Bolani Madness

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bolini.jpegBy Deirdre Bourdet

You have likely seen the Bolani and Sauce guy if you have ever visited a farmer's market in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the human whirlwind dishing out sample after sample of stuffed flatbreads and colorful sauces to every passerby within reach. He is unstoppable, insatiable, hell-bent on feeding you all his favorite combinations before he allows you to step away from the booth. Have you tried the pumpkin bolani topped with garlic-mint cheese and sun-dried tomato pesto? Or the spinach bolani with hummus and smoky eggplant pesto? Curried lentil and sweet jalapeno? He knows that it is humanly impossible not to like at least four of their ten condiments, and that once you have found those four, you can't walk away without buying them, and a package or two of the irresistible veggie-stuffed bolanis themselves.
He also knows that if you are like most people, you will inhale your spoils within five minutes of opening them. The empty packaging will cry out to you. The scent will linger on your fingers and you will eat the bolanis as god intended--warmed in the oven, then stuffed into your face with both hands. You will begin imagining your favorite sandwich fillings, your favorite salads, your favorite meats or fish or whatever it is you normally eat slathered with your favorite Bolani condiment and wrapped in the luxuriously moist and seductively spiced bolani itself. Finally, you will realize that you must have more of this delicious madness, stat.

This is where Whole Foods comes to the rescue--they carry most of the condiment line and the four types of bolanis. Of course, if I have gotten there before you, the selection may be slim. I am hopelessly smitten with the pumpkin bolani, spread with garlic-mint cheese and cilantro-walnut pesto, then folded around pieces of smoked trout and a lemony frisee salad. Sometimes I drizzle on a bit of pomegranate molasses, but frequently I have enough of a mess on my hands between the oozy cheese and cilantro sauce that adding more spillable substances seems unwise. (I also like to use a straw for my pinot noir so I can maintain the structural integrity of my fragile masterpiece with both hands, and keep my Riedel free of sauce.)

Obviously, bolanis and sauce are not the best choice for a first date, pre-interview snack, or a lunch at your desk, but IMHO they are pretty darn awesome for just about any other meal when no one is watching you.

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Which farmers' market is this?

i've seen them at most of the bay area markets, but check their website listings for the exact days and times. if you taste through all their products you can pretty much skip lunch!

Try the eggplant pesto, it is tasty, and works well in pasta! My family and I are fortunate to have him come to the Modesto Farmers market. Here is the exact location The Modesto Certified Farmer's Market is located on
16th Street between H Street and I Streets

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