October 26

October 26

Tarte Tatin Season

Feijoas, or Pineapple Guavas, are native to South America but are now commonly grown in California. They haven’t become a *real* commercial crop here in California, but they’re widely planted as ornamental trees or shrubs in home gardens. These are grown by Murray Family Farms down in Bakersfield where the temps are ideal for fruiting, though they also do well in foggy coastal climates. Feijoas are aromatic with flavors of pineapple, lemon, and quince. They have a soft flesh with jelly-like seeds that aren’t as bothersome as some other guavas. They’re wrapped in a thin green skin that’s slightly bitter and will soften with time. Steven Murray likes to cut them in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Store them on the counter until soft. Grown organically in Bakersfield.

Lemon guavas from Murray Family Farms are also bountiful at the moment. These are tiny little guavas but have fewer seeds than the more common tropical Asian guava. They’re sweet in flavor with a little tropical tang. (We find they're better eating if you pinch off the calyx – the fibrous little petals on one end – before diving in.) They are hard to find in stores because they bruise so easily when ripe. We hope you enjoy the tropical aroma of these delicate little yellow guavas as the weather cools down here in the Bay. Store these on the counter. Grown organically in Bakersfield.

It feels like such a fleeting season for Filigreen Farm grapes. These seeded Concord grapes are the last variety they’ll harvest this season so it feels EXTRA special. The nights are getting cooler, there’s more moisture in the air, and the grape leaves are changing color. Concords are the only seeded variety we’ve brought in, with more of an ‘old-fashioned’ feel compared to the newer seedless varieties out there. (They’re also noteworthy for being native to North America!) There’s a beautiful waxy bloom over their purple-blue skin and juicy jelly-like flesh. Concords are the OG slip-skin variety grape. You can eat the skin or not, you can eat the seeds or not, but there’s no doubt that they burst with quintessential grape juice flavor. Concords are an important variety in the genetic lineage of many more recently-developed grapes so we like to pay homage to them. Grown organically and biodynamically in Boonville.

Coffee Cake persimmons are the first fuyu-type persimmons to ripen during the season and this is the last week for them from Free Spirit Farm. Speckly brown on the inside, these persimmons are beautifully ripe and crisp with a flavor that's sweet and complex. It’s funny to think of persimmons as a “commercial crop” given how recently they gained popularity in the United States. For bigger growers and shippers, it’s a great commercial fruit because it’s hardy and can be picked with green shoulders (and underdeveloped flavors) to finish ripening on the counter. But if you’ve tasted one that’s hung on to the tree to become fully ripe, it’s a game changer. Enjoy the last Coffee Cake persimmons. Grown organically in Winters.

Pomegranates remind us to slow down. To sit down and de-seed a pomegranate and enjoy the slower moments of the seasons changing. These Sharp Velvet red pomegranates from Toby at Free Spirit Farm are so juicy and flavorful, with slightly softer seeds than other red varieties. We know pomegranates can be a lot of work, but we turned out a handy dandy video (see @heyfruitqueen on IG) to release these pips in no time! Luckily, eating pomegranate seeds goes a lot faster since you can scoop ’em by the spoonful. Store these on the counter or in the fridge. Grown organically in Winters. 

Most Asian pears have that butterscotch-y flavor but Chojuro Asian pears are the ultimate winners. Their flavor resembles a deep caramel, like the bottom (then top!) of a tarte tatin you took a little too far. One of EARTHseed Farm’s later varieties, they’re crispy, sweet, juicy, and just so satisfying! And that beautiful golden brown skin! Store these in the fridge to maintain crispiness. Grown organically in Sebastopol.

The Rome Beauty apple is an heirloom apple of mysterious parentage. It was discovered as a random seedling in Ohio in 1820 and has come to be appreciated for its versatility as an eating and baking apple, and for its gorgeous red hue. Some of us have been enjoying the bounty of Stan Devoto’s cider apples with a little tarte tatin kick. The Rome Beauty would be an excellent choice for that; its texture holds up well and it maintains some tartness in the finished product. Store these in the fridge. Grown organically in Sebastopol.

We’re still enjoying raspberries because they are tangy, sweet, floral, complex, delicate, and all the wonderful things that represent a raspberry nearing November. We’re grateful Poli and Sylvia are still getting us raspberries since most of what’s offered in the stores are imports. We’re lucky to be getting organic, local, delicious raspberries from the Yerena family. Enjoy them while you can, it’s starting to feel like the first frost is near. Store in the fridge. Grown organically in Watsonville.
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