Let's Hear It for the Stones!

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Stone fruit season is here, the peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries will be rolling into fruit cases for the next few months. First to the table are the fruits from orchards in California's San Joaquin Valley. Then each region, in a procession from Central Valley toward the Pacific Coast, will begin popping out fruit. Here and there, micro-climates will be harvesting - each variety having clocked enough chill hours and hopefully winter rain.

Currently the East Coast is receiving peaches and cherries from California. Very soon, South Carolina with be ripening its bounty. We breathlessly wait to see if Georgia received enough rain to send out their famous peaches. But as summer lolls along it should be the distinguished Pennsylvania peach-producing counties like Adams and York that'll be sending out their stone fruits. FruitGuy Erin Mittlestaedt looked into her crystal ball and sees fair weather for Southern New Jersey and a riches of blueberries in July.

Here is a survey of upcoming fruit. Weather depending, of course.

Cherries
Brooks cherries pop out in Fresno, California, beating Bakersfield by a week. But this isn't the only cherry rivalry. There has been an East Coast - West Coast competition for decades. Of course each coasts' cherries ripen at different times. The season seems too short to spend it fighting. Be it Bing, Rainier or Lamberts, cherries bring out the child in us.

1 cup raw cherries (with pits) - 139g
Calories: 87
Total Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 22g
Fiber: 3g
Sugars: 18g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A - 2% Daily Value
Vitamin C - 16% Daily Value

Peaches and Nectarines
There are hundreds of varieties of peaches and nectarines. They can easily be parsed into a few categories. Clingstone and Freestone. Cut the peach down the cleft and rotate. A freestone peach will fall away from the pit easily, the clingstone will not. Peaches and nectarines are very close cousins. Peaches are pubescent, with fuzz - that's where we get a lot of our wonderful imagery of youthful beauty. Within the peach realm, there are white-fleshed and yellow-fleshed. The white peaches tend to be sweeter, technically they really have less acidity. Some come in fun shapes, these are donut or saturn varieties.

1 cup slices - 154g
Calories: 60
Total Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 15g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 13g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A - 10% Daily Value
Vitamin C - 17% Daily Value

Pluots, Plumcots and Aprium
Pluots, plumcots and aprium are a group of new hybrids. This not GMO - but plant breeding and selection. It takes decades and 100s of trees to breed a new fruit. The grand daddies of these fruit are botanists Floyd Zaiger and Luther Burbank. The plumcot is 1/2 plum and 1/2 apricot. The pluot is 3/4 plum and 1/4 apricot. And the aprium is1/4 plum and 3/4 apricot. Within these combinations is a colorful matrix of skin colors, sweet and tart flesh and fantastic names like Dapple Dandy, Flavor Granade, Flavorosa, and Flavorella to name but a few of the delights coming your way this season.

1 cup sliced - 165g
Calories: 76
Total Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: 10g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 16g
Protein: 1g
Vitamin A - 11% Daily Value
Vitamin C - 26% Daily Value

Stone fruits are generally climacteric fruits, this means they continue to ripen after being harvested from the tree. The FruitGuys delivers them to you on the firm side so they won't be damaged in the shipping. Ripening can be hastened by placing them in a paper bag on the counter. When they've reached the desired ripeness - refrigerate.

 

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