Sunday, November 17, 2013

Markets and Mushrooms in Amsterdam (no not that kind!)

 Saturday mornings in Amsterdam there's an organic farmers market at the Noordermarkt on the west side of town. I've found quite a decent selection of organic and free range in the local food shops and supermarkets but it's not the same as a farmers market and we hadn't hit an organic market till this weekend.
Of course one must bike to the market.
Saturday mornings are nice and quiet.

Till you hit the market. You know your there because you can hear the music as you arrive.

There's meat, cheese and bread but also chocolates, teas and legumes.
 And a whole stall full of mushrooms, not the kind you get further in town, the kind you can feed to your kids.
Oh yes,  a nirvana of culinary mushrooms. It took me a while to take in the varieties and the huge quantities! The delicious smell of frying mushrooms and garlic from the stall's hotplate was amazing.

I settled on some miniature Japanese mushrooms and a hunk from the huge wild Dutch Eikhaas (that's just one and a few bits in that basket). Admittedly my family isn't quite as curious as I am when it comes to mushrooms but they are good sports, my last adventures with mushrooms had me trying a suspected morel from my backyard. This was it- a stunning mother of a morel;

I did a lot of surfing and looking and brought it to the local mushroom vendor at my old nearby market before I tried it.  I survived. I didn't feed it to my family of course. But I didn't see dancing  purple elephants or end up sick either. 

The mushrooms from the vendor at the market are quite safe I figure and a joy to find. My family is going to have to deal with future fungi experiments showing up at the dinner table - I will be trying a great many more of these babies in the months to come.

So what did I do with the mushrooms? I sauteed them with garlic, Spanish paprika and a splash of wine and serves with Irish grass fed bifstuk, mashed potatoes and fresh organic green beans also from the market. Not everyone loved the mushrooms but that's ok. Maybe next time!

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