New Finds at Slow Food Market (Hello, Llama Meat!) & Portobello Recipes

In my In the Kitchen column for the February 17 of The Princeton Packet I write about the unexpectedly delicious union begot of portobello mushrooms and eggs. Click here to check out 3 simple-to-make recipes that yield deliciousness beyond the sum of their parts for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and even dinner. Pictured at right is Portobello & Asparagus Egg Strata from wholefoods.com.

This past Sunday I attended the Central NJ Slow Food Winter Farmers Market (which I posted about last week). I went expecting to stock up on the usual: lettuces from Terhune Orchards, mushrooms from Davidson’s, assorted rolls from Village Bakery, eggs and spinach from North Slope Farm. I did gather all those but was surprised and pleased to make some unexpected discoveries:

 Locally made organic sea salt caramels from Charley’s Organic Toffee in Mountainside. Soft, creamy, buttery, saltily irresistible. They also offer their own chocolates and, of course, toffees. They were a hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and they’ve been written up in The Village Voice.

 Chive Tomato Mustard Relish from HerbNZest. I’ve been hearing about Deboleena Dutta and her line of spreads and chutneys all over the place. But, I thought to myself, the field of condiments is such a crowded one that it’s almost impossible to set yourself apart. Then I tasted her Chipotle Cranberry Orange Relish and Basil Peach Raisin Chutney and became a believer. You can order them and more online or catch them at a farmers market this coming growing season.

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Llama meat from WoodsEdge Wools Farm  in Stockton. That’s right, llama meat. I know, I know. It never occurred to me either. If you frequent just about any seasonal farmers market in the state, you’ve come across the fine woven woolen products from this llama and alpaca farm. So have I. But on Sunday a mysterious blue and white cooler showed up at their table. Inside were packets of frozen meat: stewing llama, ground llama, llama ribs, llama steaks, and more. We eat llama? News to me, but not to Jim Weaver, chef/owner of Tre Piani, where the market took place. “It has the texture of pork and the taste reminds me of rabbit,” he says, adding that it cooks up quick, like rabbit. The stew meat had already been snapped up so I settled for ground. I will be experimenting with it later this week and will report back. Stay tuned.

13 responses to “New Finds at Slow Food Market (Hello, Llama Meat!) & Portobello Recipes

  1. Frank ate kangaroo meat the other night @ a restaurant in Morristown. Seriously, i almost left the table …!!

  2. i’m so interested to hear more about this llama!! i have a hard time reconciling a giant llama somehow tasting like rabbit 🙂

    • And I’d be interested to understand why I – who will happily eat just about anything (there was the toasted mealy worm episode, for example) – am a tad squeamish about llama.

  3. Roo tastes more like steak than chicken! It’s much leaner, though.

    Love portobellos with eggs, Pat. Can’t wait to try some ouf those recipes.

  4. it was nice to see you there, Pat, and thank you for the nice write up. I also got this Llama meat and hoping to experiment today or tomorrow. Will report on Princeton Eats.

  5. I have some Llama meat in my freezer too! It was a great market! I also stocked up on cheeses, some artisan bread, and I picked up a package of Simply Nic’s shortbread–the coffee/cocoa flavored one.

  6. Pingback: Slow Food Central NJ “Eat Slow” Winter Farmers Market | |

  7. I don’t know about Llama meat, but would have loved it if they had Llama and Alpaca milk/cheese, as I have great memories of Alpaca’s cheese from Nepal. Somehow the thought of these doll faced creatures with their long eye lashes and calmness, prevents me from seeing them as meat…

  8. Hey Ayelet, nice to see you here…

  9. Thanks for your kind words Pat. The healthy gourmet resonated with tasters. HerbNZest artisan condiments are also available in specialty stores in NY and NJ (locally at: Whole Earth Center, Pennington Market, and Olsson’s Fine Foods).

    It was a great winters market: Thanks to Jim Weaver for hosting and Slow Food for putting it together and you for covering us.

    Deboleena
    Chief HerbNista @herbnzest

  10. I don’tlike salt caramels but that packaging is just too cute!

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