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Import Bartlett Pear Season

Import Bartlett pear season has begun out of the Southern Hemisphere Bartlett Pears from Argentina, also known as the Williams Bartlett, are the delicious piece of fruit we all recognize and love with its sweet flavor and smooth texture.  Pears are picked green but not ripe. They ripen from the inside out and have a fragrant aroma, but how do you know when your pear is ripe?  One way is to check the color. The Bartlett pear skin brightens as it ripens and the deep green skin will soften to a golden hue.  Touch is another way.  Apply gentle pressure to the neck or stem area of the pear and it will give slightly when it is ready to eat. The best way of all is to spend time getting to know your pear. Experiment with cutting them up at different times. You will get to know the exact color and feel of your pear when it is perfectly ripe. Timing is everything! Remember, all pears need to ripen at room temperature.

Bartlett Pears from the Southern Hemisphere run from March-July.  California historically starts up with Bartlett Pears the end of July or beginning of August out of the Sacramento and Stockton River Delta region.

Bartlett pears are perfect eaten out of hand, tossed in a salad, used for canning, preserves, syrups and they are great paired with cheese!




Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes February 28, 2021

NEW!  Argentinian Bartlett Pears, Peruvian Green Seedless Sweet Globe Grapes Purple Kohlrabi, Pink Variegated Lemons and Mexican Green Peeled Tomatillos March is Equal Exchange Banana Month! Download POS cards, posters, and shelf talkers and support the unconventional Fair Trade banana! Download all the latest organic news in our weekly buyers notes.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes February 22, 2021

Covilli Mexican Valencia oranges are perfect for juicing! They have thin skin, excellent taste, aroma and color.  Sweet and juicy, Gold Nuggets resemble the flavor of Pixies, and they are easy to peel and seedless. Moro Bloods have a beautiful dark red internal color, berry aromas and a wonderfully rich flavor. Tango Mandarins are a seedless Murcott. Its rind is rich with citrus oil and aromatic when pierced or muddled. Nagami and Meiwa Kumquats are now at the peak of flavor. Don’t miss the new Centennial Kumquat from Buck. Its sweet skin has moderately acidic pulp. Larger than your Nagami or Meiwa, it also has a greater proportion of juicy flesh and a thinner peel. Cara Caras, also known as the pink navel, have gorgeous internal reddish pink flesh.  Fragrant Meyer Lemons are in good supply. Lime prices are increasing. Pummelos are back in stock. Lee  Mandarins have a deep orange rind with a sweet, aromatic flavor. They are somewhat easy to peel. Maramalade Oranges, also called Seville or Bitter Oranges are great for making candied citrus and marmalade.  Finger Limes(also known as Caviar Lime)  have a tangy effervescent flavor. Gently squeeze the “caviar” out of the fruit and garnish sushi, seafood, melons, desserts or your favorite cocktail. Catch all the weekly organic fruit and veg updates each week and download Earl’s Winter Citrus Guide!

California Winter Avocados

Most recently we have been seeing the shiny thin skinned Bacon avocado.  The Bacon season is just starting up and will go for at least a few more weeks. It has a mild flavor with creamy flesh. Be careful when cutting this avocado into slices as the skin is very thin and delicate. We recommend peeling back the skin and then slicing the avocado.

Bacon Avocados

The Fuerte Avocado is now coming on strong for the next month or so. The medium sized pear shaped has an easy to peel thin green skin that stays green after ripening.  The flesh is a creamy pale green with a light smooth taste that pairs perfectly with a salad.

Interesting Fuerte Facts:

  • Fuerte means strong in Spanish because the variety can withstand temperatures as low as 26 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fuertes are a cross between a Mexican and Guatemalan species.
  • Fuerte was the original California favorite back in the 1950’s and helped to build the avocado industry.
Fuerte Avocado

Earl’s Fuertes are coming from various growers in San Diego County which produces 60 percent of all California Avocados, and is the acknowledged avocado capital of the nation.  (The California Avocado Commission CAC) Avocados contain Vitamin C and E which is good for the immune system and muscle development and  Riboflavin and Niacin aid in digestion and help maintain healthy skin. Avocados taste great and are good for you. What’s not to like?

Follow us as we continue to update you on the California avocado season. We will let you know what geographic regions the avocados are coming from and when they are at their peak flavor.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes February 14, 2021

Earl’s Exclusive! Covilli Fair Trade Purple Brussels Sprouts are back! Beautiful shades of purple ranging from a deep, dark purple to a bright violet. Purple Brussels are a little sweeter and have a more mellow flavor than green brussels sprouts. Purple foods are full of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help fight free radicals, and may offer anti-inflammatory benefits and help to improve cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The great news is that they keep their purple color after cooking!  Download this week’s buyer’s notes for all your organic produce updates and a delicious Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts Salad with spiced seeds recipe.

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes February 7, 2021

New this week! Crespo Mexican Ataulfo and Tommy Atkin Mangos are now available in convenient grab and go 7/3# net bags. Learn more about these two varieties and download a delicious and easy mango salsa recipe in our buyer’s notes this week. Gold Nugget Mandarins have bumpy skin, are very aromatic and easy to peel. Fruit is seedless with a rich and sweet flavor. Season starts in San Diego County and overlaps and finishes in the foothills of Fresno County. Golden Sunrise Papaya from Mexico are very sweet, Mini Seedless Watermelons from Mexico are back! Don’t miss the Nopales Cactus Pads, they make a delicious salad or taco.

California Fuerte Avocado

Avocados originated in south-central Mexico sometime between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C.  In the early 1900’s avocados began being grown commercially and by the 1950’s there were at least 25 different varieties being grown in California.  The Fuerte was number one and built the avocado industry, accounting for more than two-thirds of the California avocado production.

So why is it that the Hass avocado is everywhere and we don’t see the Fuerte very often anymore?  Although the Hass variety was discovered in the early 1930’s by a postman from Pasadena it had a very undesirable look with its thick bumpy skin that turned almost black when ripe.  In the 1970’s large scale production, transportation and marketing efforts convinced the consumer how delicious the Hass was with its high oil content.  Now the Hass makes up 80% of all avocados consumed in the entire world.

The Fuerte is a cross between the native Mexican and Guatemalan species and means strong in Spanish because it can withstand temperatures as low as 26 degrees Fahrenheit.  The medium sized pear shaped fruit is easy to peel and has smooth green skin that stays green after ripening.  The flesh is a creamy pale green with a light smooth taste that compliments any salad. Now available from Stehly Farms Organics in San Diego County.

Today, California is the leading producer of domestic avocados and home to about 90 percent of the nation’s crop. Most California Avocados are harvested on approximately 52,000 acres from San Luis Obispo through San Diego by nearly 5,000 growers. San Diego County, which produces 60 percent of all California Avocados, is the acknowledged avocado capital of the nation.  (The California Avocado Commission CAC


Kumquats- A Powerful Sensory Experience

Kumquats are a unique member of the citrus family and are thought to come from China.  The two main varieties of kumquats are the sweet and tart oval shaped Nagami and the sweet round Meiwa.  There are many other varieties of kumquats and hybrid kumquats including the Mandarinquat.

Kumquats are very hardy and can withstand cold temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. For that very reason hybrid kumquats were developed by a researcher in Florida who wanted to grow citrus farther north where citrus such as lemons, limes and oranges can not grow.  These hybrids can be substituted for lemons or limes and make great marmalades.

The versatile bite sized kumquats are small and fun to eat.  They don’t need to be peeled which makes them perfect for snacking. They are on average about an inch long and are completely edible including the seeds.

You are in for a powerful sensory experience as the ZING of the sourness hits your taste buds and your mouth puckers up.  The rind is sweet and the flesh is tart. I recommend slicing it up and adding it to your favorite salad. It goes particularly well with a quinoa salad.

Sweet rind and flesh with a good spicy flavor. It is the best kumquat for eating out of hand.

Meiwa Kumquat

A cross between a Kumquat and a Mandarin. They are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Eat them whole, seeds and all. Fragrant orange flesh has a sweet tart flavor. Bite into the sweet rind for a tangy, sweet and super juicy sensory experience! 


How to eat a kumquat:

Let the fruit come to room temperature and then gently rub the kumquat between the palms of your hand to get the juices and oil going, releasing the amazing citrus fragrance. Pop them in your mouth and enjoy!

Kumquats can be hard to find at times but worth searching out. California leads the nation in production.  Northern San Diego County is where many farms focus on specialty crops such as kumquats but they can be found growing as far north as Placerville, north of Sacramento.

Earl’s Organic Produce Buyer’s Notes January 31, 2021

New this week!  Lemonade Lemons have a light lemon flavor and are sweet with no tartness. Castlefranco Chicory from Ralph’s is an Heirloom variety from Italy with a mild taste and pretty burgundy speckles. Honeynut Squash from Covilli is an Earl’s favorite. Purple Charleston Potatoes have purple flesh and skin that intensifies when cooked, with a drier, denser texture than a Garnet or Jewel Sweet Potato. Don’t miss the gorgeous mixed Salanova and Bunched Spinach from Sunrise Farms in Buellton, California. Download the latest organic fruit and veg updates each week. 

Earl’s Organic Buyer’s Notes January 24, 2021

New this week!  Kishus are tiny bright and sweet mandarins with a kick of acid. Tango  Mandarins are a seedless Murcott. Their rind is rich with citrus oil and aromatic when pierced. Meiwa Kumquats have a sweet rind and flesh with a good spicy flavor.  They are delicious eaten out of hand, seeds and all.  Melogold Grapefruit is a cross between a pummelo and a grapefruit . The outstanding flavor is sweet and low in acidity, similar to an Oroblanco. Crespo Mexican Atualfo Mangos are back! Earl’s is now carrying a full line of California grown Far West Fungi Dried Mushrooms. Don’t miss an update on our favorite organic fruits and vegetables, download the buyer’s notes and the FWF Mushroom Chart here. 

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