Have you ever gone through days, weeks and even months without anything new rocking your world and then one day, something pleasantly unexpected happens that answers a need you’d long forgotten about? If you’re like me, you know when something special has entered your life even if it’s under very normal conditions. If you want that same experience, please visit the newest jewel in Auburn’s crown; shop at Proviant European Market and Deli! Yes, you read that correctly, Auburn has its very own European market and believe me when I say, it’s the real deal! Read on to learn why I haven’t been this excited about a new find in I don’t know how long.
Food As a Rich Source of Culture and History
To quote the late Anthony Bourdain, “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.” Bourdain could easily have been describing what the owners of Proviant European Market and Deli want you to know about their market. Now if you’re familiar with my other blogs, you’ll see I make no secret about being incredibly in love with my Portuguese heritage and community. I’m from a tiny island called Terceira that’s one of nine islands off the coast of Portugal. These nine islands, the Azores, date back to the 1400s so the food often leans heavily on very old recipes that are traditional to other parts of the old world.
I suppose that was the first reason why I felt myself swoon a bit when walking in the doors of Proviant European Market and Deli yesterday. Now I don’t know what my excuse is for feeling that way on my second visit of the day when I returned with a good friend. I guess some pleasant surprises in life have staying power. As I walked around this beautifully appointed market, I was met with the sight of familiar food with unfamiliar names. I saw spices, staples and seasonings that I never expected to see so close to where I live. And best of all, I felt I was among friends. Proviant European Market and Deli owners, Tanya Vernon and Vlade Pukhov are of Ukranian descent. They’ve been friends for years as worked together at one time in the Ukraine. When the opportunity knocked on their doors to open Proviant European Market and Deli together, our area is fortunate that they answered that knock. They’ve been open one month, but you’d never know it by how well organized and comprehensively stocked Proviant European Market and Deli is today. Between Pukhov’s expertise as a chef and Vernon’s extensive knowledge about European food, it’s no surprise each item sold here is well researched and tested. To shop here is a immersive experience and one you normally only find in the ethnic markets of large cities. Read on for just a small sampling from the shelves of Proviant European Market and Deli.
Quail Eggs to Frozen Smelts
Did you know that quail eggs are rapidly gaining traction in cooking? But did you also know that quail eggs have been known by Europeans for being packed with nutrients? A single tiny little quail egg provides a substantial chunk of your daily vitamin B12, riboflavin, selenium and choline needs. Yet only contains 14 calories. In Europe, they’ve been used for their ancient medicinal value. Because of this connection, these tiny treasures are sold at Proviant European Market and Deli; they are among the company of other great finds. If you want seafood, everything from smelts to sturgeon is available in the frozen food section. Also found there are meats that are popular in Europe; a deli section loaded with various European salami, a cheese and dairy selection carrying a Ukrainian butter with the highest milk fat content available on the market.
Of course, no discussion is complete until we talk about the magical pierogi! While the word pierogi is known to have first appeared in Polish cookbooks, this little dumpling’s origins are as widely disputed as the food is popular. At Proviant European Market and Deli, you may not settle that dispute, but you’ll certainly get to try many kinds of pierogi. I couldn’t resist the urge to try sour cherry perogies. Then again, I also couldn’t resist the urge to try pickled apples or vanilla halva. What is halva, you may be asking? Read on to learn a bit about the sweet section of Proviant European Market and Deli.
Halva and Pinecone Preserve
Now I may have eaten halva before and not known it but I know for a fact I’ve never seen it sold in a package. Imagine this if you will. After a short time in Proviant European Market and Deli, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to take everything in or buy 1/1000th of what I wanted to taste. So by the time I spotted halva on a shelf, I thought maybe my eyes were playing tricks on me. This classic Middle Eastern dessert, while lovely to the tastebuds, doesn’t look ingestible. Did I mention that one of the outstanding things about this market is that the owners will take the time to show you around and acclimate you to what you’re seeing? Did I also mention that my market tour guide was Vernon who fortunately has a great sense of humor? I say that because my filter was thin when, standing next to her, I blurted out that halva can’t be edible because it’s in the cinderblock family. Actually, this kosher, vegan and gluten-free dessert is made of sesame paste, sugar and is light as a quail feather. Paired with a strong cup of coffee, halva is a lovely dessert.
But my favorite discovery didn’t come frozen, shrink wrapped or made to order. To my sheer delight, I learned there’s such a thing as pinecone preserve! I’m talking about teeny tiny, miniature very immature pinecones made into a savory, sweet preserve. As with so many of the goodies found at Proviant European Market and Deli, this item is known for its medicinal properties along with being delicious. This treat has a distinct forest flavor surrounded by a perfect amount of sweetness. I will not only serve it as a Christmas appetizer, but I’ll also add it to my gifted Christmas baskets. Thanks to many beautiful and delicious items found on the shelves of Proviant European Market and Deli, my Christmas shopping will be a pleasure this year. Whether you want to find something unique and new to serve at a holiday meal or are looking for a place to buy groceries on a regular basis, Proviant European Market and Deli is where you want to shop.
Stanford Ranch Self Storage
It's amazing to me how many wonderful shopping and adventure experiences are just a short drive from the Rocklin community. At Stanford Ranch Self Storage, we’re not only your best self-storage solution, we’re also your neighbor and want to be a strong supporter of small businesses. When we discover places like Proviant European Market and Deli, we’re honored to share what we know. Please help us keep discovering new places and experiences; stop by our state of the art, self-storage facility because we’d love to hear from you. See you soon!
Proviant European Market and Deli
660 Auburn Folsom Rd.
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 863-3173 FB says 3093
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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