I am back again with a special Tuesday edition of Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) The Boston Public Market Association (BPMA), the all-volunteer Board that is working towards the creation of a year-round Boston Public Market in downtown Boston, announced hours and programming for the Boston Public Market Association’s 2011 Summer markets.
Boston Public Market Association Summer Market at City Hall Plaza
Location: Boston City Hall Plaza, off of Cambridge Street
Start/End Date: Monday, May 23rd, 2011 – Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 (No markets on Monday holidays – 5/30, 7/4, 9/5, 10/10)
Days/Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays: 11AM – 6PM (11-5 after November 6th)
Boston Public Market Association Summer Market at Dewey Square 2011
Start/End Date: Thursday, May 26th, 2011 through Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Days/Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 11:30 AM - 6:30 PM (11:30AM – 6:00PM after November 6th)
Cookbook Signings at Dewey Square: A chance to meet the region’s favorite local cookbook authors and get seasonal market tips. Authors will include:
--Cathy Walthers, author of Soup & Sides Thursday, June 9th
--Joanne Chang, author of Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery & Café Tuesday, July 12th
--Susie Middleton, author of Fresh & Honest Thursday, August 11th
Weekly Market Tours at Dewey Square June-September
Beginning June 21, join instructors from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts for lunchtime Market tours, providing education and instruction on preparing seasonal recipes with market finds.
EBT Market Tours at Dewey Square and City Hall Plaza
Thursday June 30 at Dewey and July 13 at City Hall
A market tour specifically geared towards the SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) customer to kick off the season and familiarize this population with the market, along the savings opportunities available to them with Bounty Bucks. Through this program, recipients may receive up to $20 per day in for fresh local food at our markets for half the price. Farmers markets can be intimidating; they are often perceived as expensive, there are many choices and the preparation of foods can be daunting. We will attempt to break down the barriers to entry with this event; customers from last year will be asked to speak about their personal experience with the program. We will arrange for attendees to receive $5 in coupons for the market and free tote bags.
Harvest Festivals at Dewey Square
Seasonal festivals that will coincide with and celebrate Massachusetts’s regional harvests. Events include contests, demonstrations, free food, raffles and interactive events.
Dates: Strawberries June 16
Sweet Corn July 21
Tomatoes August 18
Apples September 15
Pumpkins October 18
2) The Spirited Gourmet in Belmont has a couple fascinating wine tastings upcoming.
On Thursday, May 19, from 5-8pm, Winemaker Alberto Aiello Graci of Graci Vineyards, Mt. Etna, Sicily will be there presenting three wines: two reds (Nerello Mascalese) and one white (Carricante). They are biodynamic and well express the unique microclimate of Mt. Etna, which has some of the highest elevated vineyards in the world. The wines to be poured include: 2009 Etna Bianco Quota 600, 2009 Etna Rosso and 2008 Etna Rosso Quota 600.
On Saturday, May 21, from 4-7pm, the legendary importer Terry Theise will be on hand pouring through a selection of Austrian and German red and whites from his portfolio. Wines will be focused on the Pfalz region of Germany, but they will also be sampling Mosel wines and assorted Austrians. Thiese recently published his book, Reading Between the Wines, and it is a compelling and thought provoking book and you can read my previous comments on it. This should be a great event and I highly recommend that all wine lovers check it out.
3) In celebration of National Doughnut Day, Smolak Farms in North Andover will be holding their second annual, weekend-long Doughnut Day Festival from Friday, June 3rd, through Sunday, June 5th. In honor of the holiday’s founders, Smolak Farms will be donating a portion of the festivals proceeds to The Salvation Army.
"National Doughnut Day was officially established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to raise much-needed funds post depression, and to honor the work of World War I Salvation Army volunteers. During World War I, The Salvation Army set up small provision stations for U.S. serviceman that included writing supplies, sewing materials, hot coffee and yes, doughnuts to bring comfort to the soldiers. The doughnuts were a huge hit with the serviceman and became an important part of providing comfort and morale for soldiers."
To kick off the celebration on Friday, June 3rd, the farm will be offering a free ½ dozen doughnuts with the purchase of a dozen of their famous cider doughnuts, available in plain, sugared and cinnamon sugar. All veterans a.k.a. “doughboys,” will receive 1 free doughnut!
All weekend long, from Friday, June 3rd to Sunday, June 5th, families will have a chance to get creative at Smolak Farms’ free doughnut decorating stand located in the Greenhouse. From 9am-1pm guests will be able to dunk their own doughnuts into all sorts of yummy toppings. Free with the purchase of a doughnut. Smolak Farm’s is offering free hayrides from 9am-1pm, all weekend long!
Who doesn't love cider donuts? They are certainly one of my favorite things so I will likely be there for the Donut Festival.