Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is a world unto itself

March 18, 2013 at 8:35 AM | Posted in Food, fruits, vegetables | Leave a comment
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I came across this article from the Boston Globe last week. A great piece on on the Cincinnati areas oldest and best market, The Findlay Market.

 

 

 

Cincinnati’s Findlay Market is a world unto itself

By Amy Sutherland | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT MARCH 12, 2013
CINCINNATI — When traveling, it is hard to resist public markets, but in the United States they can be disappointing. Some are merely

Findlay Market, one of the oldest public markets in the country, offers meats, cheeses, and other refrigerated foods at counters on the inside and fresh produce stands on the outside.

Findlay Market, one of the oldest public markets in the country, offers meats, cheeses, and other refrigerated foods at counters on the inside and fresh produce stands on the outside.

glorified food courts or amusement parks where tourists can ogle a $7 heirloom tomato or watch fishmongers toss striped bass around, rather than a place to buy good ingredients for dinner. It’s a bad sign when you notice that far more people have cameras than shopping bags.

That is never the case at Findlay Market here. Shoppers are lugging totes bulging with feathery fennel, shiny red peppers, and neatly wrapped white butcher packages. They grab numbers at cheese counters, smell the cantaloupes, and pepper butchers with questions.

Cincinnatians have been shopping for groceries at Findlay since 1855, making it one of the oldest markets in the country. It outdates the city’s two major historic claims, the nation’s first suspension bridge, the John A. Roebling Bridge, and the first baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. A forward-thinking engineer used a little-known technology to build the cast and wrought iron market frame, which runs the length of two blocks and rises to an airy peak down the middle. Back then, before refrigeration, public markets were a necessity. They were the primary way for city-dwellers to buy fresh, perishable food from surrounding farms.

The large market was sited in what was at the time the city’s densest neighborhood, the Over-the-Rhine. As the name implies, the brick row houses were the homes of German-Americans. They drank beer at 2½ times the national average. You can still find “Biergarten” etched into the bricks of some buildings, but the area has long since changed into a rundown neighborhood of peeling paint and forgotten, weedy lots. Still, shoppers have never stopped coming, and the German heritage lives on at the market’s abundant butcher counters.

At Kroeger Meats, you’ll find a long stretch of sausage shimmering in the voluminous case’s bright light. There are four kinds of metts,

Findlay Market's endless butcher counters, many filled with sausages, speak to Cincinnati's German heritage.

Findlay Market’s endless butcher counters, many filled with sausages, speak to Cincinnati’s German heritage.

brats made from a recipe brought from Germany, orange-y andouille, chorizo, and a pork sausage made with Vidalia onions. Here the clerk can explain the difference between a southern German frankfurter and a northern German frankfurter. Or you can buy both and taste for yourself.

At the extremely popular Silverglades, which can be tough on a shopper with a touch of claustrophobia but worth the suffering, you’ll find more sausages as well as German cold cuts, such as coarse teawurst, bloodwurst, and pfefferwurst, as well as disc after disc of cheese. To give their orders, customers have to crane their necks around stacks of bread loaves and crackers on the high case, but its amazing what you can put up with when you want some black forest salami.
Besides this is market time, when you enjoy shopping instead of racing through a grocery store tossing yogurt into your cart. Findlay Market feels like a world unto itself, a kind of mini village within the city. The streets to either side of the original building are closed to traffic and have seats here and there so you can sit down and devour a pulled pork sandwich or a stick of landjager. All the refrigerated food, the planks of ribs, the ruby colored-crawdads are inside the building. Fresh produce stands line the outside, no matter the weather. Small shops such as Dean’s Mediterranean Imports, where you can pick up a jar of almond jam or a bottle of rosewater, ring the market.

When Findlay was renovated 10 years ago, devotees held their breath for fear it would beDisney-fied. They needn’t have worried. There are more food vendors, including the very fine crepes at Taste of Belgium and the fresh spring rolls at Pho Lang Thang, but they have not overtaken the market. Nor have the soap sellers and street musicians. Instead they’ve made the market more of a fair in a good way and brought in more people, and noticeably more families.

What hasn’t changed is the kinds of people you’ll see at Findlay. All kinds, as in all ages, incomes and colors, still shop here. It is one of the few places in Cincinnati where people from all walks of life mix.

And what has the power to draw them? Food, of course.

Findlay Market, 1801 Race St., Cincinnati, http://www.findlaymarket.org

 

 

http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/food-dining/2013/03/12/cincinnati-findlay-market-world-unto-itself/CjcnNLPBv84zo0x0Ua9ggL/story.html

Cheese of the Week – Limburger

August 7, 2012 at 12:37 PM | Posted in cheese, cooking, Food | Leave a comment
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Limburger

Limburger

Limburger

Country of origin: Belgium, Germany, & Netherlands
Region, town: Limburg
Source of milk: Cows
Texture: Semi-soft
Aging time: 2-3 months

 

 

 

 

Limburger is a cheese that originated during the 19th century in the historical Duchy of Limburg, which is now divided among modern-day Belgium, Germany, and Netherlands. The cheese is especially known for its pungent odor commonly compared to body odor.

 

In America, it was first produced in 1867 by Rudolph Benkerts in his cellar from pasteurized goat’s milk. A few years later, 25 factories produced this cheese. Today, most Limburger is made in Germany. The Chalet Cheese Cooperative in Monroe, Wisconsin is the only American company that makes this cheese. This cheese also is manufactured in Canada by the Oak Grove Cheese Company in New Hamburg, Ontario.

 

Herve cheese is a type of Limburger cheese still produced in the Land of Herve, in the territory of the old Duchy of Limburg. Herve is located near Liège, and the borders separating Belgium from the Netherlands and Germany. The “Pays de Herve” is a hilly area between the Vesdre and Meuse rivers.

 

In its first month, the cheese is firmer and more crumbly, similar to the texture of feta cheese. After about six weeks, the cheese becomes softer along the edges but is still firm on the inside and can be described as salty and chalky. After two months of its life, it is mostly creamy and much smoother. Once it reaches three months, the cheese produces its notorious smell because the bacterium used to ferment Limburger cheese and many other smear-ripened cheeses is Brevibacterium linens, the same one found on human skin that is partially responsible for body odor and particularly foot odor.

 

One of the most traditional forms of eating limburger is the limburger sandwich. After three months, when the cheese has ripened, it becomes spreadable. The cheese is often spread thick (> 0.5 cm) on firm-textured 100% rye bread, with a large, thick slice of onion, and is typically served with strong black coffee or lager beer. Alternatively, for heartier eaters, chunks or slices of the cheese up to 1.5 cm thick can be cut off the block and placed in the sandwich. This sandwich still remains very popular among the descendants of German immigrants residing in the midwest part of America, such as in Cincinnati, or German Village in Columbus, Ohio. However, it is markedly less popular among the descendants born after ca. 1960, mainly because of the permeating smell, and the inconvenience of going to specialty cheese and sausage shops to obtain it. In Wisconsin, the Limburger sandwich can be found on menus at certain restaurants, accompanied with brown mustard.

 

Limburger and its characteristic odor are a frequent butt of jokes and gags. In 2006, a study showing that the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) is attracted equally to the smell of Limburger and to the smell of human feet earned the Ig Nobel Prize in the area of biology.

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