In Good Taste

Market Tours Archives

Market Tours: Candyality, for your Sweet Tooth on Southport

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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There's something about candy that makes me think of childhood. It's ironic, because in my childhood, candy was, for the most part, for special occasions: Halloween, Easter, Christmas stockings.

There was a modern penny candy store in one of the local malls in my hometown that closed when I was in middle school; bin after bin of every type of confectionery treat you could possibly imagine.
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Market Tour: Nettelhorst French Market

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

Before I had even lived in Chicago I couldn't wait to get to the Green City Market. I moved here after Thanksgiving so the market was already closed and after getting lost on two attempts to find the indoor market over the winter, I gave up until two weeks ago when I vowed to finally go.

Two weeks ago, I slept in and didn't have time to go before the plans I had on Saturday afternoon. Last week, I took a Chicago Food Planet Food Tour (more about that later) and didn't want to lug my bag of produce all over Bucktown.

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Market Tour: Old Town Oil

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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When it comes to markets, I'm not easy to impress. Aside from the rare, spectacular Whole Foods Market I can never usually find everything I need under one roof.

Organic grocery stores don't usually stock the cheap-o canned and paper goods that I buy (who really needs to spend $3 on a can of black beans?) and my local Jewel doesn't have the produce selection that I can find at a farmer's market to supplement my weekly CSA share.

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Market Tour: Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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Since I moved to Chicago at the end of November, a lot of people ask me if I miss New York. The short answer is: no. I've been happier in Chicago than I ever was when I lived in New Jersey and commuted to my office in Times Square and later, Tribeca.

The long answer is: I miss living close enough to my family to visit for an afternoon, I miss the coffee shop around the corner from my morning bus stop and I miss the market across the street from my apartment building where I could run in the middle of cooking dinner if I realized I needed an ingredient; the round-trip could take under five minutes if there was no line.

While I can't replace my family in Chicago and there is a Starbucks on just about every corner in my neighborhood, I'm lucky to have Pastoral, albeit not directly across the street, but in walking distance from my apartment.

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Market Tour: The Spice House

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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I have a very dysfunctional kitchen. It's not dysfunctional in that my fridge is empty or the appliances don't operate, but the position of my oven is less than ideal.

There isn't much space, the lighting is poor and even though my apartment is starting to feel like a cozy, new home, I haven't acclimated to my kitchen. I've said before that cooking in a new kitchen is like having a new boyfriend. If that's the case, my kitchen and I are at that six-month stage, where you feel intimate but you're still questioning things. In my case, some of the questions sound like where did I put that vegetable peeler and which drawer is the aluminum foil in now?

There is, though, one thing I can count on: my spice cabinet. A long, skinny cabinet nestled in the corner between my oven and refrigerator is home to my many spices, powders and seasonings. Since I moved to Chicago, I've taken to stocking the cabinet with goods from my new favorite store, The Spice House.

Gallery sneak peek (7 images):

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Market Tour: A Peek Inside Half Acre Beer Company

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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Have you ever wondered how beer is brewed? To tell you the truth, it wasn't until recently that I gave it much thought. Until Saturday, when I spent the better part of the afternoon with three friends, hops, malt and barley. The Half Acre Beer Company in Northcenter offers free tours on Saturdays at 1:00pm.

Half Acre Beer Company began in October of 2006 when a group of friends, tired of their corporate careers, decided to embrace their love of beer and open a small batch brewery right smack inside Chicago city limits.

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

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Market Tour: Whole Foods Lincoln Park

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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When I moved to Chicago, I had visited two nearby grocery stores, a Treasure Island Foods and a Jewel-Osco before I even unpacked my clothes. 

To me, a good supermarket is the cornerstone of any neighborhood, like a well-stocked 24-hour pharmacy, a coffee shop where the baristas know both your name and favorite latte and a bar that you can visit on a Tuesday night for "just a few." To me, the grocery store is what a good shoe store is to other women: as essential as air, water or shelter. 

Gallery sneak peek (7 images):

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Spread the love at Southport Grocery Store: Cupcake Truffles

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Maris Callahan

Food and healthy living blogger; work in social media; moved from NYC to Chicago in November '09.

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Photo: TruffleTruffle.com

In some of my previous posts on this blog and my personal recipe blog I've talked a lot lately about healthy eating and exercise. What I haven't mentioned as explicitly is that part of the reason I like to eat  healthy and exercise is so that I can afford myself the occasional indulgence.

When I eat dessert, I want to really eat dessert. I'm not interested in low-fat cookies or sugar-free ice cream. When I indugle, I like to go for one-of-a-kind sweets..  

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