No trip to the renovated Buford Highway Farmers Market is complete without a basket full of stuff from the Eastern European deli counter. Stacks of chewy, dry Russian salamis, hunks of Polish butter, a most impressive selection of farmers' cheese, large containers of bright green half-sour pickles, round shortbread sandwich cookies filled with caramel-colored condensed milk and a bounty of other goodies await.
Owner Harold Shinn wanted to make the shopping experience in the Eastern European deli section of his family's 25-year-old market as authentic as possible. So, he enlisted the help of some his staff, who hail from different parts of Eastern Europe and Russia, to craft a selection of homemade items. Check out the refrigerated case for sweet shredded cabbage salads, shockingly magenta borscht, pickled herring in cream and, best of all, the savory and sweet pastries and baked goods.
Start with a pirozhki; they come filled with ground beef, finely shredded cabbage, or potato. Each bun has a dense but still light gold crust crimped at the top that fares well when popped in the oven for a quick reheat. Pirozhochki are much flakier packets of buttery pastry filled with cheese, lamb and other ingredients and encrusted with white sesame seeds. Blintzes are lovingly prepared; the thin skin delicately wrapped around a slightly sweet farmers' cheese filling. Enjoy them warm and covered in a fruit sauce – preferably the cherry found on the shelves across from the deli. They're the next best thing to your Bubbie's home cooking.
Buford Highway Farmers Market, 5600 Buford Highway (just a hair past I-285), Doraville. 770-455-0770. www.bufordhighwayfarmersmarket.com.
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