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Archive for 2019

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes October 20, 2019

Cranberry season has started! Biodynamic cranberries are available by pre-order. Kiwi berries are winding down. Gorgeous Mt. Hoot Biodynamic Mountain Rose and Swiss Gourmet apples landed early. Read the full weekly update below.

Golden Persimmons

Have you ever tried a persimmon and thought you didn’t like it? Hachiyas and Fuyus are the two main commercial varieties of persimmons in the United States and are eaten very differently.  Hachiyas are tapered and shaped like an acorn. If you accidentally tried a piece of Hachiya before it was completely jelly soft, the astringency and bitterness would leave a fuzzy taste in your mouth. Hachiyas need to be fully ripened until they are almost translucent and EXTREMELY soft. If you think any part of the fruit is still firm you need to wait. Cut a ripe Hachiya in half and scoop out the delicious fruit or use the pulp in cakes, cookies and muffins.

Fuyu’s are short, squat and non-astringent and when ripe they have a sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon and apricot.   You can eat them raw when they are firm or soft and they do not need to be peeled.  Fuyu’s can be eaten like an apple, cut up and eaten on their own or great in a salad.  You may sometimes find a few seeds inside but they are easy to eat around. Try making a Fuyu persimmon salad with cumin-lime vinaigrette or James Beard’s persimmon bread with Hachiya persimmons. 

Fuyu persimmon (1)
Fuyu Persimmons

The harvest usually starts around the beginning of October and goes through December. It can extend into January if there is no winter freeze.  California grows almost 100% of the persimmon crop in the United States followed by Florida, Texas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Missouri. In California over half of the persimmons are grown in Tulare and Fresno counties.  The other main areas are Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties and a very small amount are grown in Sutter and Placer counties north of Sacramento.Persimmons unlike many fruits will keep longer if left at room temperature. 

Storage and buying tips: Once they are in the refrigerator they will go soft faster and will need to be eaten quickly. Look for persimmons with smooth skin and no bruising. Persimmons are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and fiber and full of antioxidants.

Cool fact: The light colored, fine-grained wood from a persimmon tree is used to make billard cues, drum sticks, golf clubs and furniture.If you have never tried a persimmon this is the year to be adventurous!

Two Main Varieties of Persimmons

Hachiyas and Fuyus are the two main commercial varieties of persimmons in the United States and are eaten very differently.  Hachiyas are tapered and shaped like an acorn. If you accidentally tried a piece of Hachiya before it was completely jelly soft, the astringency and bitterness would leave a fuzzy taste in your mouth. Hachiyas need to be fully ripened until they are almost translucent and EXTREMELY soft. If you think any part of the fruit is still firm you need to wait. Cut a ripe Hachiya in half and scoop out the delicious fruit or use the pulp in cakes, cookies and muffins.

Fuyu’s are short, squat and non-astrigent and when ripe they have a sweet flavor with a hint of cinnamon and apricot.   You can eat them raw when they are firm or soft and they do not need to be peeled.  Fuyu’s can be eaten like an apple, cut up and eaten on their own or great in a salad.

Fuyu persimmon (1)

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes October 11, 2019

NEW! California Fuyu and Hachiya Persimmons along with gorgeous Biodynamic Red Jonagold apples from Mt. Hood in Oregon. Corn from Dwelley is back and Kiwi Berries are winding down. Read the full update in our weekly buyer’s notes.

Download the pdf.

Earl’s Organic Moves Away From Plastic- THE PACKER

The biggest banana-related trend at Earl’s Organic Produce in San Francisco is a move away from plastic packaging, said Jonathan Kitchens, fruit buyer.

“We’re even to the point where, whenever possible, we are having the banana packers remove the parafilm that covers the crown that apparently reduces crown rot,” he said.

The company also has intensified its commitment to Fair Trade.

Jonathan Kitchens Fruit Buyer

“100% of our bananas are Fair Trade,” Kitchens said.

Earl’s sources its bananas from two growing regions — Mexico and Ecuador.

Mariana Cobos, Equal Exchange Fair Trade Banana Farmer

Fruit from Mexico arrives on trucks, while bananas from Ecuador are shipped by boat, he said.

“Having two regions and two modes of transportation allows for all the inevitable variabilities in produce,” Kitchens said.

The same type of banana is grown in each location.

Original article in The Packer October 10, 2019 http://bit.ly/earlsmovesawayfromplastic

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