June 27, 2024

June 27, 2024

Fresh this week

Olallieberries are here! These beauties were grown by Javier and the crew at JSM Organics in Monterey County. Olallieberries [oh-lawl-ee berries] are perfectly suited for the California coast and yet they’re hard to come by. Their melting flesh and high tart notes – balanced with just enough sweetness – make them so special. Ollalieberries are a cross between a loganberry and a youngberry, whose own complicated parentage make the olallieberry roughly ⅔ blackberry and ⅓ raspberry. Tasting your way through a half pint, you’ll find a magical variance berry-to-berry, with one a little sweeter and the next a little more tart, adding a certain spontaneity to the experience. These are very delicate and highly perishable, so store in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days. Grown organically by JSM Organics in Royal Oaks.


Javier’s team also brings us Mara des Bois Strawberries. The Mara des Bois is a whimsical little berry, looking as if it rolled out of the pages of a children’s book. It’s intensely perfumed, even when ripened to an orangey red hue. Maras are a French hybrid, so named for their “wild” strawberry flavor, but to my palate they taste as much like grape candy as anything you might find in a forest! These are very delicate and highly perishable, so store in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days. Grown organically by JSM Organics in Royal Oaks.


It seems that every season we find a new favorite. (That’s pretty neat considering we’ve been in fruit world for a while now!) In this year’s spring-to-summer microseason it’s the Candicot apricot. Its cream-colored skin is speckled with a warm blush and its flesh has subtle honeyed tropical flavors. The flavor really screams sunshine and sets it apart from other white apricot varieties. This is probably the final week for these, so savor the last of them. There are a few more on the trees, but as farmer Toby tells it, the birds will probably get ‘em first. :) Store on the counter. Grown organically by Free Spirit Farm in Winters.


The Santa Rosa plum is a classic. And in between gawking over the stunning colors, fantastical names, and dynamic flavors of pluot world, we like to pay respect to the plum elders. The Santa Rosa plum was developed by the famed agronomist Luther Burbank and released in 1906. Its fine flesh and lovely sweet-tart flavor has made it well-loved in the century since. Eat them fresh, or do like I do, and slip them into an equally classic plum torte. Store on the counter or in the fridge. Grown organically by Spreadwing Farm in Rumsey.


There’s a phrase Joyce’s 96-year-old grandma uses often, 熱氣 yeet-hay, which directly translates to “hot air”. There are foods that give you yeet-hay and there are foods that can cool yeet-hay. Too much yeet-hay food causes an imbalance in your body, leading to illness. Cherries and peaches are yeet-hay, so young Joyce was instructed not to eat too many (specifically, no more than 11 cherries…) Despite being, well, a peach, donut peaches are not yeet-hay. This never quite made sense to young Joyce (but a budding fruit lover takes what she can get!) Later, when Joyce learned that donut peaches are descendents of the peento peach, a flat peach variety considered the “peach of immortality” in China, it all made a little more sense. We love these Galaxy white donut peaches for their sweet, juicy flesh and heady aroma. And for their cooling effect! Store them on the counter, flat at room temp. Grown organically by Terra Firma Farms in Winters. 


Masumoto Family Farm is in full swing, and we’re happy to have Nikiko and friends down there to keep us well-nourished with the most delicious stone fruit of the season. We’re saying goodbye to the Gold Dust and welcoming the first harvests of Flavor Crest peaches. Eating a ripe one (with juice dripping down our arm, of course) makes us wanna say HELLOOOO SUMMER!!


The Spring Bright yellow nectarines are here to show you that a nectarine can be firm and juicy but also have a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Last year, Nikiko recommended pairing the Spring Brights with fish sauce, and we haven’t thought of a nectarine the same way since. Slice one up, fold the little jewels of nectarine into a glass noodle salad with chile/fish sauce/lime, and cue the fireworks! Store both on the counter. Grown organically by Masumoto Family Farm in Del Rey.


Encore appearances

Free Spirit Farm's Osage blackberries are an early season fave of ours. These plump and juicy berries have a melt-in-your-mouth texture that’s unmatched. Temps are still pushing 100*F in Winters this week (Tuesday: 109, Wednesday 111 😬), but Toby’s trellising technique is next level cool! The trellis pivots at the base, allowing him to angle his blackberry plants from vertical to horizontal, and points in between. It means that he can optimize for the perfect angle to provide the blackberries a little much-need shade, protecting them from sun damage. Read more about it in an email here we sent out last week. Enjoy the blackberries – if they’ve made it this far! Store in the fridge. Grown organically by Free Spirit Farm in Winters.

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