Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Food Frenzy in San Francisco

San Francisco is a paradise for food loving modern peasants. The tastiness level is off the scale (fancy Catalan tapas California style? or a takeaway kimchi and flank steak sandwich from a word of mouth take-out counter staffed by off-duty chefs or a punk take on a coffee shop complete with dj and Four Barrels coffee served with Dynamo Donuts or braised pork and fresh relish on a tiny taco from a truck? I  ate everything from a lemon and cinnamon morning bun for breakfast to a soothing bowl of curdled to order tofu from a minute Japanese restaurant for dinner and plenty in between.

As well as a food culture easily, if not more diverse, than London the local produce is amazing (I went at the peak of the citrus season). I ate Paige's mandarins with dense orange flesh that was dripping with  juice. Intense almost concentrated like a Jaffa Orange lolly on a hot day in childhood. I gorgoed on a Pomelo/grapefruit cross that was possibly the most grapefruity grapefruit I've ever tasted and ate Andante goats cheese off Acme sourdough bread in a dripping fern filled gully near Bolinas. On top of all these riches there's an inspiring  back to the land, do it yourself, grow your own philosophy with all the emphasis on taste. I visited Alice Water's Edible Schoolyard project, Novella Carpenter's urban farm in Oakland (see her backyard poultry below) and picked broccoli with volunteers at the Hayes Valley farm (an urban vegetable garden on an old freeway ramp in central SF).

I've never eaten better and I got some great ideas for my book. Who knew Brussell sprouts were actually tasty? All to be revealed later on......

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