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Shopping for exotic food at Oakland's Housewives Market.

Municipal farmer's markets seemed a dying breed 15 years ago. Then demand for farm-fresh, high-quality food increased, and many of them took on renewed life. Oakland joined the trend this year when its redevelopment agency began renovating the Housewives Market (founded in 1908) on the corner of Ninth and Clay streets. The goal: a regional market similar to Seattle's Pike Place Market.

Sixteen businesses now operate out of separate stalls here. Among them you may discover some of the hard-to-find ingredients you need for an ambitious holiday recipe. Fresh goat, yearling lamb, suckling pig, bitter melon greens, dried taro leaves, pink shrimp fry paste, pickled mango, coconut gel, and ginseng jelly are just a few of the unusual foods for sale.

You'll also find the area's largest selection of fresh sausage: 40 different kinds. You can have yours seasoned to taste and watch while it's made. Consider trying the specialty here, Louisiana barbecue links.

The market is open 9 to 6 Mondays through Saturdays. Free monitored parking is provided behind the building, on the corner of Jefferson and Ninth streets. Call (415) 444-4396 for BART and freeway access information.
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Date:Nov 1, 1985
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