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Burkart Orchards Stone Fruit

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Stone fruit season is just beginning.  Sweet and juicy white and yellow peaches, nectarines and apricots are arriving by the pallet every day from Burkart Orchards.  Burkart grows high-quality organic stone fruit on 65 acres near Dinuba along the northern border of Tulare County about 4 hours south of San Francisco.

Richard Burkart, along with many growers, spends extra time focusing on the quality of his stone fruit.  In order to ensure he is getting the ripest fruit, Richard makes several picks of each variety in the orchard to get the fruit at their optimum ripeness with the highest sugar levels for shipping.

If you have ever bought a piece of stone fruit and it just never had the sweetness you expected, it could be that it was picked before it was mature.  As a consumer, I have learned that this inconsistency can point to a single pick by the grower.  Orchards are made up of different varieties which will ripen at different times.  To save on labor costs a single variety may be harvested in one pick, rather than multiple pickings of the fruit as it reaches maturity.

Ask your produce department for a taste of that peach, nectarine or apricot so you know what you’re buying.  Smell the fruit, it should smell aromatic and sweet.  Check the area around the stem, you don’t want it to be green.  You also don’t want any bruising on the fruit or wrinkly skin.

Burkart Nectarines

Burkart Peaches

Cosmetically, stone fruit might not always look perfect. There may be some scarring on the fruit which is natural.  The fruit may be growing against a branch or a leaf which makes an imprint on the fruit. This won’t affect the flavor of the fruit one bit. It is just a gentle reminder that you are eating something grown from the earth.

The biggest difference between nectarines and peaches is the lack of fuzz on the skin.  Nectarines are usually smaller, more aromatic and sweeter than peaches and the skin is a deeper red color.  Stone fruit usually ripens up at room temperature within 2-3 days and will give slightly to the touch when they are ready to eat.

Don’t miss out on the first delicious stone fruit of the season! Stone fruit is delicious out of hand, sliced up and topped with organic whipped cream or bake the fruit in a cobbler and serve drizzled with fresh cold organic cream.

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