The holiday weekend is quickly approaching.
It's time to get the grill ready and fill it with fresh Alaska seafood. Dannon Southall at 10th & M Seafoods says that shouldn't be a problem.
"What a week for fresh Alaskan seafood leading up to one of the biggest grilling weekends of the year," he says. "This week we will have a plethora of fresh Alaskan seafood to grace your grill tops with.
"Thursday marked the opening of the Copper River salmon fishery. The first opener was a 12-hour period fishing for both king and sockeye salmon. The fisherman were able to find a few kings but did well on sockeye fishing. They opened the area again Monday and fishing was good once again. There were a few kings landed with a fair amount of sockeyes hitting the docks."
Southall says 10th & M will have fresh Copper River salmon in the store all week. Pricing isn't set and he encourages shoppers to call ahead for the availability of king salmon.
Another salmon option is fresh troll-caught king salmon from Southeast, both red- and white-fleshed kings. Southall says the head-on fish are averaging 12- to 14-pounds and they are $14.50 per pound, while the fillets are $18.95/pound.
Fresh halibut, rockfish and cod are all available from the Gulf of Alaska. The 10- to 20-pound halibut are going for $10.95/pound and Southall says there are some larger fish available. Halibut fillets are $18.95/pound, while rockfish fillets are $9.95/pound and cod fillets are $5.95/pound.At the market
While it's still early for most vegetables, the local farmers market scene has plenty to add to a holiday feast. And for those looking to plant their own garden, now is the time to visit the markets.
At the South Anchorage Farmers Market, Captain James G. Lee VFW Memorial Post 1685 is selling red poppy pins and distributing information on the Wounded Warriors/Healing Hearts Rodeo that will take place in June.
The vendor list for the market is lengthy and includes:
• Food: Arctic Choice Seafood will have a large selection; Alaska Sprouts will have fresh tofu, bean and clover sprouts, and pea and sunflower shoots; Mat Valley Meats will have locally grown meat products; Northern Lights Mushrooms will have seven varieties of Alaska-grown mushrooms; Glacier Valley Farm with hanging tomato plants; and Alaska Hens will have broiler chickens and lots of eggs.
• Plants: the Blue Poppy will have loads of poppy plants; Earthworks Farm will have tulips; Heart of the Mountain Organics will have loads of plant starts as will Gray Owl Farm
• Food to go: Los Tacos, the French Oven Bakery and Pinky's Kettle Korn will be on hand with treats that can be eaten right away.
• New vendors: Vendors showing up for the first time this week include Matanuska Creamery with cheese and ice cream; Country Garden Farms with sod, hay and straw; and Non-essentials.
At the Center Market, Duane Clark will be taking orders for ¼ and ½ beef packages of Alaska grass-fed beef. He also will have goat cheese. Other vendors include Alex Davis with chicken and duck eggs and Sleeping Lady Alaskan Foods (Wednesday only).
The Center Market is open Wednesday and Saturday outdoors at The Mall at Sears.
The Anchorage Farmers Market on 15th Avenue and Cordova Street will have some fresh Alaska items, including arugula and basil by Arctic Organics.
Sarah and River Bean of Arctic Organics should also have potatoes, along with plenty of vegetable and flower seedlings ready to plant. Tomato plants for growing outdoors and inside a greenhouse will also be available, along with a variety of hanging baskets and fertilizer.
The Beans also will have hardy apple trees available for $50 to $100. Varieties include Norland, oriole, parkland and Hyers.
The Persistent Farmer will be at the market with a selection of dahlia starts, potatoes for both planting and eating, tomato starts and ferns.
Other vendors include: Bushes Bunches, Seldovitsch Farm, Matanuska Creamery, Floriponics, Arctic Sun Gardening perennials, ACAT compost tea, Fees Seafood and Turkey Red Cafe baked goods.
At the Spenard Farmers Market, they are back for their second week.
One of the highlights is Marshmelanies returning to the market with gourmet marshmallows including flavors like strawberry lemonade and dirty iceberg. Also in the "sweets aisle" will be Antonio's Greek Bakery with baklava.
And the market will play host to many growers this weekend, including: Frank Wendling's Alaska chocolate lilies, raspberry bushes grown by the Bautista family and Alaska-harvested seeds offered by Foundroot.
Summer eating and reading
If you devour food literature like you devour food, the James Beard Foundation has the perfect summer reading list for you.
"Fourteen Great Reads for Food Lovers" is a collected list of memoirs, history, and fiction for foodies to dive into during the 14 weeks between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Selected by an array of culinary experts from the James Beard Foundation Book Awards Committee, this essential list was inspired by the popularity of the Book Committee's 2010 "The Baker's Dozen" list, a compilation of 13 essential baking books that spanned almost four decades, from 1973 to 2010.
"Great food writing springs from so many different sources and we want to make people aware of just how many terrific choices that gives them for summer reading," says Matt Sartwell, chair of the James Beard Foundation Book Awards Committee, in a press release. "We include memoirs, plenty of wry humor, a good dose of natural history, and a shot of exuberant fiction, turning to writers who are as current as Gabrielle Hamilton, or as venerated as A.J. Liebling and M.F.K. Fisher."
All of the titles were selected by the James Beard Foundation Book Awards Committee, a group of seasoned culinary publishing professionals who have been writing, editing, reviewing, buying and selling cookbooks for decades.
Here is the list of Fourteen Great Reads for Food Lovers: 1) "The Art of Eating" by M. F. K. Fisher (John Wiley & Sons); 2) "Between Meals: An Appetite for Paris" by A.J. Liebling (North Point Press); 3) "Blood, Bones & Butter" by Gabrielle Hamilton (Random House); 4) "Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War" by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press); 5) "A Debt to Pleasure" by John Lanchester (Picador); 6) "An Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace" by Tamar Adler (Scribner); 7) "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food" by Jennifer Lee (Twelve); 8) "Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany" by Bill Buford (Vintage); 9) "Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen" by Laurie Colwin (Vintage); 10) "The Man Who Ate Everything" by Jeffrey Steingarten (Vintage); 11) "Oranges" by John McPhee (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); 12) "The Oysters of Locmariaquer" by Eleanor Clark (Ecco Press); 13) "Simple Cooking" by John Thorne (North Point Press); and 14) "The Tummy Trilogy" by Calvin Trillin (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux)
For further information on the James Beard Foundation and its Beard on Books and Enlightened Eaters literary series, go to jamesbeard.org/education.
Steve Edwards lives and writes in Anchorage. If you have a suggestion for a future Market Fresh column, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local farmers markets
Wednesday: Center Market, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street
Friday: Palmer Friday Fling, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Pavilion across from Visitor’s Center
Saturday: Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 15th and Cordova in the Central Lutheran Church parking lot; Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets; Center Market, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., The Mall at Sears, Benson Boulevard and Denali Street; South Anchorage Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Subway/Cellular One Sports Center at the corner of Old Seward Highway and O’Malley Road; Spenard Farmers Market, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Spenard Road and 26th Avenue
Sunday: Anchorage Market and Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Third Avenue between C and E streets