Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Accordions and Currants

At the Green City Market a little after 7 am today.  This is by far the earliest I have ever been here.  Very mellow this early.  This vibe was only heightened by....
...the soothing sounds of the accordion.  There is a bounty of foodstuffs when you get to the market this early and I vowed to always be this early (probably not gonna happen).  There are cherries and blueberries everywhere.  I even still see some strawberries.  I didn't know what to do until I bumped into a friend in the form of Chicago Chef extraordinare Troy Graves...
This picture was actually taken at the market.

Anyway, Troy had already been there for a second and scooped up provisions for Montarra, the restaurant he helms up in Algonquin.  He's showing me squash blossoms, asparagus and...currants.
These black currants come from Nichols farm.  There is a reason why we don't see black currants all over this country of ours.  They ain't from here.  black currants hail from England and only fairly recently are great farms like Nichols introducing us to them.  In England black currant jam on crumpets is a staple.  After a little research I learned that an even bigger staple is black currant cordial where you reduced the currants with water and sugar.  Not only is this tasty but packed with vitamins and antioxidants.  As I learned online, English school children were practically raised on this stuff.  Apparently the only thing black currant cordial doesn't provide a growing body is Flouride.....Ziiiinngg!

I have always read about how much British bartenders love the cordials in cocktails and I plan to make my own.  I also scooped up some slightly less intense but beautiful red currants for garnish.

Here we go Wednesday double.  Check back tomorrow for my black currant cocktail.  Or don't.

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