Thought I'd share a few of my thoughts from this past Saturday's Underground Market in Oakland. For those who haven't heard, the Underground Market is put on by ForageSF to showcase cooks who don't have a commercial kitchen. A lot of the food is clever, innovative, and unique. Some of it, however, is somewhat unappealing. Much like any farmers market, only cooler and more subversive.
These were the standouts from the crowd:
- Laar's Bars. This stand featured delicious, healthy, high-energy bars. They had chocolate and vanilla, but I fell in love with the chocolate. I ordered a number of them and haven't been able to stop eating them. They're made out of chocolate, flax, spelt, nuts, and peanut butter. Delicious, high in fibre, and great for breakfast. Website: http://www.laarsbars.com/
- Jerk. Made by Obrian Matterson, this Jamaican food stand features its eponymous dish. It was pretty good Jamaican food, and excellent Jamaican food for the Bay Area. They had dark and light meat chicken, slaw, and rice and peas. My only wish is that the jerk were spicier. And they didn't have any hot sauce to pump up the temperature.
- California Cane & Fruit Co. This stand sold sweet, spicy sugar cane juices. They said that they bought their sugar cane from local farms in the Central Valley — who knew that California grew sugarcane? They offered small cups for $1, or medium-sized sealed plastic jars for $3. The jars also had the option of small flavoring, like lime or ginger. I had the ginger, which was deliciously spicy. It went very well with the Jamaican food. Website: www.calcane.com
- Cooper Cakes. This stand had cupcakes made by Lisa Cooper, who apparently is a bit of a local celebrity in a local Williams Sonoma. When prevented by her kid's local school from making cupcakes because they were unhealthy, she experimented to come up with a recipe that was, in fact, healthy. What results were amazingly delicious cupcakes made out of spinach and blueberry. You seriously could not tell that they were not made out of anything but flour and sugar. Pretty damn remarkable. Website: www.alittlejudy.com
I can't wait for next month's!