Samples and conversation

The Market opens pantry for customer tasting

There are so many new things to try at The Market at Washington & High that the five stores that share the space decided their customers -- current and soon-to-be -- might like a sampling. So Taste of the Market was born, with The Market taking on a party atmosphere the third Thursday of each month by inviting the public to come and “have a taste.”

Blue Moon Fish Co., Ciao Deli, Oak Park Grocery & Dry Goods, Marketfresh Produce and Laurel Creek Farms reach into their recipes books, prepare specialties and serve up something new each month to customers who come to browse -- and graze. At the February Taste, one customer was heard to lament, “I can’t believe we have dinner reservations in 30 minutes,” while another announced with a smile, “I came to buy something for dinner, which just became tomorrow night’s meal because I’m full.”

The Market, 606 High Street, has livened up the downtown scene since opening in September, offering a variety of special days and evenings. Taste of the Market is a monthly event, with the March Taste beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19.

Twice monthly, Ciao Deli hosts the Ciao Deli Beer Club Tastings on the second Fridays and fourth Thursdays. Duck Rabbit Brewery will be the special guest at the Thursday, March 26, tasting and Highland Brewing Company out of Asheville will host the April 23 Beer Tasting.

On Saturday, April 23, Billy Bob Billy (Bill Morris) will hold a barbecue rib class and offer instructions on “How to BBQ Ribs.”

All classes and tastings except Taste of the Market need to be reserved in advance. Call 865-980-7711 to check on cost, availability and to sign up.

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