I’m often asked by fellow Bay Area folks where we shop, since many of the recipes we make tend to involve hard-to-find items. Because we subscribe to Mariquita Farm’s CSA, most of our produce tend to come from them. We supplement our farm box with things from farmer’s markets, Asian markets, small local grocery stores like our favorite Haight Street Market, and the occasional trips to the big supermarkets.

For our meats, we either buy those at a place like Trader Joe’s or again, at Asian markets since we live near a cluster of them. We sometimes go in with friends on bulk meat purchases from places like Sierra Farms and are also members of the chicken CSA at Soul Food Farm.

For seafood, our favorite vendor is Sun Fat Seafood located in the Mission. They have more varieties of oysters than I’ve ever seen.

We buy spices in bags that last us many months. When we need to restock our supplies, we go to either an Indian grocery store (like Vik’s in Berkeley or Bombay Bazaar in the Mission when we’re feeling lazy about driving across the Bay) or one of the Latino markets on 24th street in the Mission like El Chico or Casa Lucas. We also love La Palma for their freshly ground masa, freshly rendered lard, and handmade tortillas.

In other news, it’s my personal goal to never let something go to waste (not that I succeed all the time though…) so I’m always on a quest to hunt down recipes for some ingredient that’s been hanging around too long. During such times, I find it very useful to be able to look up recipes by ingredients. Perhaps you are the same way?

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