Vendor Feature: Pickled Perfection

Meet Travis & Dean Lambros.

We paused for a moment to chat with Travis Lambros  about their family business, Pickled Perfection.  That’s travis on the left and his father Dean on the right.  This is their success story and exactly what inspires us at the market.

“We started the markets in 2009.

My father, Dean, and I started the business as a side venture and it took off on us. Now we employee a lot of great people and are both full time with the company.  The original recipe is Dean’s.  All of our other flavors and additions have come from trial and error as well as customer requests.  We started with 3 products and now we are up to 11 permanent products and a lot of special orders.
The hope for Pickled Perfection is to be nationwide in multiple grocery stores.  To provided every bar/restaurant in Arizona with our product and the next step is to open our very own Pickled Perfection store.

My personal favorites are the spicy pickled celery and the kalamata olives.”

Read more about how they got started, find products and more here.

Crop of the Week: Okra

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We love this image Hip Veggies (Monika Woolsey) captured.

 

  1. Okra is a member of the Mallow family, related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhock.

2. In other parts of the world, this functional vegetable is also known as gumbo or lady fingers.

3. The pods, when cut, exude a mucilaginous juice that is used to thicken stews (like gumbo), and have a flavor somewhat like a cross between asparagus and eggplant.

4. Okra probably originated somewhere around Ethiopia, and was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians by the 12th century B.C.

5. Okra seeds have been toasted, ground and used a coffee substitute for centuries.

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Desert Foraging with Mark Lewis

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Weeds in your yard or edible wildflowers?

Mark Lewis is the man about town who can teach you.   With over 150 years knowledge of Southwest foraging passed down through the generations in his family (dating back to his grandfather’s grandfather!) he has been foraging 2000 edible and 500 medicinal plants throughout Arizona and the Sonoran/Baja Southwest.  With his forty five years direct foraging experience and economic botany background, Mark enjoys teaching at the University and has been presenting and offering his knowledge and finds to the public at local markets and events.  Discover the natural (and edible) world around you, receive horticultural advice and more this weekend at the market when we host Mark Lewis.

So just what can be foraged in our desert…

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Vendor Feature: Doctor Hummus

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Meet Saber Rouin and the family behind Doctor Hummus:

Doctor Hummus was started by Saber Rouin in his family’s kitchen in 2004 in Gilbert, Arizona.  His hummus recipes are from Saber’s family in Tunisia North Africa.  We started back in 2002 with four flavors of hummus and now feature over twenty dips and delicious crunchy pita chips in four flavors.

 

We love to hear from our customers and which products they prefer to eat.  We have many vegan/low fat dips now with so many people eating a healthy plant based lifestyle and trying to avoid dairy and fat.  Our favorite product is the vegan jalapeno and artichoke dip (no cholesterol, 35 calories and no saturated fat).  The dip combines a vegan healthy lifestyle with the southwest’s spicy flavors.

 

Fun story:  Several years ago I was working the Doctor Hummus booth Saturday morning at the Phoenix Public Market.  A vendor across the aisle from the Doctor Hummus booth had little pieces of white chocolate cut up on a plate. The sign next to the plate read “free samples please ask” and a customer decided to give it a taste.   After chewing and swallowing he came across to my booth and declared, ” Please give me a pita chip, I have a terrible taste left in my mouth”.  Unfortunately for him the “white chocolate” turned out to be shea butter soap!   Well, the sign did say, “please ask”.

Recipe Of The Week

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We love this recipe by Maebell’s Farmers Market Fritters

Hearty cornmeal base with finely chopped yellow squash, thinly sliced okra, green onions spices and of course, cheddar cheese. These have the perfect balance of flavor. A little smokiness from the smoked paprika, a kick from the green onions and a bit of crunch from the okra. It is everything you want in an easy Summer dish!

Read more for the recipe.

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The Importance of Bees

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  • Honey bees are accurately described as indispensable pollinators.  In the United States it is estimated that managed honey bee colonies are annually responsible for the pollination of agricultural crops valued between $4 and $8 billion.
  • Bees that are about 21 days old, begin to take short orientation flights, marking the beginning of a 2 to 3 week life as a forager bee, seeking nectar and pollen to bring back to the colony.
  •  While a worker bee is in a flower gathering nectar, pollen often sticks to her hairy body. Because the bee generally visits a number of the same type of flower, she will rub some of the pollen off onto another flower and complete pollination
  • During chillier seasons, worker bees can live for nine months. But in the summer, they rarely last longer than six weeks—they literally work themselves to death.
  • When aging bees do jobs usually reserved for younger members, their brain stops aging. In fact, their brain ages in reverse.

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Design Competition

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Thank you all for participating! We had so many great design entries it was hard to choose just one for our new market t-shirts.  However, we are excited to announce that local Tom Burns’ design was chosen.

We’ve sent the design off to get printed to keep an eye out for them to be available at the market soon.

Meet our design challenge winner and your friendly face at the market Tom Burns…  originally from Tennessee, but a Phoenix resident for over 6 years now – has been a professional illustrator and graphic designer for over a decade, specializing in apparel design. He and his wife love everything about downtown Phoenix, in particular the Phoenix Public Market!

This Week… Watermelon Juice

The watermelon from the market is so sweet and fresh! It’s a great salad addition, frozen snack and refreshing drink. We found this recipe for watermelon juice in anEdible Phoenix from 2009.

This week challenge yourself to making watermelon juice for the house. Add different herbs like mint or basil for extra flavor. Or try this delicious cocktail from Scaling Back Blog.

Share your favorite market recipes and we’ll post them on our blog!  We love to get inspired by different dishes.

 

Smart Shopping

Store comparison

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Crop of the Week: Cherries

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1. The word ‘cherry’ comes from the Turkish town of Cerasus.

2. Cherries belong to the rose family.

3. The English colonists brought cherries to North America in the 1600’s.

4. Canada holds the record for baking the biggest cherry pie in the world. A pie weighing 39,683 pounds was baked in Oliver, British Columbia.

5. Cherries are a small source of zinc; and moderate sources of iron, potassium, and manganese; and good source of copper. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

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