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Spring Market Report

<em>Cléry</em> strawberries are on sale at a market in Paris. Strawberries take over the city's outdoor markets — and one woman's memory — in May.
Adeline Sire for NPR
Cléry strawberries are on sale at a market in Paris. Strawberries take over the city's outdoor markets — and one woman's memory — in May.

Springtime is in full flood these days and our farmers markets around the state are chock full of wonderful things to bring home to your kitchen. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, this is a great time of the year to take

your market basket... or your reusable plastic bag... and load up with some great food.

We all go shopping for our family, so shouldn't that include our dogs? Liberty Delight Farm, specialists in beef and pork, make sensational dog treats. They have pig ears, big ole cow bones and, uhm, beef heart chewies.

For more conventional shopping, stop by Knopp's Green House stand for

button mushrooms, the season's first strawberries, crisp stalks of asparagus and beautiful green beans.

Eden Farms has fresh ginger root, sprouts and more mushrooms. Sound like a stir-fry, doesn't it?

Bartenfelder's Farm is showing two styles of kale, along with fresh mature spinach, bunches of celery and orange beets.

The Martin Family Farm are renowned for their herbs, and boy do they have them: sage, thyme, rosemary, 3 kinds of parsley and fragrant mint.

Billy Caulk at Pine Grove Farm has fine spring onions, big white garlic bulbs, turnips, snow peas, yellow and green squash, and the first rhubarb of the season.

You can pick up hydroponic lettuce at Living Lettuce, hand-made pasta at B-More Pasta, and succulent micro-greens at San Giovanni's Market Garden.

Barbie at Uptown Bakers always arrives with a load of oven-fresh breads, rolls, pastries and now even bagels.

One of the best-smelling stands is King Mushrooms, where they are always cooking up something on the grill. I counted 7 different kinds of mushrooms, including the always popular morel, which should be around for a couple more weeks.

The growers from Black Rock and Reid's Orchard still have a good supply of last fall's apples, which they have been carefully preserving at their farms. It's a good time to try a few new varieties like Ambrosia, Black Arkansas, Braeburn, and Stayman, which are perfect for making apple pies.

Pahl's Hogs, which of course specialize in pork, also has a wide assortment of potted flowers and herbs all ready for transplanting.

Broom's Bloom Farm has leg of lamb, ground lamb, turkey drumsticks and about 8 different kinds of sausage.

And our friend Cinda Sebastian of Gardner's Gourmet has not only her legendary mesclun mix, but fresh sorrel for the next few weeks. If you haven't tried making sorrel soup, you ought to give it a try.

Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.