City Fresh Market Has The Ingredients You Need

Hit City Fresh Market for Easter and Passover feasts

City Fresh Market has long been one of our secret sources for unusual ingredients, from salmon heads and whole pickled cabbage to house-made yogurt and Serbian ajvar.

It stocks an impressive array of produce, Balkan imports and house-made sweets year-round, but the West Rogers Park market–which has a French Market location too– shines around holidays. For Easter and Passover, it's a one-stop shop.

Order spit-roasted lamb, slow-cooked for three hours over a wood charcoal fire, at least four days in advance; it's available by the pound or whole ($11 per pound for both). Serve it with fresh horseradish, a Hungarian Easter tradition, and sarmas, pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with ground meat, seafood or rice ($5 per pound).

The market's house-made burek is an ideal hors d'oeuvre, with flaky phyllo dough surrounding feta cheese and spinach, or ground beef and lamb ($3.50).

Imported egg-decorating kits arrive this week, as does Romanian cozonac, a walnut-studded sweet bread traditionally served on Easter. House-made sweets include excellent baklava ($1.50 per piece) and Hungarian-style Dobos torte ($4 per piece), a multilayered cake with chocolate buttercream and caramel.

There's ample fodder for holiday toasts, too: wine from Croatia, Romania, Bosnia, Serbia and Hungary, and brandies made from apricots, plums or honey.