9th Fruit Delivery: week of October 3rd, 2011

Dapple Dandy Pluots are from Goosetail Orchard in Washington.  Pluots are a hybrid of a plum and an apricot and mainly retain the characteristics of a plum. Dapple Dandys are large in size with a mottled, pale green to yellow, red-spotted skin: hence the trademarked name ‘Dinosaur egg’ that you may see in some stores. They have red or pink juicy flesh that’s relatively firm. The Dapple Dandy ripens in late-September and has one of the highest Brix level readings on a refract meter, meaning that it is especially sweet. Keep pluots at 65-70 degrees for the most ideal ripening conditions.

Luscious Pears are grown by Future Fruit in Ridgeway, Wisconsin. This is a cross-parentage pear that is very sweet and aromatic with a hint of butterscotch and honey. They’re not big. They’re not shiny.” But after tasting this pear, people have embraced the Luscious as one of the best tasting pears grown. It’s an excellent dessert pear, and would shine in this lovely, golden Greedy Pudding Pear Cake. http://www.tinnedtomatoes.com/2009/11/greedy-pudding-pear-cake.html Leave pears out at room temperature, and they will ripen in a few days to a week, depending on the maturity when delivered. As the pears ripen they have a golden yellow color with a reddish blush. Luscious pears are to be eaten while still firm. If you choose to hold off the ripening process, the fruit should be refrigerated and will hold three to four weeks. Once ripe, a pear will not last much more than a couple of days, even in the refrigerator. This pear is not as attractive as more ordinary or hybrid pears, but the taste and flavor is extremely Luscious!

Biodynamic Thompson Grapes are grown at Marion Farms near Fresno CA. Thompson grapes are thin-skinned, sweet and juicy, and can be eaten fresh or dried. The frosty look you might find on grape varieties is called bloom, and is a natural protection produced by grapes. These biodynamic grapes are described as having some “ambering” on the skin.  This is an indication of the high sugar content and more intense flavor. Hand-picked at the peak of ripeness and perfection (because grapes do not continue to ripen off the vine, unlike your pears and pluots), store grapes in the refrigerator and rinse them only before you are ready to eat them. Grapes will complement pan-seared chicken dishes; try adding some to the pan, along with your favorite wine, and simmer the grapes until they are heated through.

MacIntosh Apples are grown by Elams Organics in Cawston, British Columbia. MacIntosh apples, which originate in Canada, are a tender and slightly less tart variety. For these reasons, cooking with this apple is limited, but it remains a fine apple for eating fresh. Apples are picked at their peak ripeness so additional ripening really means acceleration in the decaying process (they will become mealy and mushy). Apples should be refrigerated as soon as they are brought home. It is best to keep apples as cold as possible so store them in the back of your refrigerator. If stored well, apples can last for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Pomegranates are grown by Home Grown Cellars near Madera, California.  Pomegranates have a long storage life of approximately two weeks. Don’t worry about the surface mold if you find any, just wipe it off; it should not affect the inside. It is best to store them out of direct sunlight and in a cool place. By storing them in the refrigerator, you extend their storage life up to two months or more. Once peeled, the seeds will last a week or more in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to a year. Once juiced, pomegranates will last about five days under refrigeration, and up to six months frozen. Pomegranate seeds are popular in Mexico this time of year, as they are used as the final garnish in a popular dish, Chiles en Nogada http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/chiles_en_nogada_chilies_in_walnut_sauce/, that is traditionally served around Mexican independence day, which was just a few weeks ago.

The Hass Avocados come to you this week from Calavo Growers in Mexico. Avocados are sodium- and cholesterol-free and have only five grams of fat per serving; most of it is the monounsaturated kind. Store at cool room temperature until they reach peak ripeness. When the fruit yields to gentle finger pressure, and in the case of the Hass variety, when the skin darkens from green to black, it is ready to be eaten.

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