Even after visiting Seattle for years, Pike Place Market is still one of my first stops when I get into town. I'm convinced that you can find anything there if you look hard enough: dried mushrooms for risotto tonight, that weird spice no one else has heard of, a cookie to revive your weary soul. It's a magical place. In this new book of recipes, tips, and stories, Jess Thomson has perfectly captured both this magic and the very spirit of Pike Place Market. What's your story of Pike Place Market?The first time I visited Pike Place Market, I was fresh out of college and barely knew how to cook a pot of rice. The market was overwhelming to me and I walked around in a wide-eyed daze. At every twisty turn, someone was offering me a sample of soup or encouraging me to try the strawberries that day or gesturing me into their spice shop.
But, and I'm not kidding here, I can trace some of my first culinary stirrings back to that inaugural visit to Pike Place Market. I had no idea that food could be like this: something vibrant and alive and exciting. What really overwhelmed me on that first visit wasn't so much the market, but the possibilities that I never knew existed before.
What about you? What are your memories of Pike Place Market?
• Who wrote it: Jess Thomson
• Who published it: Sasquatch Books
• Number of recipes: 130 recipes from Pike Place Market vendors and using their ingredients
• Recipes for right now: Spiced Apricot Tarte Tatin, Braised Baby Back Ribs with Chipotle-Cherry Sauce, Sauteed Crab Legs with Chili-Ginger Butter, Fran's Gold Bar Brownies
• Other highlights: I love the organization of this book, which feels like walking through the market. There's a chapter on seafood "From the Sound," another of baked treats "From the Oven," and even one "From the Shops" which highlights ingredients like cheese, spices, and honey that are sold.
There's no denying it, Pike Place Market simply is overwhelming the first time (and next dozen times) you visit. What Jess has done in this book is to break the market into its component pieces and then feed them to us in a steady and approachable diet. And she somehow does this without taking away from that feeling of frenetic energy that is at the very core of the market.
I should also note that the beauty here is that you can love and use this book no matter where you live and even if you've only read about Pike Place in travel guides — it's like Pike Place Market To-Go.
• Who would enjoy this book? Seattelites, visitors to Seattle, anyone who has ever felt overwhelmed when visiting a farmers market.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Pike Place Market Recipes by Jess Thomson
• Visit Jess's website: Hogwash
• See Jess's guest post at The Kitchn: Religious Freedom: And a Recipe for Sufganiyot
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)