Archive for April, 2014
Earl’s has a variety of delicious mangos with different textures and flavors. Ataulfo mangos are easy to spot with their vibrant yellow golden color and small kidney shape. The fantastic flavor and absence of stringy fibers are what make this mango so delicious. The pit is very thin which means there is more flesh to eat. As the Ataulfo becomes ripe the skin turns a deep golden color and begins to wrinkle. Ataulfos are ready to eat when the fruit yields to slight pressure. They should be left at room temperature until they are ready to eat. Ataulfos are also known as Honey, Manila, Yellow, Baby and Champagne mangos. They are available from March to July and are grown in Mexico. May is the time for peak flavor!
Tommy Atkins are medium to large oval or oblong shaped with a beautiful red blush covering most of the green, orange and yellow background. It has a very sweet flavor with some fibrous strands. As with the Ataulfo they are ready to eat when the flesh yields to slight pressure. We will see Tommy Atkins in season from March to July and October to January. Currently we are sourcing from Mexico but they also are grown in Ecuador and Peru.
The Haden Mango looks and tastes very similar to the Tommy Atkins mango and has the most amazing fragrance when ripe. They have a smooth rich sweet taste with very little fibers. The color of the skin is bright red over a yellow and green background with the distinguishing characteristic of small white dots. In addition to applying gentle pressure to determine ripeness the green background of the mango will turn yellow as it ripens. They are available in April and May and are sourced mostly from Mexico.
Leave mangos at room temperature until they are ready to eat. Do not store below 45 degrees because the cold can discolor the flesh. Therefore we do not recommend storing them in the refrigerator because the average temperature is around 38 degrees.
Follow these easy instructions for cutting a mango. Serve a mango salsa this Cinco de Mayo for a sweet and spicy treat.
California Cherry season is just around the corner and we anticipate our first land of cherries the week of May 12th. The cherry season is very short in California and typically lasts 4 to 6 weeks depending on the weather or variety. This year we are anticipating a lighter crop than usual. Some of the trees had uneven bloom at the end of March causing some fruit to come on later and eventually shrivel up and fall off the tree.
Cherries are a small and delicate fruit and need to be handled with extreme care. The fruit starting to size up on the tree can still be damaged if there is heavy rain or wind. Extreme weather can cause the cherries to split or crack and that part of the crop is lost. The cherries dangle together in groups of 2 to 6 pieces of fruit and the wind can cause them to bang up against each other, causing bruising on the shoulders of the fruit, the area near the stem.
Plump sweet red Bing cherries are the most popular variety grown in the Sacramento, Stockton and Lodi areas. Other varieties grown in California include Sequoia, Tulare, Brooks, Chelan, Lapin and Rainier although not all are found organically. California has a combination of nutrient-rich soil, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures, producing sweet fruit. Stay tuned for updates on the first cherry land and learn about the different California varieties as the season progresses.
In our last apple update we talked about how we had a shortage of domestic apples this year and that the season was starting to dwindle. A month later the domestic apple supply coming out of Controlled Atmosphere(CA) is very tight and supplies are limited. As the domestic season is finishing the first varieties of the import apples are starting up with Galas arriving now and Golden Delicious scheduled for the end of April. We can look forward to the Granny Smith, Braeburn and Red Delicious in the first half of May and the Fuji and Cripps Pink in the latter half of May. Imports will continue into late July/early August when the first California Gravensteins are harvested.
Beautiful green stalks of asparagus can grow an amazing 6 to 10 inches in a day. Coastal View Produce is a third generation organic asparagus grower in Gonzales, CA. Brian Violini, has been growing delicious organic asparagus in the Salinas Valley for over 40 years. Read the full blog here and learn about the life cycle of an asparagus plant from crown to harvest.