Market Watch Update

Here in the Bay Area we are still waiting for winter to end and the sun to come out.  It is still rainy and windy and it’s not helping out with the produce.

I’m still seeing fava beans, English peas, spring onions and spring garlic at the farmers markets.  Sorrel, ramps, and fiddlehead ferns are popping up.  Stone fruit is starting so there are cherries, apricots, and small peaches around that aren’t quite at there peak yet.  Berries are hit and miss and I’m seeing some melons around.

Come on sun!

Food Handlers

I have been searching for the perfect pair of tongs for quite some time now.  Tongs are an extension of a chefs hands and are a crucial and underrated piece of kitchen equipment.  So why is it so hard to find a good pair of tongs?

One of my biggest complaints about the tongs I have used in the past is with the locking mechanism.  It seems that they lock up at that exact moment you need to pull that prawn out of the sauté pan before it over cooks.  This is often attributed to either very cheap metal or materials or poor design.  There are some expensive tongs out there that have tried to address the locking mechanism problem with little success.

The fact is: the tongs need to be open and ready for use OR closed for storage.  I have found a set of tongs that has addressed these problems and paid attention to many of the necessary details.  The iSi Pro Tongs are made of 18/10 stainless steel, are solid, and heavy duty.  They have THREE locking positions that stay locked when using and they completely disassemble for thorough cleaning (they are also dishwasher safe) and the metal doesn’t fold over like other models that trap food and make it hard to clean.  The iSi Pro tongs also has three different edges at the bottom that are convenient for grabbing a variety of different foods.  The tip of the tongs are for grabbing small precise items, the serrated side for grabbing meats or pasta, and a gentle rounded edge for grabbing delicate items like salad.

The look of the tongs are sleek and compact with non slip areas where your thumb and finger are positioned.  The only problem I can foresee is they might be a little heavy for some people or if you’re using them for long periods of time like in a professional restaurant kitchen.  Also, the price might seem a bit steep weighing in at around $25.  Overall if you’re going to own one pair of tongs for your kitchen I would highly recommend the iCi Pro Tongs.