Eat Real Fest, Day One: Coconut-Thai Basil Ice Cream and Beer

​Most of the ice cream purveyors were handing out free samples — except for one, who sniffed, “We're not doing samples, it creates too much trash.” But after judicious tasting, we spent our money on Scream Sorbet's exotic flavors, at $3 a scoop: coconut-Thai basil and pistachio on our first go-round, returning later for a scoop of Charentais melon. The savory beet sorbet would have made a chic accompaniment for pickled herring. And we were nuts about Ici's orange-chocolate chip ice cream ($2.85), made with candied orange rind (the lines were shorter at Eat Real than at Ici's College Avenue shop). Fenton's Creamery was doing a brisk business in $1 cones, making pomegranate ice cream on site, donating the proceeds to charity, and handing out free hats and buttons.

​Lines were long but cheerful at the Beer Shed, which happily wasn't confined under a tent but al fresco. We splayed out on the lawn and listened to Steve Emerson and Anton Schwartz blow some cool jazz, with an even cooler backdrop of boats and the bay. Afterward we sat on hay bales at the Scratch Kitchen stage for three different demonstrations, complete with samples:

Vanessa Barrington held forth on fermentation — she prepared Indian raita and Salvadoran curtido.
• Iso Rabins of forageSF cooked sea beans with mushrooms and onions, and told the crowd that after Peter Jamison's cover story in SF Weekly about him earlier this year, he was called in for an interview by Presidio detectives who warned him not to collect miners' lettuce there or risk a $500 fine.
The Fruit Girls, who run a Web site devoted to backyard fruit and vegetable bartering, demonstrated how to assemble homemade fruit pickers.

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