April 4, 2024

April 4, 2024

Late-season citrus magic

Fresh this week

We’re savoring the Frederick passion fruit from Good Land Organics this week, especially so because it’s on borrowed time. The passion fruit season was supposed to have ended in March and it’s been winding down for several weeks now. We were so excited to get just enough from farmer Jay to share in the fruitqueen boxes this week! Passion fruit’s zingy-sweet-tropical flavor does wonders to brighten up this shoulder season. We may have tiiiny quantities of passion fruit over the next couple weeks, and then it’s gone for four months until its second season starts up in the fall! Store these on the counter. They’re ripe now, or you can let them further wrinkle and ripen which makes them sweeter but less juicy/more pulpy. Grown organically in Goleta by Good Land Organic.


Page Mandarins are typically a New Year's specialty, so imagine our delight when Lety of Garcia Organic Farm let us know she still had some Pages to harvest. We are #1 superfans of the sublime Page mandarins grown by John and Casey of Lagier Ranches in Escalon, whose season came and went far too fast in late December and early January. These late-season Pages from the hills of Fallbrook, in San Diego County, share the flavor intensity that we love in a Lagier Page. Their extended hang time on the tree has given them pebblier skins and more yielding flesh. Same-same, but different :) Savor these, this is really the end of Pages! Grown organically in Fallbrook by Garcia Organic Farm.


Who can resist the charms of a Moro blood orange? The touch of crimson blush on the skin hints at the sweet, rich flavor within. They often hit that sweet spot between a mandarin and a Navel, just the right size. And slice one open – the suspense and then the reveal of purple flesh painted just a little different than the last – it gets me every time! By popular request: another go-round with the prettiest class of citrus imo! Store on the counter. Grown organically in Fallbrook by Garcia Organic Farm.

This Texas Ruby grapefruit is a stunner! Intact, it’s not much to look at – you might understandably think it’s underripe. But slice into one and you’re rewarded with sunset tones so stunning you’re suddenly upset with the hack graphic designer responsible for the Lacroix Pamplemousse cans. They do no justice! (We kid.) The real reward is the flavor of course. Just classic pink grapefruit: mild sweetness, delicate florality (it’s a word now!), and a whisper of bitterness. Store these on the counter. Grown organically in Fallbrook by Garcia Organic Farm.


Encore appearances

The Meiwa kumquat is back! Back in February, Joyce was chatting with Lety of Garcia Organic Farm at the Santa Monica farmers market. There was a tall stack of crates filled with various kumquats sitting right in front of her. She sampled one and found herself compulsively grabbing another and another. She realized this was her first Meiwa kumquat of the season and all she could say as she reached for another was “oh my–oh my goodness–these are amazing!!” Harvesting Meiwa kumquats this late into winter means ultra-thin and delicate skin, super duper sweet with a practically creamy flesh! I don’t think kumquats are ever described as “creamy” but there’s no other way to describe these. The texture is incredible, but the flavor is also just the perfect sweet and tart balance! Nagami kumquats have a nice bite, but these Meiwas just melt in your mouth. It’s like eating candy! Excuse the occasional softy; while we laboriously sort them by hand, their thin skins are easily punctured. Store in the fridge and don’t delay, these are ripe and perishable! Grown organically by Garcia Organic Farm in Fallbrook.


The Snowchaser blueberries are SO GOOD! With a deeply rich blueberry flavor, it’s hard to imagine they only keep getting better! This year, the Snowchasers aren’t sizing up to be the quarter-sized berries they were last year and the yield is predicted to be a little lower. But should we be so lucky, we’ll see Snowchasers into mid-May. Grown organically by Coastal Moon in Watsonville. 

We’ve been loving Jill’s Hayward kiwis this season. It’s really brightened up the late winter variety alongside the citrus bounty! There’s not many kiwi growers of Jill’s size that sell direct to market. Even kiwi growers with similar acreage (less than 10 acres) will move their crop through a packing shed and where it’s then sold under a bigger label. Many California kiwi operations are concentrated in the northern Sacramento Valley and Chico area. With Jill’s kiwi vines situated just a few miles inland from the coast, they get the gentler fall nights where flavor really has time to develop. Jill’s Haywards are harvested months after most growers harvest their kiwi crop, with flavors fully developed and texture at its prime. We love Jill’s kiwis, and it’s been a great crop this season! Store on the counter. Grown sustainably by Four Sisters Farm in Aromas.

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