I wanted to post an entry about the Pike Place Market for those of you who may never have been there. This is for all the foodies out there who are also into wine.

I visited it before my trip through Oregon’s wine country and just never had time to post. Here are a few links to the really cool places I stopped, but there are many many more.

The Pike Place Market is easy walking from about anywhere in downtown Seattle. Going down there makes me want to live there with such a vibrant market of great, fresh products.

Coffee shops, pastry, flowers and fish just start the list of goodies. Some things I bought at some links:

Olive Oil: Sotto Voce sells wonderful handcrafted olive oils and flavored vinegars that are delicious. They import the olive oil from Italy and then season it and blend it to give it their own touch. I tasted three oils and a balsamic vinegar that were awesome.

Pasta: Pappardelle’s Fine Art of Pasta is a really fun place. They have pastas of all shapes, sizes and flavors you can imagine. I counted more than 40 flavors in just the flat-cut dried pasta flavors.

You can probably guess a good 10-15 of the typical flavers about how about: Chipotle Pepper, Dark Chocolate, Veracruz Black Bean, Whole Wheat Toasted Onion, Basil Tangerine, Lemon Ginger, Orange Szechuan, Sweet Potato, and many others.

I can’t wait to try the fruit and Italian blends I brought home.

Cherries: What would a Washington State market be without cherries? Chukar cherries has a big booth in the open market with all types of dried fruits and every imaginable thing you could do to a cherry.

The wonderful lady behind the county had me tasting all sorts of combinations. I bought some dried cranberries and some chocolate covered dried cherries.

The company is based out of Presser, Washington, but has a daily spot in the market.

Hazelnuts: Of course Washington and Oregon are both known for hazelnuts. The tasty nut is found on salads, crusted onto fish and used in all sorts of ways. Holmquist Hazelnuts is one of Washington’s best.

If you’ve never tasted a hazelnut fresh, then you’ve never really had one.

Fish: The Pike Place Fish Market is a working market, sideshow, and big-time tourist attraction. You have probably seen the video where the guys are really hurling the fresh fish around. Trust me, it looks even faster in person.

There is almost always a crowd and the workers could not be more accomodating. They answer questions, hand out samples, and if you’re taking pictures will invite you behind the counter to have your picture taken with them. They also chant, sing, and shout to the delight of the crowd.

I tasted some Applewood smoked salmon and brought a couple cans back with me. They can ship fresh-caught fish to anywhere in the nation overnight .. packed in dry ice.

In the photos: Top left, Pappardelle’s pasta and lower right the Pike Place Market. note the fist flying past this guy taking a phone order. See a more complete photo album from the market from my Wabash College blogging about this trip here.

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