Updated 2009-03-15 21:15:08 ID=341:3

© 2009 The Romantic Table
©2009 The Romantic Table, Fresh Oysters from Morro Bay Oyster Company 2009-03-15 21:05:07:131
©2009 The Romantic Table

Fresh Oysters from Morro Bay Oyster Company

Farmers Market Report March 14, 2009

Though we didn't have much time for shopping, we were able to buy our Easter dinner meat and made a new "find:" Oysters!

We didn't get to the Templeton Farmers Market until about ten, but we were able to find a good parking place and see all of our "regulars."

We went first to Olde Port Fisheries where there was no waiting and bought some Bay shrimp for Saturday's dinner of Shrimp Tacos.

Just next to Olde Port's booth, we discovered a new vendor: Morro Bay Oyster Company with fresh, organically farmed oysters on its 134 acre farm in Morro Bay.

We talked with manager Neal Maloney who took over the running of the company in December. The company harvests 760,000 oysters a year. Morro Bay Oyster Company's parent company is Tamales Bay Oyster Company of the Bay Area.

©2009 The Romantic Table, Neal Maloney manager of Morro Bay Oyster Company 2009-03-15 21:04:44:132
©2009 The Romantic Table

Neal Maloney manager of Morro Bay Oyster Company
I asked Neal what was the best way to prepare oysters for eating. He told me that the most popular way of eating them is to eat them raw with a little lemon on them or to grill them. To grill the oysters, lay them flat side down on a high temperature grill. When they begin to relax their shell muscle -you will see a little liquid begin to flow along the edge, flip them then over. When the shell cracks opens, remove the top shell, then finish grilling them with a little Gorgonzola or Parmesan cheese melted on top.

When asked what is the best way to store the oysters. Neal said as long as they are kept under forty-five degrees (preferably on ice) they'll keep up to several days. He emphasized that they do better on ice and refrigerated rather than just refrigerated alone.

His Farmers Markets schedule is: alternate Saturday mornings between the Templeton Farmers Market and the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market, the Morrow Bay Farmers Market and San Luis Obispo Farmers Market on Thursdays, Cambria's Farmers Market on Friday, and Baywood Park's Farmers Market on Monday. Also, starting in April, Neal will be selling the oysters right off the dock in Morro Bay, so give him a call for specifics as it gets closer to then.

Just down from the Oyster booth was Charter Oak Style where we asked owner Debbie Payer if she had a rack of lamb. She did, we bought it and plan to make it Italian style for our Easter dinner. We can't wait for that!

We stopped at the Pure and Simple bread booth we bought a Ciabatta to eat at Saturday's dinner with some freshly bottled Tuscali Oil Company Extra-virgin Olive oil. We can't wait to try this year's crop.

Just down from that booth, we passed by Oak Hill Mushrooms booth where we saw a few new varieties of wild mushrooms for sale. When we have more time, we'll have to buy some of the new varieties and have Fusilli with Wild Mushrooms. It's been many months since we've had that! That's something to look forward to!

We passed by Mike Broadhurst's Dragon Spring Farm where we noted that he has some good-looking grapefruit varieties for sale in addition to his farm-grown and made preserves.

Down from him, at Stolleys Honey Booth, we were disappointed to learn that there had not been enough bee-hive activity this year to produce the Eucalyptus honey that we had been waiting for. But Carlos said that they're expecting some Sage honey soon. That should be an unusual flavor to try!

Passing by the Bautista Farm booth we noted lots of fresh greens, beets and kohl crops for sale.

As we walked passed NPO Organic Pistachios booth we saw Donna busy with several shoppers.

And then finally at Sunrise Desert Tropical booth, we said hello to Gary Billington and noted that his dates and desert tropical flowers looked good as usual.

Well, it had been a quick shopping trip, but we accomplished what we needed to do. Next week we'll plan on buying some of the other things that we saw.

Hope to see you next week too!

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A tip from Sue!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds!

Save those Parmesan cheese rinds when you get through with a brick of Parmesan cheese! They can be used to flavor soups deliciously. Store them in the freezer in a plastic bag, and use as needed.

The Parmesan rinds give unbelievable flavor and soul to soups and will turn a bowl of soup into an "entree" worthy of any guest. I generally use about two ounces of Parmesan cheese rinds to a stockpot of soup. Add them in after you've added the liquid and let them cook along with the rest of your soup's ingredients. You won't be sorry!

read more:
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup with Parmesan Cheese Rind