Terminal Market

Listen up all of you bacon lovers: National Bacon Day is Saturday, September 5th! To help you celebrate one of our favorite days of the year, we rounded up five ways to honor this most important holiday at the Market!

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L. Halteman Family Meats

L. Halteman Family Meats knows what they’re doing when it comes to bacon. Their glass cases are piled high with mouthwatering hand-cut strips of thick-cut, Applewood-smoked, and peppered bacon (just to name a few). On September 5, they’ll be giving away a free pound of bacon for every two pounds purchased. Sounds good to us.

PA General Store

At the PA General Store you will find the ultimate bacon lover’s treat: an entire box of milk and dark chocolate covered bacon. The box has a ton of sweet and salty strips, so it is great for sharing or giving as a gift. Share the bacon love!

Beilers Donuts

If you have not tried Beiler’s Maple Bacon Doughnut yet, then stop what you are doing and head to the Market immediately! Kidding, but we are not joking when we say that this maple crème filled, sugar glazed, vanilla and caramel frosted doughnut topped with bacon is out of this world.

Giunta’s Prime Shop Bacon Jam

If you are a true bacon fan who is always looking for more ways to add bacon to your diet, Giunta’s Prime Shop bacon jam is your answer. Bacon jam is a sweet and salty bacon-based spread that is great with cheese and crackers, on top of a sandwich and in the kitchen.

Molly Molloy’s

It’s only natural to order the Guacamole BLT for National Bacon Day. Molly Molloy’s twist on an American classic loads up bacon, guacamole, arugula, tomato and pickled jalapeno in between their wheatberry bread. Yum!

 

There are too many to feature them all, but on National Bacon Day, you seriously can’t go wrong with any of Reading Terminal Market’s best bacon-centric offerings. How do you plan on celebrating? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

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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)

 

Cheeseboard 1

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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5 Unusual Menu Items from Reading Terminal Market

5 Unusual Menu Items from Reading Terminal Market

When it comes to food, there are endless opportunities to get creative. Sometimes a cuisine that may seem strange ends up being surprisingly scrumptious. At Reading Terminal Market, our merchants pull no punches when it comes to adding something a little bit different to their menus. Here are five unusual, yet delicious menu items you can find at the Market.

1) Beiler’s Donuts: Maple Bacon Doughnut

For all of you bacon lovers out there, dreams do come true. Check out this maple crème filled, sugar glazed, vanilla and caramel frosted doughnut… topped with bacon. Yes, you read that correctly. The sweet-and-savory combination of bacon with fluffy maple crème will bring your obsession to a whole new level.

2) MeltKraft: Melter Skelter

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There is nothing better than a good, ol’ fashioned grilled cheese—or so we thought. Meltkraft has changed the grilled cheese game forever. Behold the Melter Skelter: A gooey, cheesy dream stuffed with a Raclette-style cheese, pickled green tomatoes, jalapeños, BBQ potato chips, and watercress.

3) Pearl’s Oyster Bar: Chicken and Waffle Benedict

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For a unique twist on the American classic, Eggs Benedict, try Pearl’s Oyster Bar. Take a seat at Pearl’s and ask for the Chicken and Waffle Benedict, a dish served with buttermilk-fried chicken and local poached eggs over a sweet Belgian waffle, and then topped with honey Tabasco and hollandaise sauce. This dish will have you wondering why all Eggs Benedicts aren’t served like this.

4) Mueller Chocolate Company: Chocolate Covered WHAT?

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They say chocolate makes everything better, but what about a chocolate covered onion? It’s no secret that the chocolate connoisseurs from Mueller Chocolate Company have a clever sense of humor. So, although they may not expect anyone to actually try this menu item, it’s safe to say you won’t find a snack of this kind anywhere else.

5) Beck’s Cajun Café: Alligator Sausage Po Boy

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Beck’s Cajun Café brings the aromas and tastes of Louisiana right here to Philadelphia. Take a bite out of the South with their Alligator Sausage Po Boy, served with caramelized onions, peppers, and spicy creole mustard. Although eating large reptiles may seem unusual to us northerners, Alligator Sausage Po Boy is a strong and storied piece of New Orleans history and culture. See you later, alligator.

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“Meeting Reading Terminal Customer-Turned-Manager Anuj Gupta,” by Carolyn Wyman

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He co-owns a restaurant, holds both public administration and law degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, is a former deputy commissioner in the city's restaurant-overseeing Office of Licenses and Inspections, and most recently headed a nonprofit with $30 million current and completed projects.

With that kind of resume, is it any wonder Anuj (pronounced A-new-j) Gupta rose to the top of a list of candidates from a national search to become the new manager for nonprofit food icon Reading Terminal Market?

"I wanted it bad," Gupta, 41, told a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer in mid-May, when he was named to succeed Paul Steinke (who resigned last December after 13 years as Market manager to run for City Council.). Why so bad? we asked him one recent morning at a table near the Head Nut, as the Market's breakfast crowd sipped coffee and ate doughnuts and egg sandwiches.

"Because I love this place. Who wouldn't want to have the chance to have an impact on an institution of this importance? This is not just one of America's greatest food markets, it's also one of this country's greatest public spaces."

Gupta grew up in the Philly suburbs as a foodie, the son of "gourmet chefs" whose Jyoti Foods was one of the first brands of all-natural shelf-stable Indian foods sold in U.S. supermarkets. "Leftovers in my house growing up meant leftovers from yesterday's four-course dinner," he says.

Career-wise, though, Gupta's long-held goal was public service at the federal level. But an AmeriCorps job in Boston, a summer internship in Philly and a fellowship in New York City made him see "that you can have a bigger impact locally. That's also where the real innovation happens."

Hence his L&I and Managing Director's Office jobs in the Nutter administration, and for the past four-and-a-half years, as head of community development corporation Mt. Airy USA, all while patronizing Reading Terminal Market. In fact, Gupta remembers having breakfast at the Market his very first day of his City Hall job in 2008.

As his family's primary cook, with a particular talent for Vietnamese dishes ("I'd put my pho broth up against anybody's," he boasts), Gupta says he frequently shopped the Market for dinner ingredients during his three years working for the city, storing them in an office refrigerator before taking the train home to Mt. Airy. Although, Gupta adds quickly, already in Market-booster mode, you don't have to have an office refrigerator or be a great cook to make dinner from the Market.

"I know many of the fish vendors will pack your purchases in ice so they'll be fine for a number of hours." And, "Getting a high-quality, quick meal on the table is as simple as grabbing some sausages from any of the great sausage specialists in the Market -- all they need is some grilling -- and a couple of salads or pasta dishes from any number of stands."

Gupta is married to University City District planning and economic development director Prema Katari Gupta and has two young children. About nine months after the birth of now 5-year-old daughter, Leela, Gupta began a Saturday morning ritual of breakfast, shopping and book-reading/father-daughter bonding in the Market that lasted three years. "I could have gone to the seating area at Whole Foods and done the same thing. But it wouldn't offer the same experience. The Market much more lends itself to spending family time together." That's one of the things that makes it so special."

As owner, with his parents, of Jyoti Indian Bistro in Mt. Airy, Gupta can also relate to Market food vendors. "I know what a stand owner goes through when facing an inspection because as a restaurant owner, I've been through it myself." Gupta also knows how it feels to "have someone buy your food and be really satisfied. That's hard to beat." In fact, he says, sometimes after a long week of working on long-term projects at Mt. Airy USA, he would man the register at Jyoti Bistro on a Friday evening for a restorative dose of that immediate, positive feedback.

Gupta is taking over the reins of a Market that, "thanks to the fantastic work of Paul [Steinke], the board, the merchants and the staff" is in "a position of strength." Still, he says, "Just maintaining the status quo" at a time when a Mom's natural foods store is being built at 11th and Market and when Gallery Mall renovator Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust is talking about creating "an epicurean experience on Filbert Street would be a recipe for disaster."

In the immediate future expect a renewed "focus on cleanliness and safety" from a Gupta administration, and, going forward, efforts to increase the Market's accessibility through technology, including upgraded Wi-Fi, a smartphone app highlighting specials and helping with Market navigation and also, possibly, partnering with Center City corporations to make the Market's existing Instacart delivery service a company benefit. (So for example, an Aramark employee could "shop" the Market online in the morning and find her purchases waiting for her in the building to take home at the end of the workday.)

He is also hoping to "make better use of the entire inside and outside of the building to relieve some of the congestion during peak periods," perhaps by closing Filbert Street to vehicular traffic afternoons for seating and arts performances on ordinary Saturdays as it is now for special events, like this Saturday's annual Sidewalk Sizzle and Ice Cream Freeze.

As for the personal challenge of working among all the Market's great food without getting fat, Gupta says, "I was a competitive swimmer and still train two to three times a week, so I just need to keep that up -- if not increase my practice frequency!"

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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Sidewalk Sizzle and Ice Cream Freeze Festival!

Sidewalk Sizzle and Ice Cream Freeze Festival!

Saturday, July 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Outside the Market on Filbert Street

We welcome you to another edition of our annual Sidewalk Sizzle and Ice Cream Freeze, the ultimate summer festival filled with grilled eats and sweet treats!

The gang’s all here this year: Shrimp kabobs, Cajun burgers, grilled corn on the cob, grilled Tastykakes, turkey legs, sausage sandwiches, gelato, grilled fruit sundaes, hand-churned ice cream and much more.

Live music, presented by FringeArts, will include original songs all about ice cream written by Caitlin Antram and Liz Filios and performed by Matthew Mastronardi, Amanda Jill Robinson, and Caitlin Antram. Bring the kids and be sure to check out our ice cream eating contest, games and various arts and crafts.

Admission and activities are free, but food is pay as you go.

See you there!

 

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Five Must-Try Recipes for National Watermelon Month

Five Must-Try Recipes for National Watermelon Month

July is National Watermelon Month, so what’s a better way to celebrate than with these tasty watermelon recipes? You may have grown up eating sliced watermelon, but there are so many more ways to enjoy this refreshing fruit. As delicious as they are versatile, these five watermelon recipes are sure to be a summer hit.

1.) Watermelon Salsa

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Looking for something refreshing and light to eat on a hot summer day? This watermelon salsa recipe from The Food Network is the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Pick up the freshest ingredients from Iovine Brothers Produce, OK Produce or Fair Food Farmstand. (Serving Tip: Best enjoyed with tortilla or pita chips.)

2.) Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

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This recipe from The Kitchn is simple to make, but loaded with flavor. The creamy feta complements the crisp watermelon and is guaranteed to win over whomever you’re feeding. The feta is key in this recipe, and can be found at Downtown Cheese, Salumeria, and Valley Shepherd Creamery.

3.) Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto

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Step out of the box with this sweet and savory side dish from My Recipes. Grilling the watermelon naturally intensifies its sweetness, which is nicely complemented with blue cheese and prosciutto. Speaking of Prosciutto, stop by Salumeria, Downtown Cheese, Valley Shepherd, and La Divisa Meats for the best, thinnest slices.

4.) Baja Fish Tacos with Spicy Watermelon Guacamole

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No matter what coast you’re on, fish tacos are a classic summertime favorite. This recipe from Yummly upgrades the beloved summer tradition with a watermelon guacamole. The watermelon sweetens up the jalapeno and spices, creating a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. For fresh fish, stop by Golden Fish Market, John Yi Fish Market, or Wan’s Seafood.

5.) Watermelon, Chili and Basil Ice Pops

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Whether you are looking for desert or a snack to cool you down, these Watermelon Ice Pops from The Food Network will leave your taste buds wanting more. The unique blend of watermelon, basil and chili is sure to hit the spot! (Produce pro tip: If you are unable to find Thai basil, regular basil will be just as delicious.)

We hope that you are as excited as we are to celebrate National Watermelon Month. For the freshest ingredients, head over to Reading Terminal Market and get cooking! And go ahead and share any of your favorite watermelon recipes with us—we would love to hear them!

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5 Benefits to Drinking Raw Milk

5 Benefits to Drinking Raw Milk

Raw milk refers to milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. Raw milk is simply taken from 100 percent grass-fed cows, filtered, cooled and then bottled — with no processing or treatments involved. Alex Jones, Value Chain Coordinator at Reading Terminal Market’s Fair Food Farmstand, sat down to share the benefits of raw milk.

How Does it Taste?

Let’s be honest: Taste matters most. Many people agree that raw milk has a better taste and texture when compared to pasteurized milk. Raw milk is frequently described as sweeter and fresher tasting, according to Jones.

For Your Health

Nutrients found in milk are higher before pasteurization. The high heat level involved in pasteurization alters some of the enzymes originally found in the milk. Raw milk is full of healthy fat, vitamins and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). Some people claim that CLA increases metabolic rate, burns fat, boosts the immune system and even decreases food allergy reactions.

Great for Cooking

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Cooking with raw milk can add more flavor and volume to your food. Unlike pasteurized milk that eventually rots and goes bad, raw milk sours instead. But it can still be used in the kitchen! Jones uses raw milk when making dairy foods from home, like cheese and yogurt.

Attention: Lactose intolerants

Although not scientifically evident, many swear that raw milk decreases the likelihood of lactose intolerance. It is believed that the pasteurization process destroys an enzyme that aids with digestion, which may explain why raw milk may not affect lactose intolerants.

Better for the Cows (and the Environment)

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Healthy, grass-fed cows enjoy stress-free lives. Cows are born to eat grass, which explains why their dairy contains plenty of health benefits. Additionally, small dairy farms help contribute to a sustainable, friendly environment.

Raw milk is not available in all states, and even in states where raw milk is sold legally, it can be rather challenging to find. But you can find two merchants at Reading Terminal Market who carry it! Fair Food Farmstand and Lancaster County Dairy both offer fresh raw milk in various sizes. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Raw milk is not for everyone. Although raw milk dairy farms are regularly inspected and required to pass even stricter standards than for pasteurized milk, this does not mean that raw milk cannot still be contaminated with bacteria. Young children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to infections originating in raw milk.

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Summer Cookouts: Vegetarian Style

Summer Cookouts: Vegetarian Style

Summertime is filled with grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, and the occasional BBQ chicken, but what are the vegetarians of the world supposed to do? For many vegetarians, cookouts can be a dreaded summer tradition, due to a lack of options. However, with these meatless dishes, cookouts can be fun again! These delicious meatless recipes are sure to even leave the carnivores wanting more!

1. Caprese Kabobs

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Caprese dishes are always a hitand this recipe from Ruffles and Truffles will not disappoint. These kabobs are great as a side dish or as an appetizer! Be sure to pick up some fresh mozzarella from Downtown Cheese, Salumeria, or Valley Shepherd Creamery! (Insider’s tip: Valley Shepherd makes their mozzarella in-house everyday.)

2. Grilled Mango with Jalapenos

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This unlikely combination will have your taste buds going absolutely wild. This sweet, salty and even spicy recipe from The Food Network is dangerously delicious! Grilling the mango enhances their naturally sweet taste, which wonderfully complements other flavors, like spicy jalapenos. Ask the folks from Iovine Brothers Produce and OK Produce to help you pick out the best mango to grill.

3. Sweet and Tangy Melon Slaw

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What’s better than fresh melon or refreshing mint in the summer? This “sweet and tangy” recipe by Country Living is sure to be a hit at your next get together! Pick up the delicious ingredients at Iovine Brothers, OK Produce, Kauffman’s Lancaster County Product, or Fair Food Farmstand.

4. Mexican Corn Salad

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Corn is a cookout must. However, keeping your corn on the cob plain can bore your guests. This recipe from Bon Appetit is sure to keep things interesting!Switch things up with this Mexican Corn Salad that will be sure to keep everyone on their toes. Pick up sweet local corn from all four of our produce stores to give the salad an extra punch!

5. Portobello Mushroom Burger with Avocado Chimichurri

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Portobello mushrooms are a tasty and healthy burger substitute. This recipe from Foodie Crush will leave meat eaters ready to convert. While you’re at Reading Terminal Market, stop by one of our produce merchants mentioned above to pick up the freshest ingredients!

With these great recipes, we hope that you vegetarians no longer shy away from summer cookouts. Head over to Reading Terminal Market for the freshest ingredients that will make these recipes even better. Vegetarian or not, let us know what you think of these summer recipes!

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