Saturday, August 21, 2010

Seattle Food Tour Stop 7: Fresh Fruit

Taste Pike Place Food Tour with Seattle Food Tours

We weren't originally supposed to get fruit from this stand because I think the place from which the tour guide usually distributes samples was gone for the day. Instead, we went here (right outside of the indoor part of Pike Place Market) and ate a few pieces of fresh peaches (SO good!) and raspberries (good...but nothing special). By the way, the outdoor part of Pike Place is set up like a farmer's market...only imagine uncomfortably large crowds (assuming you come at the wrong time; the best time apparently is early in the morning when the tourists haven't yet arrived) walking all over the place (in the market, outside the market building, in the bathrooms, along the street, outside and inside the stores across the street from the indoor market section, and in the scenic area next to the water). Speaking of water, one of our guides cleared up a common misconception: Seattle is about 90-100 miles away from the ocean. Doesn't seem as though it'd be that far with all of the other types of water nearby. And about those Pike Place bathrooms. There are wayyy too few. There's a big building next to the main fruit area that doesn't have a single restroom available to customers, so you have to go back to that main fruit/other products area indoors (by the fish, jams, cheese, etc.).

Another random fact from the tour: Before the Japanese Americans were booted off to internment camps, four out of five farmers at Pike Place were of Japanese descent. Today there are zero in business there. Japanese before the war also distinguished themselves from other farmer vendors by stacking up their fruit neatly. Our food tour guide really likes Japanese people and food, as we later discovered. He wasn't just trying to appeal to the one Japanese family in the group. :P He also mentioned that a lot of the people who sell fresh flowers at the market are Hmong, which was funny because he had to explain to the group who the Hmong are (if you're not from my hometown or the midwest, you might not have ever heard of a Hmong before). Before I went to Berkeley, I had no idea that a lot of people aren't familiar with this cultural group.

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