Archive for the 'Harvest Club' Category
If you’ve never had a passion fruit before, prepare for a pleasant surprise! Roughly between the size of a golf ball and a small apple, the thick skin of a ripe passion fruit is purple, leathery and wrinkled. Inside are a number of seeds covered in a juicy yellow to orange pulp, which are edible and have a very flavorful and tart taste. Due to its similarities the Spanish nicknamed the fruit “little pomegranate”.
The passion fruit was named for its flower by Catholic missionaries in South America, who saw symbolism between the passion flower’s complex structure and the passion of Christ. They saw the flower’s corona threads as a symbol of the crown of thorns, the five stamens for wounds, the five petals and five sepals as the ten apostles (excluding Judas and Peter) and the three stigmas for the nails on the cross.
Passion fruit juice is often used with other fruit juices to enhance flavor and aroma. They’re fairly easy to eat fresh—all you need to do is cut one in half and scoop out the pulpy seeds with a spoon and enjoy! Passion fruit are rich in vitamin C and potassium. When selecting a ripe passion fruit, make sure the skin is slightly wrinkled; if it’s smooth the fruit is still immature and not ready to eat. Ripen your passion fruit by leaving out of direct light at room temperature. Avoid passion fruit with a lot of black marks on the skin.
The Golden is one of the most popular and enduring apple varieties worldwide, and for just cause. Tasting mellow and sweet with a gentle tang, its slightly crisp texture and striking pale yellow color have garnered many lifelong fans. It can be difficult to find a perfect Golden as they are thin skinned and bruise very easily. Your best bet is enjoying one soon after harvest, when they are bursting with a warm and agreeable flavor and crispness.
West Virginia’s Clay County is reportedly the first place where these Goldens were grown, as they were discovered there as a chance seedling in 1890. They were originally known as Mullin’s Yellow Seedling, but were renamed in 1916 and the rest is delicious history.
While eating a Golden fresh is always the best way to enjoy the full extent of its flavor, the delicate apples also do remarkably well in fresh cut salads as they resist browning. They also make great baking apples, especially as they’re so sweet that you don’t need as much sugar when using them in pies and desserts.
Be sure to look for them soon after harvest in September, but rest assured that they are often available year round, from The Fruit Company.No comments
They may be mini, but these exotic treats are anything but miniature in taste. And one is grown right here in Oregon!
Grown only in Oregon and New Zealand, the Baby Kiwi is like a miniature kiwi (in fact they’re cousins!) without all the fuzz. In fact you can pop the whole thing in your mouth, just like a grape. The Baby Kiwi is roughly the size of a grape with a smooth green skin that often sports a reddish blush. Inside the flesh is almost identical to that of a standard kiwi—bright green with little, edible black seeds and is incredibly juicy. The flavor is a little more intense and sweet than a standard kiwi. Baby Kiwis are often considered a type of berry, and we even package them similarly, in a protective plastic clamshell container. And like a berry the Baby Kiwis have a short shelf life, remaining fresh for only about a week if kept refrigerated. In Oregon the Baby Kiwi is available from mid-September through October, and in New Zealand you can find them February through March. We recommend the best use for Baby Kiwi is to just pop them in your mouth and enjoy them fresh. However they make wonderful additions to salads, tarts, jams and other dishes where you might use a standard kiwi. They hold their flavor through cooking. The Baby Kiwis are rich in Vitamin C and potassium and are naturally fat free and low in sodium. They also offer a fair amount of fiber.
Thriving in hot and humid climates, the Baby Pineapple is just like its larger counterpart except that, naturally it’s smaller and its core is tender and sweet, rather than tough and fibrous. The Baby Pineapples end up growing to a height of 5 to 7 inches, with a diameter around 4 inches. The diminutive size makes it a perfect small portion when a large pineapple is just too much. They are wonderful cut up and eaten fresh, but you can include them in any dish that you would with a regular pineapple such as in fresh fruit salads, beverages or baked goods. The skin is rough, golden, and when ripe is delightfully fragrant. The perfect pineapples are bright in color with green leaves; avoid pineapples with brown, soft spots or dry and brown leaves. They will be able to keep when refrigerated for up to ten days. To enjoy, cut off the crown of leaves and a small portion of the base and cut up the entirety of its flesh while removing the tough skin. Baby Pineapples are high in Vitamin A and C, as well as calcium, iron and potassium, making them an exceptional part of your daily nutrients.No comments
The 4000 year old “Persian Apple”
Little known to many, peaches originated in China approximately 2000 B.C. The scientific name for peaches, Prunus persica, originated from an early European belief that peaches came from Persia (nowIran). In fact they were brought over on the Silk Road from Asia to the Greater Mesopotamia andMediterranean regions before Christian times.
The ancient Romans called peaches “Persian Apples” for the country that introduced the fruit to the West. The peach was brought to Americaby Spanish explorers in the 16th century, and then to England and France in the 17th century. Numerous Native American tribes are credited with distributing the peach tree across theUnited States, taking seeds with them and planting as they traveled through the country.
According to Chinese legend, the peach was said to be consumed by immortals for its ability to prolong life for all who ate them. The peach often is an important part of Chinese tradition and is symbolic of long life.
As well, due to its sweetness and soft texture, the ancient Chinese used “peach” as a slang word for “young bride” and in many cultures has remained as a way to define pretty young women. The terms “peachy” and “peachy keen” in English are representative of this.
Peach trees are the second most commonly cultivated fruit trees in the world, after apple trees. TodayChina,Greece,Italy and America are major producers of peaches. California, South Carolina and Georgia are the largest peach producers within theUnited States. They thrive in climates with mild, cool winters and a lot of summer heat, which help lend to the fruit’s intense sweetness.
A medium sized peach has only 35 calories, making it a perfect snack or dessert. They are also excellent sources of fiber, Vitamins A, C and E, and phytochemicals, which act as antioxidants ridding the body of free radicals and are great for one’s skin.No comments
Both of these tempting beauties have super sweet white flesh that makes for a lovely summer snack. Prized for their appearance and original flavor, they’re often more expensive than their traditional counterparts.
Also referred to as a donut peach or a Saturn peach, Saucer Peaches are squat, freestone peaches with an indentation in the middle that suggests the shape of a donut. The flesh is white and generally higher in sugar content than that of a yellow peach, so you get that much more sweetness per bite. The skin is a creamy yellow with red or magenta blush and is generally less fuzzy than a traditional peach.
The Saucers originated in China and were first grown in the United States sometime in the mid-1800s. They didn’t become truly popular until more recently, with adults and particularly children drawn to their small and unique appearance.
While they are smaller than a traditional peach, they can be used for fresh eating or baking just as any other peach. When ripe the peach will give just slightly to the touch, and should not have any uneven soft spots or bruising. Leave your Saucer Peaches out on the counter to ripen, and once ripe they can be kept in the refrigerator up to three days.
Like the Saucer Peaches, the White Nectarines have juicy white flesh that is considerably sweeter than their standard yellow counterparts as a result of having a much lower acid content. As well, traditional yellow nectarines get sweeter as they ripen but White Nectarines as just as sweet when harvested as they are when ripened. People love the White Nectarine for its unique sweetness and of course for the lack of fuzz found on a peach. While its flesh is white or even pinkish, the center around the pit radiates a bright magenta—truly stunning when served in slices. The skin also often features bright splashes of magenta over fair-colored skin.
Despite having been in commercial production for over 30 years now, White Nectarines only recently have become a fruit that people ask for by name and their popularity grows with every season. Most of the White Nectarines grown inAmericago to overseas markets that favor sweeter stone fruit.
Ripening your White Nectarines is identical to how you’d ripen a Saucer Peach or any other peach or nectarine. They’re ripe when they give to slight pressure and there is no green color evident on the skin. If you want to speed the ripening process, place the nectarine in a paper bag and you’ll have a succulent, ripe fruit with in 1-2 days.No comments