Reading Terminal is an enclosed historic public market. Located in Philadelphia at 12th and Arch Streets. Established in 1893, the market occupies the first floor and basement levels of Reading Terminals train shed. Reading Terminal is one of the oldest farmer's markets in the country with over 80 unique merchants in a food bazaar setting. Along with many Culinary treats, there are also Amish merchants from Lancaster County.
Reading Terminal has been a filming location for several movies including Trading Places, National Treasure, Blow Out and 12 Monkeys.
Reading Terminal is one of John and my favorite markets and in this post I will take you along with us in a photo essay during a shopping trip a few weeks back. I'll weave in a funny true story and leave you with a competing chef's challenge poem.
But first who won the Poe giveaway!
The blogger who won is Nana Diana! Congratulations Diana,
please email me your address and this is off to you.
The reflection in the window is of the Pennsylvania Convention Center directly across the street at 1101 Arch Street.
Walking into Reading Terminal is always exciting. It's where the worlds diverse foods and tastes await, where ethnicity and cultures combine on the plate.
Interesting spices and seasonings combine for a treat and leaves your appetite satisfied with the savory and sweet.
John and I turn our weekly food shopping into an adventure. Creating dinners is fun for me and I never plan out a menu in advance. Instead I buy the freshest of what's available and locally sourced if possible. I delight in the creativity of inventing on the spot recipes for our meals be it just us or for dinner guests.
Because we both believe ... Drive throughs that serve fast food in a wrapper, isn't really what your tastebuds are after!
We bought the two Red Snappers on the left, had then cleaned and filleted and it became our dinner that evening. Dried rubbed with Cajun spices and blackened. Red Snapper is a delicate flavored fish that can take on spicy seasonings. When cleaned the two fish equaled 1 pound.
Many, many years ago when my son was in his early teens I spent three weeks away in Chicago because of my work. I love Chicago, it is a splendidly beautiful city which I did get to enjoy sightseeing. It was the first time I was away more than a week from John and Chris. I'm a nurturer and I love to cook, to me it's just another artistic expression and a way to show people I care. So imagine being away worrying about them eating nutritiously. I figured the first week they would be eating Philly Cheesesteaks and Pork sandwiches every night for dinner ... But I also knew it would grow old quickly and John would eventually cook something out of necessity.
Every evening I would call, first I'd talk awhile with Chris, discuss his day, address any homework questions and ask him what he and John had for dinner. My suspicions were correct and on the 9th day the allure for takeout was over. The following night when I asked what they ate for dinner I was told John cooked Cajun. CAJUN ... I thought, I didn't even know John could cook!!! John and I love Cajun food, matter of fact we are regulars at an authentic Cajun restaurant that I swear inside you feel you're in New Orleans, so my reply to Cajun was - COOL.
Following evening, once again Chris told me John cooked Cajun for dinner .... I asked leftovers? Nope, Chris said, John cooked Cajun. Hmmm I thought, perhaps John was planning a surprise Cajun meal on my return and he was trying out recipes. Next night when I asked once again ... you know it, Chris's response was Cajun! Suddenly I knew Cajun was code for burnt! I asked Chris if the meal was blackened, he said as blackened as you can possibly make something! That evening Chris, John and I laughed ourselves silly over it and I knew just how much they were missing me and anxiously awaiting my return home making dinner requests for their favorite meals.
Even now after all those years when John is asked by friends if he cooks - his answer is always, YES, CAJUN! True story and John gave me the OK to share it.
A basket of cuteness
Turkey slab bacon, sliced chicken steaks and chicken cutlets came home with us from Godshall's Poultry.
For the past 30 years I haven't eaten Beef or Pork. But not for any other reason than I have difficulty digesting it and I become extremely tired afterwards. My system hasn't the enzymes it needs for digesting it. So I mostly eat things that swim and fly. But around 10 years ago I added Lamb into the mix, giving me my red meat fix. Lamb is the easiest meat to digest and in Italy they even serve it to small children and invalids!
At the Border Springs Lamb stand - pâté, ribs and ground meat for lamb burgers was purchased. It's USA raised lamb. But I will honestly admit I prefer Icelandic or New Zealand lamb over domestic.
Salumeria International Cheese in the terminal. Smile and say cheese.
We love cheese!
Picked up both Cow and Goat cheese and it was enjoyed by us and dinner guests that weekend.
At Lancaster County Farm Fresh - Canned foods, honey, jams anything you can name.
All things beeswax, check out those sweet pumpkin candles.
Iovine Brothers where we choose to shop. Locally grown and always the freshest veggies and fruits.
In the Bazaar setting you can even find fine French linens, Portuguese and Italian pottery too.
Roasted right on the premise, only the freshest coffee beans at Old City Coffee, Inc.
Always a stop for us.
We love Duck and this place won a "Best of Philly award".
A Creperie ...
Hey, here's what I say...
To awaken your palate of global culinary pleasure, experience dining adventures at your leisure!
Pearl's Oysters a weakness for John and I. Ever have an Oyster shooter? Pepper infused Vodka, hot sauce and a you guessed it an Oyster.
Love me a Po Boy ... pretty please!
Termini Brothers is a famous Philadelphia Italian Bakery. A third generation, 90 Year old Philly tradition. During the holidays we make a stop at their flag ship store at 1523 South 8th Street located in South Philly. There's always a line half way around the block and even entertainment during the holidays. Which usually is a guy playing the Accordion.
I have a suggestion to make ... in our busy active filled days ... Please nurture yourself, enjoy traditional cultural taste. Because to hurry a meal in haste is truly a waste.
I leave you with a poem I wrote - Nola versus Dan. Both John and I love watching Food Network's food challenges late Sunday night in bed ... Hey are there calories consumed just by looking at food??? Hope not, other wises we'd be in a whole lot of calorie laden trouble!
Awhile ago a fierce culinary battle of the states started on a very stormy day,
Competition in opposing cooking styles and palate tastes from states far away.
First competition matched lovely Nola from New Orleans, Louisiana,
up against ruggedly handsome Dan, from Big Sky - Montana.
Nola's a chef in the French Quarter and has a sexy southern drawl,
with her restaurant diners she would instantly charm and enthrall.
Nola's Praline confections are widely known to cause grown men to drool,
Dan owns a wild game steakhouse and decided he should just play it cool.
First challenge was Nola's Oyster shooters and popular savory blackened Cajun Red Fish,
Dan's signature drink the Montana Tornado was served with braised Bison short ribs as his dish.
The judges were expecting each one would prepare their prized recipes to win for their beloved state...
But judging a competition between a couple with sexual tension really turned into a huge debate.
Seems funny now it all came down to five judges who would determine their culinary fate ...
Each inventing creatively delicious offerings on each and every tasty, yet diverse plate.
But in the end it was Dan who won the highly desired red chef jacket in this battle.
Months later Nola flew out to visit Dan at his Montana ranch where he raises cattle.
Much in love, Nola agreed to stay in Montana and together they formed an unexpected union.
Together creating new dishes combining cajun & creole with wild game in a unique food fusion!