O' My Henry! August 21, 2006

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Dan's trips to the heat-soaked central valley of California are providing us with a taste explosion. This week we have one of my favorite peach varieties - the O'Henry peach. You can recognize this fruit from its dark red color and slightly odd shape. The peach has, for lack of a better term, a slightly protruding peach-proboscis on one end. The farmer who grows these for us tends to provide them on the smaller side and we think they taste sweeter than the large ones. This O'Henry has a soft and very fine fuzz to it that will make you want to cuddle with it and say - "There, there my little peach friend. It's all going to be okay. Nothing is going to happen to you. What? No, don't be alarmed about the plate I'm pulling out. I'm just feeling "Sterkloopt" - it means to stage your office like an Ikea catalog and pretend you're having fruitarian guests for a dinner party. Why am I getting so close, I just want to whisper something to you. . ." As you eat this peach with wild abandon try to slow yourself down and taste its wonderful nuances. Maybe I have overly imaginative taste buds but I look forward to this time of year when I can experience the rich and lingering hints of vanilla cream under a velvet peach-flavor that only the O' Henry provides. I recommend letting these peaches soften a day or two until they yield to slight pressure. We get them fresh off the tree (usually that day) and pack them a bit firm so they won't be damaged during delivery to you.
Hybrids aren't just for driving, they're for eating too! Dan found a great pluot this week called the Flavor Grenade. This is a hybrid fruit which is not to say genetically modified - we don't buy GMO fruit. Hybrid fruits occur naturally in the wild or can be developed by growers who pollinate the flowers on their fruit trees with pollen from different fruit trees. This is a very simple explanation but I wanted people to understand so they didn't think that hybrid fruits were GMO products. The Flavor Grenade is a green-yellow colored pluot (a cross between a plum and an apricot) with a purple/red blush to it. We like it because it has very low acid and a sweet taste. It is irregularly shaped (more like an egg than a sphere) and should be eaten firm. I really like these crisp when you cool them in the fridge. I find they can provide a refreshingly cold and juicy break on a hot day. Both the O'Henry and the Flavor Grenade can be found in the conventional crates. Enjoy and be fruitful!


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