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The Market at River Falls | 301-765-8001
10124 River Road Potomac, MD 20854
10-7 Monday through Saturday, 11-7 on Sunday.

Jim McWhorter – Potomac Living, October 2020

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people are taking a more active interest in their health. This is manifesting itself in the following ways – greater focus on weight loss, regular exercise, reduced alcohol and/or tobacco intake, engagement in mindfulness or meditation, and of course, more consciousness around the food one eats.

Regarding the latter, there are two steps to which everyone can easily subscribe. First, reduce processed foods in your diet and, second, become familiar with the market where you buy your fish, seafood and meats.

If food comes in a box, a can, or the grocer’s freezer case, read the ingredients – typically, there is a list of unintelligible multi-syllabic words. If that’s the case, set it back down. Almost any food prepared from fresh ingredients (even pizza!) is intrinsically better for your health than “food” with added chemicals such as flavorings, stabilizers or preservatives.

Create a relationship with your butcher and fishmonger. Ask where the fish is sourced. Ask if it is wild or farmed – there are numerous clean fish farms out there now. Ask whether it is fresh or has ever been frozen. Just like fruits and vegetables, many fish are seasonal. Become educated and buy the fish that is in season, as it will likely be fresher and more affordable.

By far, the majority of shellfish (crabmeat and shrimp) comes from the Far East – China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia or the Philippines. Who would argue that it makes more sense to source your shellfish from this hemisphere where you don’t have to worry about the quality of the water, the processing methods, or supporting abusive child labor practices? Make a habit of asking where your shrimp and crabmeat are sourced.

A relationship with your butcher is perhaps even more important. Ninety-nine percent of the beef and pork raised in this country comes from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. As part of this process, the adult animals are packed together in enclosed spaces, fed a variety of grains – which they wouldn’t eat in nature – and administered growth hormones and antibiotics.

Also, be wary when buying beef labeled ‘grass-fed’. All cattle are grass-fed in their youth, until they are shipped off to the feedlots to be fattened up. Unfortunately, for the consumer, few retailers make this distinction and the use of the word grass-fed is widely abused. As is the case with ‘free range’ chicken.

Chickens are by nature flocking animals and the words free range mean little to nothing. Confined to small spaces inside barns, which can contain 100,000 birds, they are allowed access to a number of doors leading outdoors. Taken literally, they are “free to range”. The problem is they don’t. They take a few steps outside the barn, feel uncomfortable with being alone, and run back inside to be with the others. Look for ‘pasture raised’ instead.  As we navigate these times, take these two easy steps to help improve your health and that of your family for the long term.

The Latest Market and Coronavirus News

We are less than a week away from the end of our annual July sale which features Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Wild Alaskan Halibut and Jumbo New England Scallops – all discounted by roughly 33%.

The reception has been overwhelming and some customers have asked how we can sell seafood of such quality at such a reduced price.

The answer to that question is that in years past we would need to negotiate with our suppliers starting in March and guarantee them extra volume in exchange for a good price. This year, they are calling us. With restaurants running, at best, at 50% capacity, there is plenty of product available and it needs to be sold. Please come in and take advantage!

Speaking of sales, mark your calendars on 8/25, 8/26 and 8/27 when we run our end of summer CRAB CAKE SALE. Prices for crab cakes will be reduced to $8.25, $8.26, and $8.27 each as opposed to the regular price of $12.99. There is no purchase limit, and yes, they do freeze well.

We have had enough inquiries about Maryland Jumbo Lump crabmeat that it’s worth explaining the situation. The crab population in the Chesapeake is good and watermen are catching plenty of hard shell and soft-shell crabs. Prices are slightly higher this year, but the quality has been outstanding. Crabmeat is another story. The challenge with crabmeat is that there are few people available to pick the crabs. Seasonally, migrants from Mexico are allowed into the U.S. to pick the crabs. Our understanding is that, this year, the government did not issue enough visas. The onset of the virus and the ensuing travel restrictions also played a part.

Additionally, even if migrant workers were able to get here, it’s very difficult to socially distance while picking crabs. Furthermore, most of the pickers are housed in large open dormitories, where the virus could spread in no time. So as not to repeat the scenarios in meatpacking plants earlier this year, the decision was made to limit picking in favor of maintaining people’s health. While we always try to have Maryland Jumbo Lump in stock, we are asking you to be a little flexible as sometimes we can only get crabmeat from Virginia, North Carolina or the Gulf of Mexico. This situation won’t resolve itself this year, but at least there should be a healthy population of crabs in the bay going forward.

As we try to create a new “normal” in Potomac, we would like to advise you of a number of protocols which we intend to keep in place long after this crisis moves on.

  1. We believe that home delivery and curbside pickup are here to stay. You are all busy, and we are happy to accommodate your needs. If you are short on time just order online or order over the phone and we will deliver your order ($75 minimum) or bring it out to your car (no minimum).
  2. We will fastidiously wash our hands and use hand sanitizer. As much as we would like to continue the practice of gloves, once the threat of the pandemic is mitigated, we feel it makes better sense for the planet to eliminate the practice. Too much plastic waste!
  3. We will keep the wiping and sanitizing of common touch points in place long after the virus is gone. While we have never had any sanitation issues with the health department – we just passed inspection this week with flying colors – we are now accustomed to obsessively cleaning with hospital grade sanitizer, which will continue.
  4. We still check the temperature of every staff member daily and will continue the practice into the future. There are a lot of us, and a lot of you, and it makes sense to ensure that no flu, severe cold or any other fever causing illness enters our workspace – at least not from our end.

We are still feeding the health care providers at Suburban Hospital and first responders at the five local fire stations, albeit on a reduced schedule. The kitchens in the fire stations had been closed over the past few months due to Covid-19, so outsourcing meals was critical to them. They recently reached out and told us they now have access to their kitchens, so we could stop the deliveries. We told them we would like to continue on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future and they were delighted. We want to thank all of you who have helped make this possible. If would like to help with the continued effort, you may do so HERE.

We have been fortunate to have hired five part-time staff members over the past year – all local high school students – Lia, Nikka, Claire, Sebastian and David. We have enjoyed having them behind the counter and appreciate their service. Frankly, we could not have handled the surge in business over the past few months without them. Sadly, for us they will be leaving soon to go off to college, and we wish them all the best of luck.

As a result of their departure, we are in need of one full-time staffer and possibly one part-timer as well. We pay well above the county minimum wage, offer vacation pay and health insurance and provide a fun, safe place to work. Previous food experience is helpful but not a requirement. If you know of anyone who is looking for work and might be a good fit for us, please send them our way!

Finally, we’d like to share a moment which was very special to our customer service rep, Lia Papageorge. Lia, a senior at Winston Churchill High School, was the captain of the Churchill’s women’s basketball team this year, which made it all the way to the state semifinals before the season was terminated. Ted Leonsis, Market customer and owner of the Wizards and Capitals, was kind enough to spend a few minutes with Lia last week and urged her to follow her passion as she heads to the University of Michigan in the fall. Congratulations, Lia!

Summer Seafood

When the dog days of summer arrive here in Maryland, the heat is on! It’s only natural to want to eat lighter and spend less time thinking about cooking during the summer months. Grilling, salads, and refreshing beverages come to mind when we think about what to have for dinner.

Seafood is one of the easiest and most versatile proteins you can prepare at home. There are so many types of seafood out there that it’s fun to try new things. Think seafood stew, fish tacos, grilled fish, blackened fish, shrimp kebabs, shellfish like clams & mussels, scallops and lobster. Not to mention the light, flaky fish like cod, tilapia, haddock or the meatier, richer fish like salmon, trout, seabass and swordfish. It’s important to know how to buy fish and understand what you are getting. Our fish monger, Junior is always happy to make a suggestion and tell you what just came off the boats. We pride ourselves on our great selection of the freshest seafood delivered to us daily for you to create satisfying and healthy seafood meals at home. We will be happy to make wine pairing suggestions for your seafood dinner as well!

If you need some fun ideas, we’ve included a few of our favorite summer seafood recipes here. They are all light, really easy to prepare and delish!

Fish Tacos-

https://www.skinnytaste.com/cod-fish-tacos/

Grilled Swordfish-

https://thestayathomechef.com/grilled-swordfish/

Mussels-

https://www.dishofftheblock.com/Recipes/MUSSELMANIA

Shrimp Ceviche-

https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/shrimp-ceviche/

Cod with Fresh Tomatoes-

https://www.emp180weightloss.com/cherry-tomato-cod/

Steamed Clams-

https://whatsgabycooking.com/steamed-clams-with-garlic-and-chives/

Lobster Rolls-

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a28510797/best-lobster-roll-recipe/

After you try these recipes, let us know which was your favorite!

Photo: What’s Gaby Cooking| Gaby Dalkin

Earth Day 50th Anniversary

Potomac Market Earth Day 50th AnniversaryThis year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Earth day was founded by Gaylord Nelson who was a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin. Having witnessed the destruction of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA in 1969, he came up with the idea for a national day to focus on the environment.

‘On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans (10% of the total population of the United States at that time) took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.’ (source: earthday.org)

That marked the beginning of a global movement to fight for a clean environment and provoke policy changes.

All of us at The Market are deeply concerned about the environment and we want to help where we can. So, we got to thinking…what can we do to help in a small way each day?

Each month we purchase windmill offsets so that 1500 kw of clean electricity is produced and returned to the grid.

We know that the accumulation of plastic waste is a major problem on land and in our oceans killing millions of marine animals each year.

We are now offering compostable food containers instead of plastic and some of the plastic we do use is plant based.

In a commitment to honor Earth Day and to help protect our planet we are taking some small steps. We feel that it’s our responsibility to do our part and we hope you’ll join us!

Beginning April 1, we will pay you to help us save the planet!

-BYOB (bag) or choose not to use a bag and we will pay you 10 cents.

-Bring back one of our plastic food containers which allows us to reuse it and we will pay you 20 cents.

Watch how fast those feel-good coins add up!

Will a small, neighborhood Market in Potomac, Maryland change the world? Maybe not, but together with your help, we hope we can make a difference.

History of Earth Day

1970 The first Earth Day mobilizes 20 million Americans to call for increased protections for our planet.

1990 Earth Day goes global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries.

2000 Earth Day leverages the power of digital media to build millions of local conversations across more than 180 countries.

2010 Earth Day Network launches A Billion Acts of Green® and The Canopy Project. Earth Day 2010 engages 75,000 global partners in 192 countries.

2020 Earth Day will mark 50 years with global activations that aim to mobilize a billion people worldwide for transformative action for our planet.

Source: earthday.org

#recycle #sustainable #earthday

Grains Are Good!

Potomac Market River Falls Grain Bowl BarWhat’s new at the Market? Our new Grain Bowl Bar!

Think Poke Bar, but with a variety of warm vegetables and proteins piled high on your favorite healthy grain and finished off with a sprinkle of this and a drizzle of that. Just what you’re craving during the winter months and beyond. And don’t worry, our Poke Bar isn’t going anywhere!

Building on the popularity of our Poke Bar and the trend of customizable, healthy bowl meals, we realized that we were uniquely poised to deliver the type of meals you are hungry for. With a new display case in place (look for it in the self-serve soup area), we set out to fill it with favorites from the kitchen that represent a variety of flavors, colors and textures. Offering such a wide assortment that one day your Grain Bowl can lean Mexican (with quinoa, grilled chicken, grilled vegetables, cucumber, tomato, corn and chipotle vinaigrette), the next day Harvest (with farro, butternut squash, roasted beets, balsamic mushrooms, pickled onions, feta, shrimp and honey mustard dressing) and the day after that Asian (with brown rice, cauliflower rice, roasted sweet potato, shredded greens, edamame, chopped scallions, grilled salmon and carrot ginger dressing) . You get the picture? Let your imagination be your guide.

The Grain Bowl Bar will be self-serve and priced by weight. You are invited to enjoy as much or little as you like.

We expect to have it ready by February 1st and will surely make an announcement via Instagram, Facebook, e-blast and on our website so you don’t miss it. #RFgrainbowl

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Potomac Market River FallsThanksgiving dinner is probably the one meal so rooted in tradition we know exactly what we are going to eat and exactly how it is going to taste. Every year we look forward with familiar anticipation.

We all have our favorites… maybe for you, it’s that pile of mashed potatoes drenched in gravy… or a favorite recipe of stuffing… or the cranberry sauce (either fresh or from-the-can)… or maybe you’re the type who just looks forward to the turkey sandwich after the meal.

Whichever your favorite part of the meal is, have you ever wondered, “Did the Pilgrims really eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie?”

While not much is known about the actual meal shared in 1621 the answer is, not likely.

The pilgrims had access to an abundance of both wild game and rice so it is probably safe to assume that dinner included some kind of bird or ‘fowl’. Wild turkey may very well have been on the menu, but there was almost certainly goose and duck as well. In lieu of a ‘stuffing’, a wild rice dish might have been served alongside.

Records show quite a bit of seafood to have been included in early thanksgiving meals, including cod, bass, lobster, and oysters. One of the earliest printed recipes we could find was in the 1832 book, Cook’s Own Book, which instructed “Fill your chickens with young oysters cut small, truffles, parsley and spices, and roast them.” New England stuffing of that time tended to incorporate chestnuts, which often continues to this day, while a more Southern approach utilizes cornbread as the base, with pecans added.

We can trace the earliest stuffings back to some time between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD, to a chef by the name of Apicius from the Roman Empire, who wrote a cookbook titled De Re Coquinaria. It contained recipes for a variety of stuffed animals including hares, pigs and chickens. For the most part, the stuffing of this period consisted of a variety of vegetables, spices, nuts and herbs, as well as spelt and organ meat. It wasn’t called ‘stuffing’ at the time… in fact that word didn’t appear in print until about 1538. Prior to this, it was mostly referred to as ‘farce’ which came from the Latin farcire which meant ‘to stuff’. Much later, the word ‘stuffing’ was regarded as a bit too crass and it was referred to as ‘dressing’, a term still frequently used today.

Cranberries are a native North American fruit and are abundant in the Northeast. It is well known that the Native Americans ate them regularly and used them as a natural dye for clothing as well as for medicinal purposes. If the Pilgrims and the Native Americans ate cranberries at the first Thanksgiving feast it was likely a dish called “pemmican” which incorporates crushed cranberries and dried meat. Cranberry sauce as we know it today would not have existed, as sugar was not a widely available ingredient.

There would have been plenty of corn on the table and likely it was mashed into a porridge. And as much as they are now a Thanksgiving-table-staple, and most definitely a favorite, potatoes would not have been part of the original Thanksgiving Feast. Native to South America, potatoes are recorded to have made their way to Europe by around 1560, and were not an established crop in North America until 1719.

The Puritans likely did enjoy pumpkin, but since they had no access to wheat for flour, sugar, or butter, they would not have had pie. The first pumpkin pie wasn’t recorded until 1650. And whipped cream for pie? Not a chance!

So… Would you have enjoyed the 1621-version of the Thanksgiving meal?

While we all have our own secret family recipes, The Market can make your celebration a bit easier, offering up a delightful and delicious version of what has become the “traditional Thanksgiving Menu”.

We are open until 3:00 PM on Thanksgiving Day for you to come pick up your pre-ordered meal to enjoy with family & friends.

We are thankful for your loyalty & patronage.

 

Food for Thought, and for your Guests

Can yMarket River Falls Food for the Holidaysou believe there are only nine weekends left between now and January 1st ? We don’t know about you, but every year it feels like it gets shorter and shorter.

There’s still plenty of time to get everything done but those nine weeks WILL go by quickly. We want you to enjoy yourself, to savor the important moments and to let us help.

We know many of you will have family visiting from out of town and of course this is a perfect time of year to invite friends over for a little Holiday cheer. With Holiday parties on repeat, we’ve put together a list of suggested foods to help give you some inspiration.

 

Are you hosting a work party?

Why not go for an Italian food theme and serve a beautiful antipasto salad, an olive tapenade, a Caesar or fresh tomato & Mozzarella salad, our classic lasagna, eggplant parmesan or baked penne and our famous apple caramel nut pie?

A Secret Santa gift exchange for colleagues or friends?

It is always appreciated when someone offers a great cheese platter and we have several different options to please. We have an artisanal cheese sampler display with jams, fruit & nuts. We have a cheese & pate display served with crackers or a baguette, cornichons and whole grain mustard as well as a fruit and cheese display featuring seasonal fresh fruit.

A cookie decorating party for your kids and their friends?

Keep it kid friendly and serve our chicken tenders, macaroni & cheese, a fresh fruit platter and for the kids with more adventurous palates, our pad-thai and our beef or chicken satay are always a great option.

Maybe you’re on the PTA and you need to bring a platter to a school classroom or teacher appreciation event?

Everyone loves chips with salsa and guacamole, and you can even add a platter of our boneless buffalo chicken bites for something different and easy to eat.

Are you having an ugly sweater party or a tree trimming party?

Keep the food just as fun and spirited as the theme! Try our stuffed sweet potato skins, jumbo spiced peeled shrimp, stuffed mushrooms, Philly cheese steak egg rolls, mini crab-cakes, spinach & artichoke dip or our teriyaki fried rice with jumbo lump crab. 

Perhaps you are hosting a sit-down dinner party?

Your guests will surely enjoy our shrimp cocktail, roasted asparagus or sautéed baby spinach, saffron rice pilaf, poached or grilled Atlantic Salmon, or herb roasted beef tenderloin. Treat them to a Boston Cream or Key lime pie for dessert.

These items are all available on our regular catering menu year-round. You will also find many specialty items, and your favorite traditional seasonal offerings on our Holiday menus. In addition, we have a very well curated selection of bubbles, wines, and craft beer.

The next time you are planning a party or need to serve any sized group, please remember we are here to help make all of your occasions easy, special and most of all delicious!

Let us Do the Cooking

Market River Falls Holiday Menu 2019The Holidays are upon us. Making lists, making plans… this time of year is busy with traveling, shopping, entertaining. When we stop and think about what the Holidays mean to us, food always comes to mind.

Remember the days when Mom or Grandma spent all day in the kitchen baking pies? While some may have more free time than others, we know all of your time is valuable. We know you want to get out of the kitchen, enjoy yourself and spend that time with your family & friends.

The Holidays are filled with nostalgia and the need to create memory making moments. As fun and wonderful as that is, it can also feel like a lot of pressure. At the Market, we know the importance of these moments and we pride ourselves in offering delicious, healthy, traditional Holiday meals for you and your entire family. Let us take some of that pressure off of you.

Throughout the year we offer classic, custom catering menus for every occasion. Whether you’re planning an intimate dinner for two or a large party or event, we have you covered.

If you are thinking about keeping it simple with appetizers and small bites, consider our award winning mini-crab cakes, stuffed mushroom caps, shrimp cocktail, coconut shrimp or chicken satay as well as one of our many dips, spreads or a charcuterie display.

For a sit down or buffet style dinner you may want to enjoy a lasagna, an Atlantic salmon platter, an antipasto display, a beef tenderloin, our crab or shrimp fried rice or potatoes au gratin.

Of course, for Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah & The New Year you will find all of your traditional favorites along with some delightful additions.

We provide fully garnished, displayed foods on high quality disposable trays and bowls. Many of our selections can be served at room temperature or be easily re-heated as needed.

If you want to wear an apron for that Instagram picture go for it but let us do the cooking!

#cateredbyMarketatRiverFalls

Our Favorite Places To Pick Apples

Apple Picking Potomac Market River FallsIt’s that time of year again… The air changes, the leaves begin to turn, and there is a shift from the energy that was summer. Fall is here…time for sweaters and pumpkin spice and comfort food. Before we know it, the Holidays will be here!

But wait…Not so fast, right? It’s nice to slow down and take in all that September & October offer. The fall season conjures up all sorts of nostalgia for many people and these are great months for weekend outings with the family. Montgomery County is abundant with beautiful farm stands, orchards, scenic hikes and lovely vineyards all within a very short drive.

Apple picking (and eating) is a favorite thing to do this time of year. There are also great fresh vegetables, local honey and baked goodies available this time of year at many of the orchards where you can pick apples.

Plan an outing with your family & friends to one of these local places. Take lots of pictures, have fun and when you’re headed back from a full day of fun call ahead, order online or stop by The Market and we’ll have everything you need for dinner right here.

 

Some of our favorite places to pick apples:

Butler’s Orchard 22222 Davis Mill Rd, Germantown. 301-428-0444 butlersorchard.com

Homestead Farm 15604 Sugarland Rd, Poolesville. 301-977-3761 homestead-farm.net

Kingsbury’s Orchard 19415 Peachtree Rd, Dickerson. 301-972-8755 kingsburysorchard.com

Lewis Orchards 18901 Peach Tree Rd, Dickerson. 301-349-4101 lewisorchardfarmmarket.com

Straight Talk About Salmon

Salmon Market River Falls Potomac

 

Salmon is a perfect choice for dinner because it’s easy, delicious and versatile. It is rich in heart-healthy omega-3’s, low in saturated fat, low calorie and an important source of protein as part of a healthy diet.

 

There are distinct differences between farm-raised and wild caught salmon so it is important to understand what you’re eating. As a rule, farmed salmon is the most eco-friendly protein on the planet. That said, the practices of salmon farms vary greatly.

Wild Caught 

Wild caught salmon swims freely in its natural environment eating plankton and other animal proteins contributing to its richness in omega-3’s and making it heart healthy for us to eat. They are naturally pink because their diet consists largely of krill & shrimp.

We source our wild salmon from Alaska, Vancouver & the Seattle area during its peak season between May 15th through the end of September. Our very own fishing boat Captain at Paradigm Seafood (https://www.paradigmseafoods.com) sends the fish directly overnight from Alaska to Dulles airport where we pick it up a couple of times per week. That’s freshness guaranteed!

We primarily receive Sockeye & Coho salmon. When supply and luck collide, we receive King Salmon (aka the caviar of fish).

Farm-Raised 

Over 90% of the salmon eaten in the US today is farm-raised and globally that number is about 60%.

The two biggest producers of farm-raised salmon are Norway & Chile. While there are salmon farmers using safe practices, the vast majority of farm-raised salmon is not good for you. The fish are fed food made in a lab to help them grow quickly so they can be sold fast and cheap. The pens are densely packed with fish swimming in antibiotics, feces and de-lousing chemicals. To make them look pretty, they are being injected with dye that creates the rich pink color consumers have come to expect.

Do you really want to eat that or feed that to your family?

Our Promise

We have partnered with Nora Pouillon, a James Beard award-winning chef, restauranteur, and an organic industry leader in humanely-raised livestock practices who helped found Blue Circle Foods. (https://www.bluecirclefoods.com ) The only farm-raised salmon we carry here at the market year round is sourced through Blue Circle from Norway. Their promise and ours is that there are never antibiotics, never growth hormones, never GMOs, never synthetic pigments, and never mystery sources.

The food we serve to you is the same food we eat ourselves, feed to our children and grand-children!

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish like salmon every week. Even pregnant or breastfeeding women who were once discouraged from consuming too much of this seafood, have received an updated message from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to eat a minimum of two servings a week as well.