The Local Foods Working Group visited the Market last Tuesday to interview some vendors for the Food section of the Gazette. Watch for articles highlighting local products! We sampled Pockitz, Lavender Mountain Bakery's baked goods, Monse's pupusas and curtido, Tabor Mountain Bakery's gluten free products, Gotta Love Garlic Butter and Angela's Cupcakes & Pupcakes. And yes, I did eat a pupcake. It was delicious.
I interview someone for these blog posts every week and every week the same question comes up.
“Where should we meet?”
Usually, it was best to meet at a coffee shop near the Market, but things have changed. Now we can meet right AT the market for coffee, thanks to Chick’s Espresso & Boba Tea!
I asked Susan, the owner of Chick’s, why she bought the business. She had been in the restaurant business for 17 years when she bought Chick’s and its barnyard themed menu. “I’m obsessed with coffee,” she replied.
The original shop in Security only offered coffee when Susan bought it. It comes from a family owned roastery in Oregon called Cascade Estates. The first Chick’s opened in Oregon and as much as she would like to switch to locally roasted coffee, she knows her customers want the Cascade Estates brand. “You don’t change what people like!”, she said.
People also like the many new products she’s added, including frozen hot chocolate and more flavors of bubble tea than I can count. I feel like a kid at the ice cream truck when I look at her menu. The flavors and textures range from ordinary coffee to frozen, blended milk drinks for kids. She offers 59 different syrup flavors and 125 different drink combinations!
The bubble tea, also known as boba tea, comes in many flavors, including a lavender or rose milk tea. I asked her to put a milk tea in my thermal cup. Until she gave it back, I didn’t realize it’s an iced tea or that it came with a giant straw!
I could taste the lavender in the sweetened milk tea. Every so often a big, chewy tapioca bubble came up the straw, much to my delight! Tapioca bubbles have a consistency similar to chewing gum, except they come apart like normal food when you chew them. I have to describe them as entertaining. The flavor doesn’t compete with the tea and the texture adds fun, like the gum in bubble gum ice cream.
I managed to save a few of the bubbles in my drink, intending to take a picture to show you what they look like. In keeping with Chick’s barnyard theme, here is a picture of my chickens stealing the bubbles when I took the bowl outside for better light. The slippery bubbles sprang out of their beaks when they tried to eat them and ricocheted off the deck like a chewy hailstorm.
Chances are, you won’t be caught in a tapioca weather event, but stop by the Market and try Chick’s array of products for yourself!
Written by Bonnie Simon
Much to my dismay, I missed out on making the pineapple curry because I had to go home and lock up the chickens for the night.
When I came back, the class had finished preparing the recipe. Somehow, there is some irony there, especially since the curry had ... chicken.
We made this curry, along with spring rolls, on Tuesday night at Maun’s class. You’ll remember Maun from another post about her and her wonderful cuisine of Indochina. On Tuesday, she taught a group how to make a couple of those dishes.
Everything Maun makes uses fresh ingredients. She explained that some are only available at Asian stores, like the Asia Pacific Market in east Colorado Springs. We used red curry paste, rice spring roll wrappers and one ingredient that no one could write down because it was only labeled in Chinese. She also brought a variety of fresh herbs, sprouts and rice noodles for the spring rolls.
I can’t wait to get to the store and try making them at home. Homemade spring rolls are my new favorite food.
We chopped, cooked, ate and laughed. Everyone went home with new knowledge and full stomachs. Maun plans to offer another class in the next few months. Keep an eye on the website if you’d like to join us.
Written by Bonnie Simon of Community Writing Services, LLC