Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Taste-Testing at the Kenosha HarborMarket Pt. 2

Hey, everyone! I'm continuing where I left off in my previous post, detailing my wild taste-testing adventures at the Kenosha HarborMarket. Click here if you missed Part 1! Now, the wonderful world of fresh Wisconsin cuisine awaits!

Maybe you remember my small tidbit about Mia Famiglia during my trip to the indoors Kenosha HarborMarket this year. One of their items they really prided themselves on was their "Mama's Dressing," and this weekend I finally got to see how it tastes! I was given a small chunk of Italian bread to eat that was given a chance to absorb the tiny puddle of brownish dressing it sat in.
Mama's Dressing tasted a lot like a vinaigrette to me. So much in fact that I asked if I had been given a sample of Mia Famiglia's Vinaigrette Dressing instead. But no, apparently, this was indeed a sample of Mama's Dressing!
Not that I didn't like it. It just had a near identical taste to a vinaigrette. Maybe that was the whole point of the dressing, but I was expecting something different. It was like a fusion between a vinaigrette and an Italian dressing, actually. Bitter- a strong taste of vinegar, but at the same time has a slight salty tang. It was good, and I bet a lot of fancy dressing connoisseurs would appreciate Mama's Dressing,  but I'd be happier if you just handed me a bottle of ranch instead (As long as its fat-free!). That's just the way I am. But take it from me, Mama's Dressing is at least worth trying once.

While I was walking the market streets, I came upon Craine's Kettle Corn.
I was going to skip the stand altogether (I'm not a big popcorn fan, and I like kettle corn even less), but one women came up to me carrying a tray and asked me if I wanted a free sample. I reluctantly agreed. I suppose it comes with the job. You've gotta try foods you're not always so willing to try otherwise.
Craine's brand of kettle corn had a great balance of salty and sweet. Neither of the two tastes overshadowed the other one, which is always well-appreciated. The corn kernels were big and puffy, and each had a decent snap to them as I popped them into my mouth one by one. The popcorn only had a light coating of butter- not so much that you'd be gasping for some water to re-hydrate your dry tongue. Not so much that you'd be dying for an exercise booth to pop up nearby either!
For kettle corn, it was good stuff. I wouldn't buy a bag myself, but that's only due to my own personal taste preferences. But I'm sure Mama would eagerly enjoy some popcorn from Craine's. She loves kettle corn!

Now, I'm not sure what the name is of the vendor who made these beautiful baked goods, as I didn't see a sign anywhere, but doesn't everything look scrumptious nonetheless? Look at that big pile of sticky buns! I was given a small piece of one to sample. It was awesome! I got a lot of flavor for one little bit of bun. The crust was flaky like a fresh pastry, and was covered in a crunchy cinnamon-sugar coating. So sweet! And the awesome thing is, they're made with honey instead of sugar. Doesn't exactly make them "low calorie," but at least they're organic! This booth also offers fresh bread loaves, brownie squares with powdered sugar, and power scones (which also were being given out as samples as well).
P.S... Does anyone know what business this booth belongs to? It's just killing me here, talking about them like this while still having to refer to them as, well... "them."

Lu Austin Preserves serves up fiery-hot habanero jams! Well, they aren't literally fiery-hot. They're just like regular jellies and jams, expect they have a good and flavorful kick at the end. They're more on the sweet side, believe it or not! And the weird thing is, even though Lu Austin's preserves are made from spicy peppers like jalepenos and habaneros, most of their flavors are based off of sweet treats. I tested out the Carrot Cake Jam and the Chocolate Raspberry Jam. The Carrot Cake had a bit of a marmalade flavor, and the Chocolate Raspberry tasted more of berry than chocolate. But both jams provided a nice zing with their added spicy peppers!

Aren't these watermelon cookies cute? I love it when cookies are frosted to look like different foods or objects. I don't have the name of this stand either, but they offered plenty of different cookies, even gluten-free ones, which tasted surprisingly delicious! They were nothing short of a real cookie, in fact.
Nothing beats a good cookie. And when you're gluten-intolerant, they can be a bit hard to find. If you're avoiding gluten, maybe you should stop at the Kenosha HarborMarket sometime soon. You'll be surprised what kinds of products are available to you there.

Hey, the HarborMarket even has African cuisine. Neat! I got to sample a lovely juice drink from Immy's African Cuisine. It was a combination of different fruits like mangoes and oranges, but also included vegetables, like carrots.
Hmm... I thought the juice would taste all vegetable-y, like a V8 or something, but it was actually very sweet! It reminded me of Sunny D and the flavor of mango Popsicles mixed together. I'm sure all of the fruits and vegetables in the juice make for a total powerhouse of vitamins and minerals!

And sadly, that was all the time I had to look around that day! So now, our long excursion into the fresh foods of the Kenosha HarborMarket is over! But I'm confident I'll be back soon, hungry to see what other specialties are hiding in the downtown streets.

Questions? Comments? Perhaps you know of a booth at the HarborMarket that did not get mentioned here? Tell me about it! I'd love to visit next time I'm there!

Till' next time, this has been RiRi Ri-porting!

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