03 April 2012

To market, to market

Does the thought of grocery shopping at Pike Place Market seem overwhelming or too crowded to prove successful? Think again....

Here are a few of my tips on how to have a successful shopping trip to Pike Place Market:

1. Shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea: Stop at Beecher's for a homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese for shopping fuel. While you are there pick up Beecher's Flagship cheese, so you can head home and make your own version of their signature mac and cheese.

2. Think local and seasonal: whether it is flowers or vegetables, if you purchase whatever is in season it will not only be fresher, but a greater value. Right now tulips are the "it" flower of choice.
3. Pricing: Just because it is artfully displayed or in a touristy location does not automatically mean it is more expensive than the grocery store. I consistently find great prices on carrots, potatoes, onions and fresh herbs at the market.
4. Fluid menu planning: Head to the market with a general idea of what you would like to have ie. a pasta with a protein and vegetables or ingredients for a hearty salad. This provides for a much more successful experience than scouring the market for a plantain.
5. Ask the experts: When a shopkeeper only sells fish or cheese they know volumes more about their product. Take the time to ask them how best to prepare their product. Pike Place Fish Market only sells sustainable fish. For those of us who want to be responsible, you can buy with confidence here.

5. Sunshine in Seattle: You are foolish to stay inside on days like this, so what better way to spend it than at the market.

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