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

47th Annual German-American Festival – Oregon, Ohio

August 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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August 24-26, 2012 47th Annual German-American Festival – Oregon, Ohio
The Toledo Area’s Oldest, Largest and Greatest Ethnic Festival With Authentic German Food, Beer, and Entertainment. Attendance: 30,000.

47th Annual German-American Festival 2012
Taking Place at Oak Shade Grove in Oregon, Ohio – August 24, 25 & 26, 2012

WHAT:
The 47th German-American Festival, the Toledo area’s Oldest, Largest and Greatest Ethnic Festival with authentic German Food, Beer, and Entertainment. Festival organizers expect upward from 30,000 paid attendees.

The Festival is operated by the G.A.F. Society, recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a §501(c)(3) charitable organization. It is sponsored by the seven German- and Swiss-American Societies in Toledo.

WHY:
The purpose of the German-American Festival is to promote and enhance the German and Swiss cultures as well as generates revenue to support the German and Swiss cultural center in Oregon and a wide variety of scholarship, athletic and other philanthropic programs in the Toledo area.

WHERE:
Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road, Oregon, Ohio, just ½ mile east of Coy Road.

WHEN:
Friday, August 24, 2012: 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (Parade and Opening Ceremonies begin at 8:00 p.m.)
Saturday, August 25, 2012: 2:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sunday, August 26, 2012: 12:00 Noon – 11:00 p.m. with a German Language worship service at 10:30 a.m.
(Alcohol sales cease at 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. Wine and Liquor available on Sunday)
ADMISSION: General admission: $7.00 per person. Children 12 years of age and under admitted at no charge all weekend when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

http://www.gafsociety.org/Festival_Information.htm

One of America’s Favorites – Meatloaf

July 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Posted in Food | 1 Comment
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Meatloaf is a dish of ground meat formed into a loaf shape and bakedor smoked. The loaf shape is formed by either cooking it in a loaf

A meatloaf served with sauce.

pan, or forming it by hand on a flat baking pan. It is usually made from ground beef, although lamb, pork, veal, venison, and poultry or a combination are also used.

The meatloaf has European origins; meatloaf of minced meat was mentioned in the famous Roman cookery collection Apicius as early as the 5th century. Meatloaf is a traditional German and Belgian dish, and it is a cousin to the Dutch meatball. American meatloaf[3] has its origins in scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal served by German-Americans in Pennsylvania since Colonial times. However, meatloaf in the contemporary American sense did not appear in cookbooks until the late 19th century.

Many meatloaf recipes are interchangeable with meatball recipes, the distinction coming from shape and from the accompaniments or choice of sauce. Sometimes a form of tomato sauce or ketchup is also mixed with the meat before baking.
Meatloaf is a versatile dish. The ground meat may be mixed with a binder such as eggs and breadcrumbs, small pieces of bread soaked in milk (or red wine or another liquid), or wheat germ, finely ground almonds, or oatmeal, to make it more dough-like. Salt, spices and herbs (such as parsley), as well as chopped vegetables (such as onions, green peppers and celery), may also be added. Some recipes add strips of bacon on top. Meatloaf may be filled with eggs, cheese, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, or a combination of these ingredients. Sometimes meatloaf is made by adding meat and sometimes also eggs to a meatloaf mix before baking. A regular oven is not required. Meatloaf can be cooked in a slow cooker or in a microwave oven. To ensure even cooking in a microwave oven, it is best cooked as individual portions (for instance, in a mug) or as a small loaf.

In 2007, meatloaf was voted the seventh-favorite dish in the United States according to Good Housekeeping.
During the Great Depression, cooking meatloaf was a way to stretch the food budget for families, using an inexpensive type of meat and other ingredients as leftovers; along with spices, it was popular to add cereal grains to the meatloaf to stretch the meat. The tradition lives on with the merits of producing a lower-fat dish with superior binding and consistency.
The meatloaf is typically eaten with some kind of sauce or relish. Many of these recipes call for pasta sauce or tomato sauce to be poured over the loaf to form a crust during baking. The tomato-based sauce may be replaced with simple brown gravy or onion gravy, but the meatloaf is prepared in a similar manner. Barbecue sauce, tomato ketchup, or a mixture of both tomato ketchup and mustard may also be used. American meatloaf may be garnished with ketchup.
Another variety of meatloaf is prepared by frosting it with mashed potatoes, drizzling it with a small amount of butter, and browning in the oven.
The meatloaf is normally served warm as part of the main course, but can also be found sliced as a cold cut. Meatloaf can also be considered a typical comfort food and is served in many diners and restaurants today.

National Dish of the Week – United States Great Lakes Region

November 25, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Posted in baking, Food | 2 Comments
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United States Great Lakes Region

The Great Lakes region of the United States includes the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York. The region enjoys four distinct seasons. Although the climate is considered temperate, temperatures in the summer can exceed 100°F and can drop to –10°F in the winter. There is rich farm land, and farmers’ markets offer abundant produce and fruit in the late summer and early fall across the region.

The region is also home to much manufacturing activity. Industrial pollution threatened the health of the Great Lakes, especially Lake Erie (the smallest Great Lake), until the 1960s, when a growing awareness of environmental concerns led to increased government regulation. Acid-rain, believed to be caused by air pollution generated by the coal-fired utility plants in the region, is also a concern. Increased acidity in the lakes creates unhealthy conditions for fish and other living things in the ecosystem of the region.

The Great Lakes region was originally populated by American Indians who taught later European settlers how to hunt the local game, fish, and gather wild rice and maple syrup, as well as how to grow and eat corn and native squashes and beans. The European immigrants, mostly from Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Poland, and Cornwall, England, each shared their traditional dishes with the rest of America. The Germans contributed frankfurters (hot dogs), hamburgers, sauerkraut, potato salad, noodles, bratwurst,

Various types of Kielbasa

liverwurst, and pretzels to the American diet. Scandinavian foods include lefse (potato flatbread), limpa (rye bread), lutefisk (dried cod soaked in lye), and Swedish meatballs, as well as the smorgasbord (a table laid out with several courses of small foods). The Polish introduced kielbasa (a type of sausage) , pierogies (a type of stuffed pasta), Polish dill pickles, and babka (an egg cake). Pancakes are a Dutch contribution, along with waffles, doughnuts, cookies, and coleslaw. Miners from Cornwall brought their Cornish pasties, and small meat pies that were easily carried for lunch. Later immigrants from Arab countries settled in Detroit, Michigan, and introduced America to foods like hummus (puréed chickpeas), felafel (deep-fried bean cakes), and tabbouleh (bulgur wheat salad).

Dairy is a major industry in the Great Lakes region, particularly Wisconsin, known as “America’s Dairyland.” Dairy farmers in Wisconsin milk about 2 million cows every day, and there is one cow for every two people in the state. Not surprisingly, milk, butter, and cheese are staples in the Great Lakes diet. Pigs are also common on farms in the Great Lakes region because they take up less space and are easier to raise than beef cattle. Pork, therefore, is another common ingredient in Great Lakes cooking, especially in the form of sausage.

The majority of those who live around the Great Lakes are descended from German, Scandinavian, and Dutch farmers who settled there in the 1800s. Farming life shaped the diet and mealtime schedule of the region. Hearty breakfasts and generous lunches gave the farmers the energy to finish their work. German immigrants taught America to serve meals “family-style,” with all the food on the table at once, rather than bringing it out to the table in individual servings.

The Scandinavians brought their tradition of the smorgasbord to America. The smorgasbord is a large feast made up of a variety of small dishes laid out together on one table, beginning with bread and fish and moving through hot dishes, such as Swedish meatballs, all the way to dessert. Each person or family brings a dish to contribute to the smorgasbord. (The word “smorgasbord” has even been adopted into the English language to refer generally to anything offering a wide variety of items.)

 

Miners from Cornwall, England, had long eaten pasties (PAST-eez), small meat pies that were easy to carry for lunch. Immigrants to

A pasty

the Great Lakes area brought their tradition of Cornish pasties with them, and they are still a popular snack in the area.

Germans love beer and started a number of breweries around the Great Lakes. The Pabst and Schlitz breweries were both founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the 1800s by German Americans. (Milwaukee still ranks as the number-one beer-drinking city in America: While Americans on average drink 6 gallons of beer per year, Milwaukee residents average 42 gallons.) The Great Lakes region is also home to many well-known food companies, including Kellogg’s, Kraft, Pillsbury, Green Giant, and Land O’ Lakes.

MainStrasse Village Association’s Oktoberfest

September 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM | Posted in baking, dessert, Food, grilling | 3 Comments
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MainStrasse kicks off fest
German heritage honored

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON — For Thursday’s ceremonial opening of the MainStrasse Village Association’s Oktoberfest, everyone was German for a day, even Kentucky‘s second couple.

Lt. Gov. Steve Henry greeted the crowd and introduced his wife — former Miss America Heather French Henry, and their infant daughter Harper Renee — in halting German at the festival’s kickoff luncheon in Goebel Park.

IF YOU GO
• What: 23rd annual MainStrasse Village Oktoberfest
• When: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. today, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.
• Where: Booths and entertainment are spread over four city blocks along the Sixth Street promenade and Philadelphia Street, as well as into Goebel Park in Covington’s MainStrasse Village.
• Attractions: German and other ethnic foods, more than 90 arts and crafts vendors, and musical entertainment that includes German bands, folk, rock ‘n roll, blues and country music. Also features pony rides, balloon makers and special children’s rides.
For $12, festivalgoers can buy an “all you can ride ticket” from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• Event parking: Free shuttle service will run continuously, stopping at Fifth Street near The Westin Hotel in Cincinnati, the IRS parking lot in Covington at Fourth and Johnson Sts., Jillian’s parking lot in Covington, Covington city lots at Seventh St. and Scott Blvd. and the RiverCenter complex, and the Fifth Third lot in Fort Wright at the corner of Dixie Hwy. and Sleepy Hollow Dr.
• Information: For directions or other information, call (513) 357-6246 or (859) 491-0458.
The orthopedic surgeon then joined Covington officials in making more than a half-dozen taps of the official Oktoberfest beer keg to open the 23rd annual German-themed event.

Billed as one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society, the MainStrasse Oktoberfest opens at 5 p.m. today.

While he acknowledged his background “is probably English,” Mr. Henry praised Northern Kentucky‘s German heritage and strong sense of family.

He also complimented festival organizers for putting together a three-day celebration that traditionally draws more than 150,000, including “many from the other side of the river.”

“Every year, this gets a little bit bigger and a little bit better,” said Covington Vice Mayor Jerry Bamberger.

In keeping with the festival’s German heritage, Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann, president of the German American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati received a Kentucky Colonel certificate and a key to the city of Covington on Thursday.

“People don’t realize how strong the German heritage is in Northern Kentucky,” the Green Township resident said. Evidence of that heritage is present, he said, in everything from numerous churches founded by Germans to fieldstone houses, a traditional German building form.

Besides the usual beer booths and German food staples from goetta to strudel, this year’s festival will showcase Heuboden Musikanten, a German band from Bavaria.

Fourteen members of the band will entertain crowds at five Tristate German-themed events this month, including Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest, Sept. 14-16.

“They were here several years ago, and they were a lot of fun,” said Mick Noll, a Northern Kentucky caterer who has manned a grill at each of the 22 previous MainStrasse Oktoberfests.

Also new this year is a Warsteiner beer emporium serving the world’s No.1-selling German beer.

But lest festival-goers engage in underage drinking or imbibe too much, uniformed and plainclothes police officers will be scattered throughout the festival area and its perimeter to maintain order.

“We will not tolerate any problems,” said Covington Police Spc. George Russell, who is handling the festival’s security detail. “It’s a family event, and we want to keep it that way.”

Taxis and Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky buses will be on hand to transport any guests who’ve had too much to drink. Workers at the beer booths also have received training on how to deal with inebriated customers, including refusal of service.

Members of the MainStrasse Village Association have mailed 900 fliers with the phone number of the event’s command center, which will take complaints from residents, said Donna Kremer, administrative coordinator for the MainStrasse Village Association.

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2001/09/07/loc_mainstrasse_kicks.html

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