Easing into Fall fruit
High sugar and high acid, Wicksons are a tiny apple with BIG flavor. We eagerly anticipate Wickson crabapples from Devoto Orchards. They’re unusual for a crabapple, boasting a sweetness to match the typical crabapple tartness. This creates a super concentrated apple cider flavor that’s kind of like sour candy! Slightly larger than other crabapple varieties, we like to pop the whole thing in our mouth with seeds and all. The Wickson variety was developed right here in California in the 1940s and named after Edward Wickson, a legendary agronomist of early California. Store them in the fridge. Grown organically in Sebastopol.
We taste-tested some early pomegranate varieties over the last few weeks but they just convinced us to wait for Free Spirit Farm’s first Sharp Velvet red pomegranates. The skin, ranging from pink to dark red, contains deep crimson arils with a softer seed. These are super sweet with just the right amount of acid. This variety is so juicy and refreshing! The sharp flavor and softer seeds makes de-seeding these poms sooo worth it. The warm daytime sun creates beautiful exterior scarring. We love that Toby waits until they are super duper ripe – sometimes slightly cracking – before harvesting his pomegranates. That’s what we look for: ripe and ready to burst open into a million pips! Store in the fridge. Grown organically in Winters.
This is the second time (?) we’re telling you that we don’t typically eat stone fruit after September but we’re also here to tell you that this year is different. Most things are delayed, stone fruit incredibly so, and we’re savoring every bit of it and supporting farmers like Toby when the fruit tastes great. These Fall Fiesta pluots from Free Spirit Farm are a late-season pluot that's super sweet and stays firm when ripe. The skin is thinner than the Flavor Fall pluots from last week and the orangey flesh is juicy. Interestingly, Fall Fiestas are more than a run-of-the-mill plum-apricot hybrid. They have some cherry and nectarine genes in their lineage, too. That’s kinda fun! Store these on the counter. Grown organically in Winters.
We’re so grateful to celebrate the end of grape season with the most beautiful and delicious table grapes from Filigreen Farm. These white seedless Lakemont grapes are small and honey-sweet with amazing flavor. They instantly remind us of a (better) version of a Thompson seedless grape. Maybe it’s just us but these seem to mirror the changing seasons, most evident amidst a heat wave in the shorter days and oblique afternoon light. While the early-season varieties were remarkable for their bold, dynamic flavors, these are a bit more subtle and nuanced. The thin skins, small size, and firm pop of texture are a true joy! Store these in the fridge. Grown organically and biodynamically in Boonville.
Taylor’s Gold pear from Filigreen is one of those pear varieties we seek out every year. Similar to Warrens, Taylor’s Gold pears are tender, creamy and juicy with honey notes when ripe. They’re short-lived on the counter so check the neck of the pear near the stem for wrinkles or a little give with gentle pressure. Some argue that this variety was discovered as a natural mutation of the Comice pear, which makes sense given its similar characteristics. Whatever its genetic history, we love this sweet and aromatic pear. Store on the counter. Grown organically and biodynamically in Boonville.
These crisp and juicy Shinko asian pears are a late-ripening variety from EARTHseed Farm with lovely notes of citrus and butterscotch. Shinkos’ crunch gives way to a burst of sweet juice, creating a sort of crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth texture all at the same time. Shinko asian pears are nostalgic for Joyce. Throughout her childhood, she (I, it’s actually me, tbh) ate them both fresh and cooked in a warm, brothy, gingery asian pear dessert soup. We’re nearing the end of the fresh asian pear season, so enjoy these! Store them in the fridge to maintain crispness. Grown organically in Sebastopol.
Poli Yerena let us know that raspberries will be around until the first frost hits. It’s ideal weather for raspberries right now in Watsonville. With warmer days and cooler nights, these delicate berries taste amazing. He suspects the season will end in November, but in some years he’s harvested raspberries until January! California’s growing regions are incredible and so bountiful. There’s not many small growers harvesting raspberries this season given the wet weather and flooding earlier this year, so we’re holding onto what Yerena Farms has for us. Store these in the fridge. Grown organically in Watsonville.