Edible Food Finds: TC Market
Photo by Michael Piazza
Tasting Counter—a 20-seat restaurant in Somerville that features multi-sensory and participatory dining—makes the most of its ingredients. Take, for example, fermented Fresno chili peppers (grown at an urban garden near the restaurant and in Chester) puréed and strained into a sauce that serves as the base for red curry and spicy aioli. Leftover bits of seeds and skin are dehydrated and ground into a chili powder, the beginnings of a taco seasoning for sweet potato fries.
This full-circle philosophy is the underpinning of TC Market—a line of hot sauces, vinegars and preserves sourced, in large part, from local ingredients and made in small batches. Launched in the fall of 2018 by owners Peter and Ginhee Ungár, the collection—sold online, at Tasting Counter and local farmers markets—stretches the bounty of each season beyond its harvest.
“It’s wonderful to be able to taste something out of season as long as there’s a good story behind it,” says Executive Chef Peter Ungár. “We love making the most of our products. It’s what we’re supposed to be doing.”
TC Market’s other products include a strawberry orange preserve, made from local organic strawberries. Locally sourced quince, cranberries and maple syrup from Wild Acres Farm pair with kumquats for another preserve. Preserved lemons, composed of two simple ingredients (lemon and sea salt), serve as the starting point for many dishes, including a zesty vinaigrette served in the restaurant.
“It forces us to be creative,” says General Manager Ginhee Ungár. “We’re constantly breaking down a product and thinking, ‘What are all the uses we can get out of this?’”
This story appeared in the Summer 2019 issue.