Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Eating seasonal....

This post is a few months late because Summer was officially over this past weekend.

One of the best things I enjoy about the Summer in LA is the abundance of so many different kinds of fruit and vegetables available at the local Farmers' Market. The things we look forward to (and in no particular order) are:

-White and Yellow Peaches, White and Yellow Nectarines.

-Different varieties of melons-Watermelon, French varieties(fragrant and oh- so sweet), Canary, Honeydew, muskmelon(most commonly called Cantaloupe in the US).

-Different varieties of grapes(Red, Green, Concord).

-Strawberries, Plums, Pluots, Apricots, Cherries(Bing and Rainer), Blueberries, Raspberries(Red and Gold).

-Blood, pink and other oranges. Those might be a bit earlier than Summer, I can't remember right now.

-The tasty multitude of heirloom tomatoes that put ANY sorry, supermarket tomato to absolute shame. Ripe heirlooms are already a flavor explosion. Season it properly with a tiny bit of sea salt and you just might have a culinary epiphany on your hands. Also included are vine-ripened, red and yellow Cherry tomatoes.

-Purslane, great in salad.

You have to remember that all fruit and vegetables that are in supermarkets are picked way before they are ripe because it takes time to get to the store(processing and travel) and for the most part, they(mostly Summer fruit) all aren't close in quality to their FM counterparts. In my opinion, Farmers' Markets are the way to go because all of the fruit are picked the day before they are sold.

There are so many other things and I can't remember them all right now. Maybe J might remember other things tomorrow. If you live in a place that has such a wide array or fresh fruit and vegetables during Summer, take advantage of that because you don't know how lucky you are. For example, we were sorely missing the fresh fruit and veggies of the So Cal Summer when we were in Ireland back in June. I'll talk about that some other time, but let's just say that there was a very limited variety available at the local stores which I thought was strange.

There are of course a ton of other things available the entire year.

Asparagus, Artichokes, a cornucopia of different fingerling potatoes-Peruvian Purple, Russian Banana, French fingerling, Red thumb and a few others. Different varieties of Kale and Chard. Red, Yellow, White and Orange Carrots. Bell peppers in-Yellow, Orange, Green, Red, 'Chocolate' and Purplish-white.

Well, you get the idea. I'm leaving out hundreds of other things we always get and those include fresh herbs. I love the hydroponic herbs at the FM.

Here are but a few pictures of some of the treats we get from the FM during the Summer and throughout the year in So Cal.

The inside of a Pluot

Japanese Heirloom Tomato

French variety Muskmelon(very fragrant without even cutting it open) which I think is a hybrid of a Honeydew and Cantaloupe because it tastes like both with the Honeydew flavor characteristics coming through more.

Yellow Cherry Tomatoes

Yellow/Red Heirloom tomatoes(they were called Pineapple) with fresh Basil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Japanese Cucumbers, assorted greens, sunflower seeds, sea salt and pepper.

Red heirloom tomato(I don't know the exact variety)with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt and a chiffonade of Basil.

Mini-watermelon(Super-delicious and juicy)
Remember, to pick a ripe one, stop with that tapping nonsense! You aren't playing the bongo drums. Look for a yellow spot on the watermelon and make sure it feels heavy for its size. Why you ask? That's the spot that the Watermelon lays on the ground and if the spot is whitish, your melon isn't ripe.

I'll be adding more later.


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