Name: Alpine Village Market is a German market that also sells European foods and ingredients. There’s a butcher shop with housemade sausages, a European bakery and an impressive selection of European beers, wines and liquors. When you’re done shopping, head next door to the Alpine Market Cafe for lunch.
Concept: The market is part of the larger Alpine Village complex that was first established in Torrance in 1968 as a destination for German and European shopping, dining and entertainment. The Village also bills itself as the “home of the biggest Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California for more than 40 years.”
What it stocks: Alpine Village’s artisanal sausages are produced under the direction of award-winning sausage maker Alex Lagger. The market produces over 100 different kinds of German and European classics including bratwurst, bockwurst, landjager, weisswurst and liverwurst and Polish kielbasa, as well as new favorites such as a chile verde sausage and chicken herb sausage. The meat selection also offers a variety of European deli meats as well as an impressive selection of imported European cheeses. Freezers offer still more sausages, as well as various meats and poultry and prepared dishes.
If you’re looking for giant pretzels, this is the place. The in-house bakery also makes breads, rolls, pastries, cookies, cakes and tortes. You can also order custom wedding cakes.
The larger market specializes in German and European goods, from spices and pickled ingredients to various mustards, beverages and packaged snacks, confections and chocolates. The market also has an extensive selection of domestic and imported German and European beer, wine and liquors, with a number of popular brands available pre-chilled from refrigerated cases.
Who shops there: This is a family market. You’ll find German and other European immigrants as well as local residents. Many visitors drive in from other areas specifically to visit the butcher shop or bakery, or make a stop after dining or visiting other stores at the village.
The find: The bratwurst. Alpine Village Market makes a few different types of bratwurst. Try them all. What you can’t cook within a day or two can be frozen until you’re ready to enjoy.
Where is it: Alpine Village is just off the 110 Freeway in Torrance. If you’re making a pilgrimage from out of town, the market isn’t that far from La Española Meats in Harbor City, where you can stock up on a variety of Spanish groceries and products. Make a day of it.
Parking: While Alpine Village has an extensive parking lot on the property, it can fill up quickly during Oktoberfest and during the weekend.
Information: 833 W. Torrance Blvd., Torrance, (310) 327-4384 . Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. www.alpinevillagecenter.com.
Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter