Wednesday, March 18, 2015

DOING DISHES: Wrapping it Up for the Lettuce Entertain You Series: Salads from Fresh Market

Here is our final entry of the series.  The three other  ones are:

We thought we'd find salads at The Cheese Traveller, but by the time we got there for the series, they had decided to stop offering them for lunch.

This is the dish on our trip to The Fresh Market in Latham.

We're still taken aback at the sheer amount of candy that takes up a huge amount of real estate in the store. All that sugar in a store that has a name like Fresh Market makes a little cognitive dissonance for the Goddess and myself.

But they got salad.

In a case of great looking food that makes a hungry Goddess and her Foodie Friend companion want to take home a few delicious dinners are nestled the salads on offer.

Back in our perfessional tasting lab, we employed some of our analytic acumen to these samples.

Aren't they great colors? I think that is a good deal of the fun in salad.

Artichokes, tomatoes, green peppers,  feta, olives and fresh onion - this has a good olive oil dressing and is balanced well between bright flavors and more mild savory ones. The feta was less than optimal - the chef should use a better quality.
Broccoli cranberry: although a little on the bland side it has a good balance of cranberries, almonds and broccoli, and everyone likes the crunch. This was everyone's favorite.

Cucumber and onion with tomato.  This was a favorite and will go well with any dish - a light dressing makes it refreshing and fresh veggies make it crunchy and delightful.

Shrimp salad: expensive blah.  This was displayed on a separate stand with some other similar salads and gets a "looks pretty" but there's just not much there in the way of flavor, especially at $11/lb.  

Edamame: an odd combination of feta, cranberries and tasty little soybeans - no one could taste the feta, so we were curious about how it lost all its flavor.  Maybe the beans soaked it up after a few hours in the case.

In the lab we happen to have a small cadre of amateur tasters as well and the above is a summary of all the tasting notes.

All in all we have felt in our tasting across all the salads that the deli chefs should up their game, watch how long the salads stay in the fridge to avoid bland old worn out flavors, and everyone should take part in making sure that the same ingredients aren't used over and over in all the salads.  Mix it up!  Certain ingredients may be zesty for the first day, but change to meh over the succeeding days in the case.  We recommend continual tasting for quality and not letting salads slide into mediocrity or worse.


Julie said...

I love their cucumber salad! Especially with a side of their mac and cheese and a rotisserie chicken, eaaasy dinner!

LorreS said...

thanks for the comment!

Yes that does sound quite wonderful!