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Archive for August, 2013

Valencias Are At Their Sweetest

If you love fresh juice like I do then you don’t want to miss out on the peak season of the California Valencias. Valencia oranges are at the absolute best right now in terms of sweetness and flavor. The sugar levels are fully developed and the flavor doesn’t get any better than this.  The season starts in April and will be ending soon in October so don’t let it pass you by.  Soon navel oranges will be in season and they are not good for juicing due to the bitter limonin found in the peel.

Valencia Orange

Valencia Orange

Valencias are the best citrus for juicing until the winter crop of citrus comes on. Satsuma Mandarins from Side Hill in Lincoln, north of Sacramento, are one of the first varieties we will see around November 1st.  Other varieties we can look forward to include Cara Cara’s, Minneola’s, Page Mandarins, Murcott Tangerines, Blood Oranges and Ruby Red grapefruit.

As the season comes to a close in the next few months, volume will be decreasing and prices will go up. Now is the time to come into Earl’s and buy a case or more to share with your friends or neighbors. We recommend splitting cases because it is important to maintain the cold chain. Unless you have a huge refrigerator you won’t be able to store a whole case. The ideal temperature to store citrus is between 40-45 degrees and the average temperature in your refrigerator is 38. Plan to start juicing as much as you can as soon as you buy your citrus and store the rest until you are ready to juice again.  Keeping your produce cold slows down the ripening process and your citrus will last for up to a few weeks in your refrigerator.

Plan a Sunday brunch party with your friends because nothing beats a mimosa made with fresh organic juice. Earl’s is open to the public Sunday night to Friday morning 10p-10am. We accept cash or check only.

Now Is The Time To Eat Figs!

There are hundreds of varieties of figs but the most popular are the Adriatic with light green or yellowish skin and pale pink to reddish lightly sweet flesh, the Kadota with light green skin and sweet white flesh, the Brown Turkey ranges in color from brown to copper with a very fragrant flavor and the Black Mission has a deep purple to black skin with sweet pink flesh.

Read the full story here

Black Mission Figs

Black Mission Figs

The Sweetest Figs of the Season

Now is the best time of the year to eat fresh figs. The first crop arrives in June and hasn’t yet developed the honey sweetness we associate with a delicious fig. There is a brief break during July before the 2nd crop arrives around the beginning of August. Figs develop their peak flavor from the middle of August to around the middle of September. In our opinion it is worth waiting for that delicious, incredibly rich and sugary fig.

California Figs need warm weather to thrive. They can be found growing almost anywhere in the lower 2/3 of the state. The main commercial producing areas are Madera and Merced in the San Joaquin Valley, about 3 hours south of San Francisco and in Corning, CA about 3 hours north of San Francisco. Maywood Farms in Corning, CA, Stellar in Madera, CA and Susie Bee farms from Chowchilla, in the central Joaquin Valley, bring you some of the best organic figs. California ranks #1 in US production of figs and produces 100 % of the USA’s dried figs and 98 % of fresh figs.

There are hundreds of varieties of figs but the most popular are the Adriatic with light green or yellowish skin and pale pink to reddish lightly sweet flesh, the Kadota with light green skin and sweet white flesh, the Brown Turkey ranges in color from brown to copper with a very fragrant flavor and the Black Mission has a deep purple to black skin with sweet pink flesh.

Adriatic

Adriatic

Kadota

Kadota

Brown Turkey

Brown Turkey

Black Mission

Black Mission

Figs are picked ripe and do not ripen once they are off the tree.  Figs bruise very easily and ripe figs can be carefully stored on a paper towel-lined plate in the refrigerator for a few days. They are best eaten when they are extremely soft. As with most fruit we recommend bringing them to room temperature for best flavor. Stay away from figs that are shrunken, have milky liquid around the stem or have mold.

Figs are very high in fiber and just ¼ cup of figs provides 20% of the recommended daily value.  Figs also have no fat, sodium or cholesterol.  The season to try them is right now! They are great out of hand or try making your own fresh fig bars with either Adriatic or Black Mission Figs.

Click here for 10 delicious fig recipes. As always we love to see photos of what you made on our Facebook wall. Bon Appetit!

 

Piel De Sapo

Piel De Sapo melons are a special treat. They are only around for a short time and not widely commercially grown. They come from a group of Spanish melons and have pale green to white inner flesh with a sweet flavor similar to honeydew.  Piel De Sapo’s are also sometimes called the Christmas melon because they store well.

Piel De Sapo (2)

 

Pink Pearl Apples

California apple season is starting up again. Earl’s just received a shipment of delicious Pink Pearl apples from Rider and Sons in Watsonville, California.  Jim and Dick Rider are fifth generation orchardists and their grandfather, Homer, was one of the pioneer fruit growers in the Watsonville, California area.

The skin is a pale pink color with light green spots.  The flesh is a beautiful deep pink and the flavor is sweet tart to tart and very crisp. This is a great apple for cooking and visions of pink applesauce and pretty fruit tarts come to mind.  Pink Pearls are here for a limited time so get them while you can. 

Kathy's hair matches the Pink Pearl cropped

Kathy’s hair matches the Pink Pearl apple

Pink Pearl cropped

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