Dan travels often to the heat-soaked central valley of California to find great fruit. This year Blake Carlson's family farm is providing us with some amazing O'Henry Peaches. We didn't see this variety from Blake until mid- to end of august last year-it seems that California's entire stone fruit season has been ahead of schedule for 2007. The O'Henry is one of my favorite peach varieties. If all the other fruit in the crate could shout out, they would yell, "Yo Henry!" It's taste makes it one of the most popular. 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. Blake gives us peaches on the smaller side which we think always taste sweeter. This O'Henry has a soft and very fine fuzz to it. The O'Henry Peach is one of those stone fruit varieties that are a harbinger for the end of California’s stone fruit season. Don't be sad, there will still be peaches and nectarines, plums and pluots this month but we are now "peaking" in terms of California-grown quality and as we move into late August local varieties will dwindle. I think the O'Henry taste has rich and lingering hints of vanilla cream under a velvet peach flavor (however, I could have overly active taste buds). I recommend letting these peaches soften a day or two until they yield to slight pressure. If you are in a hot area they will ripen faster. We get them fresh from Blake in the morning and deliver them to you the next day. The first Bartlett pears from the Johnson family farm are also here this week. I'll catch up about those in the next few weeks.
Yo Henry! August 6, 2007
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