The Ferry Building Marketplace is a foodie magnet, bustling with shoppers and tourists, mostly upper-middle class. Why is that? Without a doubt, the food shops inside the building are expensive. But the farmers don’t charge any more than the average grocery store for comparable produce. On October 6th, I brought a group of Mission High students on a guided tour of the Ferry building, and I’m wondering if after their experience there, they will return as shoppers.
My friend, Lisa, of In the Kitchen with Lisa offers “intimate culinary excursions in San Francisco, Napa Valley, and West Marin in Sonoma County for individuals and groups looking to go behind-the-scenes with a local expert for a taste of the remarkable food culture that exists in these regions.” She generously donated her time and the time of one of her guides, to introduce my students to the food at the Ferry Building Marketplace. My group is made up of Hispanic, Asian, African-American a White 14 and 15 year olds of varying socio-economic backgrounds and varying interests in food. Some have been to the market before, and were comfortable asking for samples. Others had never been to the market before and were comfortable asking questions (Where did the Mutsu get its name?), and some were just there for the food.