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New Foods: Maxwell Street Market
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  • New Foods: Maxwell Street Market

    Post #1 - October 15th, 2006, 7:27 pm
    Post #1 - October 15th, 2006, 7:27 pm Post #1 - October 15th, 2006, 7:27 pm
    New Foods: Maxwell Street Market

    Went to Maxwell Street Market today with waderoberts, Octarine et famille and some Columbia College students, who were very game to eat new stuff (they were actually on the hunt for sesos, which I don’t believe we found). I, however, had two food items I’d never had before.

    Jazzfood, ever adventurous, purchased a bag of fruits neither of us had ever seen before. We asked about the name, and what I heard was something like “sieula” (see-ooo-ay-la). The flavor was slightly sour, in a good way, and it bore some resemblance to lichee; the somewhat bitter skins were flecked with sugar. I should have grabbed a bag for myself.

    Image

    Then we had some sugary squash – it had a consistency somewhat like pumpkin, not surprisingly, and a major sweetness, as though soaked in molasses. Slices were sprinkled with squash seeds. JSM seem tentatively pleased by the flavor.

    Image

    In a non-food vein, and with the holiday season coming up, if you're looking for an excellent gift for those who love to eat, consider Control Man, a virile girdle for los caballeros.

    Image

    Sometimes I think of a Sunday visit to the Maxwell Street Market as my kind of church-going, just folks and food, sacred and profane.

    Image

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #2 - October 15th, 2006, 9:41 pm
    Post #2 - October 15th, 2006, 9:41 pm Post #2 - October 15th, 2006, 9:41 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    Jazzfood, ever adventurous, purchased a bag of fruits neither of us had ever seen before. We asked about the name, and what I heard was something like “sieula” (see-ooo-ay-la). The flavor was slightly sour, in a good way, and it bore some resemblance to lichee; the somewhat bitter skins were flecked with sugar. I should have grabbed a bag for myself.


    It's ciruela, in English "hog plum". RST has talked about these in tamales sold by the maroon van on Milwaukee Ave.

    Here's more on the fruit:
    http://toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_ ... S_PURPUREA

    Sounds like you guys had an excellent visit!
  • Post #3 - October 15th, 2006, 9:46 pm
    Post #3 - October 15th, 2006, 9:46 pm Post #3 - October 15th, 2006, 9:46 pm
    Amata wrote:It's ciruela, in English "hog plum".


    I figured you'd know, Amata. :D Thanks!

    I'm toying with the idea of returning next weekend for just the hog plums.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - October 16th, 2006, 7:18 am
    Post #4 - October 16th, 2006, 7:18 am Post #4 - October 16th, 2006, 7:18 am
    David Hammond wrote:Then we had some sugary squash – it had a consistency somewhat like pumpkin, not surprisingly, and a major sweetness, as though soaked in molasses. Slices were sprinkled with squash seeds. JSM seem tentatively pleased by the flavor.

    There is a recipe in this month's SAVEUR for something like this. According to the article, the sweetness comes from piloncillo, the brown sugar that comes in cones. No seed garnish in the SAVEUR version, though, unfortunately. You didn't say whether you liked it, David.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #5 - October 16th, 2006, 7:26 am
    Post #5 - October 16th, 2006, 7:26 am Post #5 - October 16th, 2006, 7:26 am
    Nice pics Hat!

    That stand with the plums and squash and the fan favorite empanada de rice pudding is one of my favorites. I tend to have to buy something because they are always giving me too much samples.

    They are generally located about 1/2 of the way south from Roosevelt and typically near the vendor selling copper cookware and homemade cookies.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #6 - October 16th, 2006, 7:49 am
    Post #6 - October 16th, 2006, 7:49 am Post #6 - October 16th, 2006, 7:49 am
    Josephine wrote:No seed garnish in the SAVEUR version, though, unfortunately. You didn't say whether you liked it, David.

    It was one of those things I was very pleased to try (and I had a fairly big hunk, somewhat larger than a deck of cards), though it was very sweet and not likely to be something one could eat more than a fairly big hunk of.

    Vital Information wrote:That stand with the plums and squash and the fan favorite empanada de rice pudding is one of my favorites. I tend to have to buy something because they are always giving me too much samples.


    This stand, which does not seem to have a name, does offer an assortment of fruits/veg that seem not to be offered at many or any other stands at the market. The tall man there wins the award for surliest of vendors: when jazzfood and I went up to the ciruelas, I asked him, in Spanish, if they were little apples, and he said "No," and walked away (I detected a slight eyeroll). Maybe he gets a lot of questions like that from dumbass gringos, but fortunately the crowd around us started filling in our ignorance with comments like "they're just like plums," etc. I find fellow customers at the market to be quite forthcoming with information about the foods at this and other stands.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - October 16th, 2006, 7:53 am
    Post #7 - October 16th, 2006, 7:53 am Post #7 - October 16th, 2006, 7:53 am
    Are we talking the same stand? The one with the older woman making the elote (and the empanda de arroz)?

    I have never encountered anything close to surely there. Maybe he had not had a decent cup of coffe yesterday.

    Or we can be talking about different stands.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #8 - October 16th, 2006, 7:58 am
    Post #8 - October 16th, 2006, 7:58 am Post #8 - October 16th, 2006, 7:58 am
    Vital Information wrote:Are we talking the same stand? The one with the older woman making the elote (and the empanda de arroz)?

    I have never encountered anything close to surely there. Maybe he had not had a decent cup of coffe yesterday.


    Same place. I saw the rice empanadas (though not elotes) yesterday. I'm not saying this guy, or the market, is ever the same two Sundays in a row. :D

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #9 - October 16th, 2006, 8:17 am
    Post #9 - October 16th, 2006, 8:17 am Post #9 - October 16th, 2006, 8:17 am
    Hi,

    Speaking of the blue van, last February I went down there for my first ever sampling. Coincidentally I had the hog plum in a tamale:

    Hog Plum tamale:
    Image

    Plus a few other treats:

    Potato sopes with squash seeds and salsas.
    Image

    Ceviche
    Image

    While there was foods like soups in large thermos containers on the street, they also kept and assembled food in the van. The gentleman in this photo is picking his order.

    Blue van
    Image

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #10 - October 16th, 2006, 8:19 am
    Post #10 - October 16th, 2006, 8:19 am Post #10 - October 16th, 2006, 8:19 am
    Do you think sesos are on the outs because of fear of mad cow? The last time I tried to order them at a taqueria that they were out, despite being on the menu. I haven't had them since I was a kid, and want to get reaquainted.

    Some show on Food Network mentioned that in Indiana, they're using pig brains for their signature fried brain sandwich for this reason. I wonder if the suppliers just aren't offering them.

    Just curious if anyone else has noticed a shortage.
  • Post #11 - October 16th, 2006, 8:30 am
    Post #11 - October 16th, 2006, 8:30 am Post #11 - October 16th, 2006, 8:30 am
    Mhays wrote:Do you think sesos are on the outs because of fear of mad cow? The last time I tried to order them at a taqueria that they were out, despite being on the menu. I haven't had them since I was a kid, and want to get reaquainted.

    Some show on Food Network mentioned that in Indiana, they're using pig brains for their signature fried brain sandwich for this reason. I wonder if the suppliers just aren't offering them.

    Just curious if anyone else has noticed a shortage.


    I think we might have run into some on the 47th Street Athon, but I don't remember where for sure. Maybe it's in the linked thread.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #12 - October 16th, 2006, 8:39 am
    Post #12 - October 16th, 2006, 8:39 am Post #12 - October 16th, 2006, 8:39 am
    Mhays wrote:Some show on Food Network mentioned that in Indiana, they're using pig brains for their signature fried brain sandwich for this reason. I wonder if the suppliers just aren't offering them.


    It'll take more than a little Creutzfeld-Jakob to put fear between a hossier and his fried brain sandwich:

    http://www.hpj.com/archives/2004/feb04/Somewillmisseatingbrains.CFM

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #13 - October 16th, 2006, 8:40 am
    Post #13 - October 16th, 2006, 8:40 am Post #13 - October 16th, 2006, 8:40 am
    Hi,

    I think sesos are likely scarce for that reason. It could also be they are available, but to Mexican populations only who understand.

    You can imagine their reluctance, when they affirm then get any of the following:

    - "Eeeewwww! That's gross!"
    - "You have heard of mad cow disease? Really, there should be a law against this!"

    Just yesterday I was a Lao Sze Chuan with Gary and SteveZ. Our waitress kept assuring Gary the hot and spicy appetizers he was attempting to order, "You won't like. You don't want." "Yes, this is precisely what I want." It took several rounds of this before she was convinced we were interested and indeed planned to order. After she walked away, SteveZ estimate they had been taken to task by other American diners.

    Tank Noodle serves several types of bahn mi. All are translated except for the very first offering, which happens to be blood sausage. I will guess they don't want to get some people's feathers flying over nothing.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #14 - October 16th, 2006, 8:45 am
    Post #14 - October 16th, 2006, 8:45 am Post #14 - October 16th, 2006, 8:45 am
    Cathy2 wrote:After she walked away, SteveZ estimate they had been taken to task by other American diners.


    I think this kind of problem is what the Chowhound Translator was designed to overcome. I had only limited success with the device, but fundamentally I think it was a decent idea.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #15 - October 16th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Post #15 - October 16th, 2006, 8:59 am Post #15 - October 16th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Josephine wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Then we had some sugary squash – it had a consistency somewhat like pumpkin, not surprisingly, and a major sweetness, as though soaked in molasses. Slices were sprinkled with squash seeds. JSM seem tentatively pleased by the flavor.

    There is a recipe in this month's SAVEUR for something like this. According to the article, the sweetness comes from piloncillo, the brown sugar that comes in cones. No seed garnish in the SAVEUR version, though, unfortunately. You didn't say whether you liked it, David.


    Dulce de calabaza is one of the traditional foods for dia de los muertos, not surprisingly.

    For those interested in making it themselves, a recipe in English (with seeds) can be found about 3/4 of the way down the page in this link:
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load ... 30.html?18

    Best of all, the recipe giver adds a link to a photo slideshow showing the whole cooking process.
  • Post #16 - October 16th, 2006, 9:49 am
    Post #16 - October 16th, 2006, 9:49 am Post #16 - October 16th, 2006, 9:49 am
    i was there a bit before the LTH crew (had to leave by 11, was running extremely late) and noticed a LOT of vendors carrying arroz con leche. obviously due to the cold(er) weather.

    the +1 mentioned it reminded her of rice pudding from her childhood. she, a chicago native, was a maxwell virgin and was blown away...
  • Post #17 - October 16th, 2006, 9:58 am
    Post #17 - October 16th, 2006, 9:58 am Post #17 - October 16th, 2006, 9:58 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Just yesterday I was a Lao Sze Chuan with Gary and SteveZ. Our waitress kept assuring Gary the hot and spicy appetizers he was attempting to order, "You won't like. You don't want." "Yes, this is precisely what I want." It took several rounds of this before she was convinced we were interested and indeed planned to order.


    The fact that we also ordered egg rolls probably didn't help matters at all. :twisted:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #18 - October 16th, 2006, 10:04 am
    Post #18 - October 16th, 2006, 10:04 am Post #18 - October 16th, 2006, 10:04 am
    HI,

    I believe the egg rolls were ordered after the spicy stuff.

    The egg rolls were ordered because Steve Dahl of WCKG had granted them 2nd best in the city status. If our egg rolls filled mostly with cabbage were second place, then I wonder how bad number 1 could be.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #19 - October 16th, 2006, 10:29 am
    Post #19 - October 16th, 2006, 10:29 am Post #19 - October 16th, 2006, 10:29 am
    Cathy, you finally made it to the Vans! Hope it was good. The coolers were probably full of the many varieties of atole. After all, the vans are primarily a breakfast stop -- tamales y atoles. Surely, you stopped by Marianao as well?
  • Post #20 - October 16th, 2006, 10:42 am
    Post #20 - October 16th, 2006, 10:42 am Post #20 - October 16th, 2006, 10:42 am
    JeffB wrote:Surely, you stopped by Marianao as well?


    Yes and it was about time! I was in there while someone got a coffee. I have to go back for a Cuban sandwich someday.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - October 16th, 2006, 10:43 am
    Post #21 - October 16th, 2006, 10:43 am Post #21 - October 16th, 2006, 10:43 am
    stevez wrote:The fact that we also ordered egg rolls probably didn't help matters at all. :twisted:

    Steve,

    As C2 said, the egg rolls were ordered substantially after the Beef and Maw Szechuan Style and Szechuan Spicy Rabbit. Anyway, I don't really see a difference.

    You were there, you don't think the waitress went way past the point of good natured feeling out the customer?

    For those interested I posted on our very good, with the one minor wrinkle, lunch at Lao Sze Chuan here

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - October 16th, 2006, 11:50 am
    Post #22 - October 16th, 2006, 11:50 am Post #22 - October 16th, 2006, 11:50 am
    G Wiv wrote:You were there, you don't think the waitress went way past the point of good natured feeling out the customer?


    Yes. I think the waitress was annoying and condescending. I was somewhat joking in my comment, but don't you think the egg roll order did little to bolster the small amount of cred we had established with the reluctant waitress?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - October 16th, 2006, 1:13 pm
    Post #23 - October 16th, 2006, 1:13 pm Post #23 - October 16th, 2006, 1:13 pm
    HI,

    Whatever she may have thought about the eggroll order, who cares.

    She had to be pleased we finished down to oily plate the Beef and Maw Szechuan Style and Szechuan Spicy Rabbit

    If they were really paying attention, then they had to be pleased how Gary talked up trying new food to the Grandfather and Grandson we met as we left. He was a great teacher in how to broaden your food horizons, though my interjecting Szechuan was spicy ever so slightly derailed the overall persuasive message.

    Great time yesterday in all respects.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - October 16th, 2006, 1:28 pm
    Post #24 - October 16th, 2006, 1:28 pm Post #24 - October 16th, 2006, 1:28 pm
    You know, it's interesting that this LSC discussion, which has become grafted onto the Maxwell Street discussion, also references slights we've sensed and other problems we've had with those who serve us.

    Are we just an overly sensitive coterie of effete and self-important snooty- pants dilettantes?

    I don't think so, no, but we must entertain the possibility that we may be perceived as such.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #25 - October 16th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    Post #25 - October 16th, 2006, 1:49 pm Post #25 - October 16th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    David Hammond wrote:Are we just an overly sensitive coterie of effete and self-important snooty- pants dilettantes?

    Hammond,

    I aspire to be a snooty- pants dilettante. :)

    Either way, the waitress at LSC was way up in my face, and I am understating. She, for whatever reason, was exhibiting tension, tangible, in both body language and the fact her face was quickly becoming so scrunched as to resemble a Halloween mask.

    Hey, it happens, not often, but it happens. My 'technique' is to ride it out with good natured humor, though that got me nowhere in this instance.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #26 - October 16th, 2006, 3:12 pm
    Post #26 - October 16th, 2006, 3:12 pm Post #26 - October 16th, 2006, 3:12 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:Are we just an overly sensitive coterie of effete and self-important snooty- pants dilettantes?

    Hammond,

    I aspire to be a snooty- pants dilettante. :)

    Either way, the waitress at LSC was way up in my face, and I am understating. She, for whatever reason, was exhibiting tension, tangible, in both body language and the fact her face was quickly becoming so scrunched as to resemble a Halloween mask.

    Hey, it happens, not often, but it happens. My 'technique' is to ride it out with good natured humor, though that got me nowhere in this instance.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    It was quite a site to see. The waitress was practically jumping up and down in her attempts to dissuade Gary from his order. It was way over the top and somewhat insulting after we made it clear that we understood exactly what we were ordering. Does that make me a dilettante or just a hungry guy who wants his waitress to take his order?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #27 - October 16th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    Post #27 - October 16th, 2006, 4:31 pm Post #27 - October 16th, 2006, 4:31 pm

    I had a little trouble with this link but better luck here:
      Some will miss eating brains
    EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP)--Fear of mad cow disease hasn't kept Cecelia Coan from eating her beloved deep-fried cow brain sandwiches.

    She's more concerned about what the cholesterol will do to her heart than suffering the brain-wasting disease found in a cow in Washington state.

    "I think I'll have hardening of the arteries before I have mad cow disease," said Cecelia Coan, 40, picking up a brain sandwich to go at the Hilltop Inn during her lunch hour. "This is better than snail, better than sushi, better than a lot of different delicacies."

    The brains, battered with egg, seasoning and flour, puff up when cooked. They are served hot, heaping outside the bun.

    They are traced back to a time when southern Indiana newcomers from Germany and Holland wasted little. Some families have their own recipes passed down over the generations.

    A little mad cow hysteria won't scare this crowd, said Coan, a bank teller who likes her brain sandwich served with mustard and pickled onions.

    "You're going to die anyway. Either die happy or you die miserable. That's the German attitude, isn't it?" Coan said.
      (excerpt, 1/19/04)

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