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liuzhou

Fruit

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Until I read this post, I didn't realize Driscoll's was international... I knew that they spanned the US - but had no idea of their sales elsewhere... Good to know that we in the US aren't the only ones shortchanged by Driscoll's crappy fruit... :)

 

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You can buy Driscoll's fruit everywhere in Canada, too.

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I used to drive past a big Driscoll's packing and shipping building on my way to work.  The big sign outside had their former name, "Driscoll's Strawberry Associates, Inc."   

For some reason, that name tickled my funny bone and I always imagined a group of big "strawberry associates" sitting around a conference table in the board room, making important business decisions.  

Alas, they shortened the name to Driscoll's last year and I don't drive that way anymore but this thread reminded me and gave me another laugh!

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Their raspberries are starting to be just like the strawberries. Last box I bought was filled with big, beautiful berries that tasted of nothing. (And I sent Driscoll a note informing them of such; no response.) 

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Have Driscoll strawberries in the fridge as we speak. They're better than no strawberries at all, albeit not a whole lot. Given the early spring, we might get some decently early strawberries; in any event, with the late Easter, we will have local asparagus and strawberries for Easter dinner. May have ham and deviled eggs, but who will notice?

 

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The only Driscoll's product I have seen in China is those pathetic raspberries and the locals ain't biting that I can see.

The home strawberry industry is far too ingrained for them to break in, I suspect. People know what strawberries should taste like - it seems Driscoll's doesn't.

Redriscollous!

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Over in this topic, @ninagluck said:

Quote

nowadays it seems that pomegranates are available all year over here

 

I've noticed for the past few years that pomegranates are available in very off-season months (i.e. summer) in Duluth, MN, far from where they're grown, yet they disappear promptly from the California and Arizona markets that I visit right around Christmas. I don't understand it - they're grown in California, harvested in the fall and presumably available for storage and later distribution, but they aren't to be found.  How about the rest of the USA? Are you seeing pomegranates right now, in March? Am I just visiting the wrong markets in California?

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Not just pomegranates. I see everything, all the time, with no relation to season. Maybe they're not available in California because they send them to the rest of the States, and so only have enough there to be sold in-season. With the exception of fresh cherries and particular types of grapes, I can't think of any fruit that I don't see year-round. I know that many people see that as being wonderful, but I usually find it to be distressing.

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Like @Smithy said, I don't see fresh pomegranates in stores around here, except for the fall/winter season when they are harvested here.  But I do see the packaged arils available for a much longer period.  Not sure if it's all year but I bought some last week and haven't seen a fresh pomegranate around in months.  I guess they all went to @cakewalk's area.

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On 3/19/2017 at 1:58 PM, Smithy said:

Are you seeing pomegranates right now, in March?

 

I was at our local Food Lion grocery store yesterday, and they had no pomegranates. They are considered low end, but usually have mangoes, plantains and the usual winter suspects.

 

Today, I walked up to Harris Teeter, which is much higher end. There is soothing classical music on the speakers, a Starbuck's outlet, hot pizza bar, sandwiches made to order, and a killer salad bar, plus all sorts of other stuff you would never see at Food Lion with high end prices to match. They did have pomegranates from Chile. I tried to check the price, but could not find one. They also had horned melons, labeled "Kiwano" by Melissa's Produce. They offered sugar cane, key limes, golden and larger green papayas, kiwis, starfruit, and key limes. There was a sign for passion fruit, but none on the display. There was also a sign for fresh figs, but again none in sight. :( I did pick up a pack of dried figs that are nice and soft in texture, but I haven't opened the package yet. This was 9 oz. for $3.99. Oh, and the wine section at HT is at least 6 times the offering at FL.

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Lots of California citrus: grapefruit, meyer lemons, navel oranges, and cara cara oranges. Pears and apples. Still limited in the variety of fruits this time of year. I try to stick to things that are available in North America rather than relying on fruits that come from far away.

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One of the odder things in the supermarkets now are these 人形果 - rén xíng guǒ or "People Shaped Fruit". This is a craze believed to have started in Taiwan, but now spread to mainland China.

 

rxg1.thumb.jpg.636744306929888e2857c158054798c8.jpg

 

Young fruit is enclosed in a translucent mould, forcing the ripe fruit to take on whatever shape the mould determines. Various shapes are available –  from babies to the Chairman.

This Buddha look-alike carries the character  - fú, which means good fortune, blessings or happiness.

rxg2.thumb.jpg.ef006506d4c6935db6f1ff2c9e9fb983.jpg


He is some kind of melon.

 

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On the way home from visiting "the woman who fixes stuff" to ask her to sort out a bust zipper on my favourite coat/jacket, I passed the first mulberry fruit street vendor of the season. Within days there will be dozens.

 

mulberry.jpg.8687264fcd91f079b1b73b772ca26e7f.jpg

 

Today, they were a bit pricey so I passed, but when the competition arrives it will get more sensible. That is communism or capitalism - I can't tell the difference any more.

 

P.S. Jacket restored to perfection. Cost: 73 cents USD; 58 pence GBP. A lot less than the fruit!

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I was in the supermarket this morning and spotted some saintly women. Not your actual angels, nuns or the like, but a cut above the average. Most of the trouble in my long, sad life can be attributed to my addiction to not-so-saintly women and my attempts to convince the truly saintly women I’ve known to lower their standards, usually unsuccessfully. So, it comes to me as no surprise to have become totally addicted to these beauties.


I can buy them in shiny presentation packs prepared in remote factories. These are not what you want. They are usually shrivelled, over made-up, dusted with sweeteners and preservatives and past their prime, a bit like...no. I won't get personal!

 

What I need are fresh, newly plucked from the vine saintly women, carefully prepared and sold loose. Loose saintly women. Oh yes!

You are probably wondering what the hell I am on about. Or what I’m on.

 

cherry-tomatos2.jpg.96e6de5d13b8d694671433aa84d15847.jpg

 

圣女果 - shèng nǚ guǒ, saintly women fruit are quite simply cherry tomatoes. I love to roast them or fry them until they implode or explode. (Loose, exploding saintly women! Hose me down, Scotty!)

They are always sold on the fruit shelves or in the fruit shops. They are not usually thought of as a vegetable here but as fruit. (Yes, I know all tomatoes are technically fruit, thank you.)

 

We also get dried saintly women. Obviously not as immediately alluring as the fresh ladies, but they are also totally wonderful and highly addictive. A bit like sun-dried tomatoes, or sun-dried actresses, but without the oil in which they are often presented. These are just the tomatoes, intended to be eaten as a snack.

 

The drying process is only partial and intensifies their allure and flavour. They retain a rich juiciness.

Or so they tell me.

 

Dried-cherry-tomato.jpg


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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I've been given 16 organic persimmons.

The grower said to pickle some unripe ones now, and make jam when they're really ripe. We're not big on jam. What would you do ?

 

IMG_3384.thumb.JPG.5b13f5a68070799d954761bca6c1a578.JPG


Edited by sartoric (log)
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32 minutes ago, sartoric said:

I've been given 16 organic persimmons.

The grower said to pickle some unripe ones now, and make jam when they're really ripe. We're not big on jam. What would you do ?

 

Frankly, although it's probably not what you want to hear, what I would do is bin 'em or give them to people I don't like!.

Persimmons are possibly the one fruit I utterly loathe.

But if it helps, they are often sold dried here and seem quite popular. Yeah, fresh, pickled, jammed too. Unfortunately not eradicated from the planet.

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On 3/24/2017 at 3:57 AM, liuzhou said:

On the way home from visiting "the woman who fixes stuff" to ask her to sort out a bust zipper on my favourite coat/jacket, I passed the first mulberry fruit street vendor of the season. Within days there will be dozens.

 

mulberry.jpg.8687264fcd91f079b1b73b772ca26e7f.jpg

 

 

I suppose if you are in areas not far from silkworm farming, mulberries can be very cheap. Silkworms only eat mulberry leaves.

I remember long time ago, I travelled to a town where there was a lot of silkworm farming. A very ecological way of life style.

 

Mulberry trees produced berries for people, leaves for silkworms. Silkworms made silk. Silkworms also made a lot of droppings, which were used as feed for carp fish farming. After silkworm cocoons were processed for silk, the pupas were fried as snacks. Very tasty snacks and healthy for people.

 

100% recycling. Nothing was wasted.

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)
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5 hours ago, sartoric said:

I've been given 16 organic persimmons.

The grower said to pickle some unripe ones now, and make jam when they're really ripe. We're not big on jam. What would you do ?

 

IMG_3384.thumb.JPG.5b13f5a68070799d954761bca6c1a578.JPG

 

That brings back memories! I never saw persimmons until I moved to Israel, and when I first saw them in the market I thought they were some type of tomato. When they are ripe and soft and sweet, there's nothing like them. So I would just eat them out of hand. I remember once making a persimmon loaf (there are recipes floating around), but it was a disappointment. I remember that the batter was very good, but the cake itself didn't do justice to the fruit, it just tasted like a spice cake. It might have been the recipe, but I suspect any cake would fall short of having the full flavor of the fruit. But it might do well in puddings. Or maybe a persimmon curd. I wonder if that might work? 

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Persimmon is so full of pectin that if you mash it, cook it and let it cool it'll set up like a pudding on its own. I've done that with just a little cream added, and thought it was pretty good. Those look like Fuyu persimmons, which are sweet and not at all tannic when ripe (unlike the Hachiya persimmons that were our only option when I was growing up) so you can also eat the ripe ones out of hand. I've done that, and I've added them in fruit salads.  If I had a lot of ripe Fuyu persimmons I'd also give a go at charring slices of them over the grill along with a selection of meats and vegetables.  I've never tried that but it seems worth trying.  As for the unripe persimmons: I'd try a pickle or a chutney with those. 

 

Somewhere I have a bunch of persimmon recipes from the 1940's that I always intended to post here lest they be lost. If I can find them(!), I'll start a topic on it.

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I'll second @Smithy's suggestions.  If they're Fuyu persimmons, they'll be sweet even while they are still a bit crisp. I love them in salads or just cut up. I also like the idea of a pickle.

Here's a beautiful persimmon salad with pomegranate made by @FrogPrincesse.  A more ordinary salad I made a while back with persimmon, broccoli, curly red lettuce, pickled cranberries, toasted almonds and blue cheese.  And a more recent one from @ninagluck with endive, persimmon, lardo, hazelnuts and cream cheese

 

Here's an older Persimmon thread with some ideas.


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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+1 for salad.  They're also excellent as part of a cheese/charcuterie board.  Bet they'd be really good wrapped with prosciutto.  

 

I like my Fuyu persimmons on the crunchy, less ripe side.  Never tried cooking them.

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I picked up 6 oz. of Mexican blackberries today at the fancy Harris Teeter, and they were on sale for 99 cents! This is $3.00 off the regular price. I tried one and they are tart, flavorful and excellent. Brand is Bonita Berry, not Driscol's. I also got a Guatemalan mango for a dollar that I have yet to taste. I'm letting it ripen a bit first.

 

No exciting local fruits on offer yet. We have had several hard freeze nights this month in a row, and while the news was covering the threat to the fruit crop, they have not followed up. The Cary Farmer's Market will open for the season on April 1, and I hope to find some local strawberries soon.

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Picked up my first Arkansas strawberries of the year at the Farmers Market in Hot Springs when I was down there for a weekend visit, and brought half a gallon home. Big, plump berries, surprising for so early in the year. Vendor said they'd been picking them since Monday. I think that may be close to the earliest I've ever seen berries in Arkansas, though the local celebrated vendor of strawberry shortcake announced they'd start serving them this Friday, 3/31.

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