Recently Hannah began to hear commercials by Central Market for their Citrus Fest, and asked if we could visit the store during the promotion. I love Central Market, but rarely shop there as I have found it to be a pocketbook’s peril. Invariably, I become ensnared by their overabundance of choices in the produce department, and the meat department, and the specialty foods department,and the bakery, and…well, you get the idea. But give me a specific reason that I need to frequent that store and I’m there. Citrus Fest fit that bill.
Today was the day. Sarah, Hannah and I began our citrus adventure before we even entered the store – brightly colored mounds of citrus fruit beckoned to us just outside the doors. Once we investigated each one, we ventured inside and found ourselves faced with a citrus bar – containers of samples free for the snacking.
Avoiding the grapefruit, I tried many of the other offered fruits. Hannah loves most citrus fruits but also bravely tasted the grapefruit and decided that, like me, it was too sour for her tastes. I have never succeeded in my effort to get Sarah to eat citrus fruits, so my goal was to find one that was sweet which might appeal to her. Finding most of the samples a tad tart, the last sample container held Satsuma mandarins – seedless, sweet citrus perfection. Encouraging Sarah to be brave and taste one, I held my breath and was rewarded by her smile – success! A plastic produce bag was soon filled with Satsuma mandarins.
There were strange new fruits to discover – kumquats and buddha’s hand citron.
Further in to the store were more goodies to taste. We sampled and came home with freshly-squeezed apple/orange juice, strawberry Magic Pop cakes (watching these being made was quite fun!), and fresh guacamole made with specialty limes (the name escapes me at the moment,and it’s not included in the ingredient label).
Also finding the way into our basket were:
Several more types of citrus fruit, including another small bag of Satsuma mandarins.
A lemon pound cake
Citrus-flavored marshmallows (three flavors: blood orange, key lime, meyer lemon).
The key lime was our favorite.
Queen Bee also offers vanilla-bean flavored marshmallows (somehow I resisted), along with strawberry/chocolate, toasted coconut, and several other flavors. I sure wish their website was working, but the link at least provides their contact info.
Lastly, one non-citrus item we sampled was divine – Vanilla Cheesecake Fondue by KC Classic Gourmet Foods. Click on the Fondue button if you dare.
The sample was served with a graham cracker-like cookie. Note that Sarah is licking the fondue off the cookie, and Hannah is licking the cup. Final verdict from both? YUM.
Topping off our Central Market adventure was the discovery of a gelato bar. The girls have not eaten gelato since our trip to Italy, during which we developed a gelato addiction.
What a lovely way to close our “field trip” to Central Market!
Not surprisingly, the first conversation after our return home included their question, “When can we go back?”