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.
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