It’s here! The fruit party begins!!!
Spring itself has taken its sweet time this year, and the fruit has taken a fashionably-late approach to the fruit party. We at fruitqueen have been eager for blossoms to bloom and fruit to ripen, and doubly eager for the fruit to actually taste really delicious. After all that (much welcomed) rain, the first succession of berries are usually a bit waterlogged. We call them “rain berries” – big and pretty but the flavor isn’t 100% yet. With spring finally here for good and warmer days coming, the flavor is just starting to develop. Believe it or not, it only gets better from here. We couldn’t be more excited!
I think we’ve all been waiting for Swanton’s Chandler strawberries. Kissed by the coastal sun and ocean mist, these are picked perfectly ripe with the sweet floral strawberry scent that we all dream of. Most farms don’t grow the Chandler variety anymore because of how soft and delicate they are, but they are without a doubt one of the most delicious and aromatic strawberries out there. Swanton’s strawberries used to be found all around the Bay Area, but since they’ve pulled back from doing farmers markets and have limited their production, we feel extremely lucky to be able to offer them here at fruitqueen.
Maybe some of you have been lucky enough to try a mulberry before, or even better yet, a Pakistan mulberry. Juicy and delicate, they deliver a grape-raspberry flavor explosion. These are native to India and common all over Asia. Here in the states, Habitera Farms is hoping to introduce fresh mulberries in a big way, and this is the first season the young orchard is producing significant fruit. Did you know mulberries are actually trees and not bushes?! Despite their appearance, they’re more closely related to a fig than a blackberry *mind-blown*. fruitqueen Joyce spent fall and winter 2022 researching, pruning, and cover-cropping Habitera’s mulberry orchard and is so excited to see these trees finally bear fruit. Grown a little over an hour away in Brentwood, we hope you enjoy these delicate little morsels right away since they won’t last very long! Like a cherry or strawberry, you can eat the whole berry and ditch the tiny green stem at the top.
When you eat as many Snowchaser blueberries as we do, you know they don’t last very long. We’ve included 2x extra-full clamshells of Coastal Moon blues because we know you’ll want more than one (and two just might get you to Friday). One of the earliest ripening varieties, it’s a southern highbush type that can get up to be 10ft tall (almost kinda like a tree?!). Sweet and firm, we love these berries for the intensity of their flavor. We’re incredibly lucky to enjoy these jewels before other blueberries grown inland in the Central Valley start up for the season. Coastal Moon runs their own herd of sheep on the land for fertilization before cultivation–regenerative organic agriculture never tasted so good!
Steven Murray from Murray Family Farms has spoken: “Cherries are now in season!” These plump, juicy Brooks cherries are really tickling our hearts (and tummies) right now. You’re unlikely to find any delicious organic cherries in CA right now except these, so lucky you! Lucky us! These are weeks delayed, so let’s rejoice that we’re FINALLY HERE. YAY!!! Brooks remind us of Bings, but more balanced. That balance of sweetness and acidity makes them perfect for eating out of hand. If you ate all your cherries before you finished reading this, we don’t blame you. We’ll be sure to send another round of cherries in your next box!
Until next week,