Images from New York: springlike weather in Union Square edition.

Considering how lousy the weather was here last weekend (based on what we heard, as we were in Boston and missed the worst of it), it was hardly surprising to see New Yorkers out in force over Saturday and Sunday, all trying to enjoy as much time outside as humanly possible.  We were fortunate enough to have good reasons to head outside both days:  on Saturday it was to check out the goods at the Union Square Greenmarket, and Sunday I needed to walk over to Pinkberry to do some research for work.

Yes, you heard me right:  I had to go to Pinkberry for work.  More on that later.  First, I must talk about the Greenmarket.  While it’s among the few that are open year-round, the blustery cold does not bring out the browsing impulse in either of us, especially when a minimum of two subways are required to get there.  The Greenmarket is, for us, a source of inspiration:  a potential treasure trove of unusual ingredients that can inspire some truly interesting meals.  Rely on it too much and its magic can be marginalized, both from overexposure to the same things week in and out and the crazy crowds that swarm there every Saturday, so we try to avoid both issues by planning visits there every few weeks and  getting there on the early side before everything has been picked over.

Jerusalem Artichokes

This past weekend’s big finds:  the Jerusalem artichoke (also known as a sunchoke as it’s the tuber of the sunflower), a reasonably-priced container of local goat cheese and some gold cipollini onions–three items that are not the easiest finds even at the impressive grocery stores near us.  We ended up using the onions for two nights’ dinners this weekend and the sunchokes for one, and I must say that the latter has been added to the slowly-growing Vegetables I Like List.  As for the reasons why…you’ll just have to stay tuned.


The other big discovery of the weekend was the deliciousness of Pinkberry.  Since both of us are from Philadelphia, we’re admittedly biased when it comes to cold frozen treats; Rita’s Water Ice is usually our go-to warm-weather indulgence and the first Manhattan location just opened not that far from our apartment.  We’re saving our first visit there for a particularly warm day, though; had I not been asked to check out our local Pinkberry and get some pictures (as it only has locations in LA and New York right now), I probably wouldn’t have indulged so early in the spring season, unseasonably warm weather be damned.

However, to quote Carrie Bradshaw in the first season of Sex and the City:  the things you gotta do in the name of research.


Seriously, this stuff is delightful.  It’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination–a small frozen yogurt runs a little over $4.00 before tax–but you’re given carte blanche in choosing what toppings you’d like on top of it, be they delicious fresh fruit, candy, nut or sauce toppings.  If that wasn’t enough, you’re also given the choice of a few fabulous fro-yo flavors:  mango, chocolate, original vanilla and pomegranate were all available at my local store.  I went with the pomegranate for this go-around, and….damn.  It was seriously delicious, and the fruits I added to the mix made it so delightfully wholesome and creamy.  If you find yourself near one of these fabulous stores, you must give it a try.  A small Pinkberry will set you back less than 200 calories (depending on the flavor, much less) and it’s a delight to share with a good friend.

  1. I wish we had that Pinkberry stuff here! And Rita’s Water Ice? What is it?

    • Water ice is a big thing in Philly–growing up you’d get a little cup with a wooden spoon and you’d scrape out the fruit-flavored ice. Rita’s came around in the mid to late 90’s with a softer, smoother water ice made with real fruit and quickly spread all over the Philly region and now dots much of the Eastern seaboard. The most popular flavor they have is mango, and it tastes like a frozen, pureed mango. It’s not nearly as bad for you as, say, ice cream and honestly, nothing else really hits the spot on a hot day when you’re hungry but not in the mood for something heavy.

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