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Monday, January 11, 2010

Farmers' Market Vendor Fava Yields Groove-Worthy Mashups

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 3:07 PM

click to enlarge A one-tent testament to vicia faba. - ANNA C./YELP
  • anna c./Yelp
  • A one-tent testament to vicia faba.
We go to the farmers' market to snack as well as buy groceries. Divvied between two famished and marginally hungover adults, a three-course flight of cross-continental delights ― a samosa, a pupusa, and half of a wood oven-fired pizza ― is not an uncommon start to a Saturday. Two days ago, however, something new caught our eye as we staggered past the row of vendors at Alemany: Fava, a one-tent testament to vicia faba, Egypt's national food frequently pounded into spicy dips best sopped up with fresh bread and crackers.

We said hi to Hattem Nigma, the fledgling company's partner-in-residence, and he started handing over samples faster than we could inhale them. We forgot all about pupusas, samosas, Malaysian crêpes, hot links, pizza, and tamales, and grooved hard on Fava's offerings. We savored the pale, fluffy roasted garlic hummus (made with favas, not chickpeas) on hunks of olive bread from nearby Panorama, and, with Lecterian delight, plundered the coriander-onion dip ― a salty, almost meaty concoction of half-mashed favas, spices, and olive oil, its texture oddly reminiscent of refried beans ― in a very good way. We're talking a major cut above the average farmers' market hummus experience.

We brought home two containers ($5 apiece) and they were empty by Sunday afternoon. Fava will be at this winter's stupidly named Fancy Food Show from Jan. 17 to 19 at Moscone Center, but you can find Nigma ― and his favas ― at Alemany every Saturday, from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

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Andrew Simmons

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