It was 1982 — 7th grade at Valley Forge Junior High school. My shop teacher, Mr. Mickey, had the stereotypical nub of an index finger that he could put on his nose, so it looked like it was going into his brain. He talked in a raspy voice that only came from the combination of smoking for decades while tanning leather. “Mittelstaedt,” he croaked, “come up here.” In retrospect, it could have been my inability to punch out holes in a leather belt with one swift knock of the awl, or maybe it was my lack of interest in stamping eagles into wrist bands; but in the end, I just wasn’t his kind of guy. “I see you got a fancy haircut,” he said in front of the class. He paused and considered me. “Did your mom put a bowl on your head to do that or did you cut it yourself?” Not thinking clearly, I said: “I wanted to look just like you, Mr. Mickey – fancy!” Later, when I was in the vice principal’s office for talking back to a teacher, I decided that I would try and use fancy as much as possible in daily conversation — especially around Mr. Mickey.
That’s why I was so excited when we received the champagne grapes, a.k.a. Black Corinth. Not only are they small, petite and sweet but they are aptly named: “Fancy!” There isn’t anything else like popping one tiny fancy grape into your mouth, rolling it on your tongue and then biting into the sweet juice. These are genuinely the caviar of grapes, and they are superbly, undeniably fancy. As these are conventional grapes, we’ve put them in all of the crates except the organic ones.
Neptune nectarines can pop up in our conventional crates. Regardless of the fancy marketing name, this is basically a flat “donut-shaped” white nectarine. Different from the donut peaches, this nectarine can be sweet (and not astringent) in both the firm and soft form. There is a considerable amount of taste and sweetness in these, and although it looks a bit odd and bumpy upon first sight, please don’t be afraid (remember it’s fancy!). Try it out – I think you’ll really like it.
Enjoy and be fruitful! – Chris Mittelstaedt firstname.lastname@example.org