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23 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Do you know where they are being grown, @KennethT

 

I've seen the Kesar at Trader Joe's - last year, I think.  The guy on my corner has 3 or 4 varieties of mangoes - currently, it looks as if he gets the ataulfo from either Mexico or Dominican Republic. I try to let them really soften up on the counter when I buy from him.

 

You've of course hit on the basic issue I have with fruits and veg from Fresh Direct. That truck is refrigerated almost to freezing, and many fruits and vegetables don't enjoy the ride. (My steak, on the other hand, was very good).

The "Champagne" ataulfo are from Mexico.  I've had similar ones from the DR (which FD also has but I didn't get) but they're more expensive than the Mexican ataulfo and I never really saw much of a difference.

 

The Kesar mango I had today is from India... it's from here: https://www.savanifarms.com/

 

The South Asian mangoes (I'll probably have one tonight) are supposed from "South East Asia" but they don't specify anything further.

 

As far as refrigeration goes, I will disagree slightly - I've had no problems refrigerating the Florida grown freshly picked mangoes.  According to the growers, you should refrigerate them once they've ripened on the counter, but I've also successfully refrigerated the green-ish mangoes to keep them green (which my wife loves) and also taken them out after a week in the refrigerator and ripened on the counter after a few days with no problems either.  From the same box, I couldn't tell the difference which ones were refrigerated and which ones weren't.  One caveat is that I keep them in a drawer in my refrigerator that is supposedly slightly warmer than the rest of the refrigerator - it's also shielded from drafts and since it's mostly enclosed, I'd imagine has a higher humidity than the rest of the fridge.

 

I put one of the South Asian mangoes (that's already soft) in that drawer to have later in the week so I'll be able to compare it with the one I've got on the counter.

 

I'll also comment that I think that Fresh Direct's refrigerated trucks are actually not super cold - I think I keep my refrigerator significantly colder than their truck - even the frozen stuff doesn't come that frozen - I've had ice cream delivered that is melting around the edges as soon as I get it.

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5 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I'll also comment that I think that Fresh Direct's refrigerated trucks are actually not super cold - I think I keep my refrigerator significantly colder than their truck - even the frozen stuff doesn't come that frozen - I've had ice cream delivered that is melting around the edges as soon as I get it.

It's weird, cause my frozen stuff comes pretty solidly frozen - but who knows what goes on from the loading dock until final delivery.  Last week, I get the text that my order was next, and it wasn't...because it had been delivered to the wrong apartment!

 

I'm more concerned with stuff (and have stopped ordering) that shouldn't be refrigerated at all - tomatoes/basil are a prime example. And when avocados get too cold, I just don't think they ripen as well.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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20 minutes ago, weinoo said:

It's weird, cause my frozen stuff comes pretty solidly frozen - but who knows what goes on from the loading dock until final delivery.  Last week, I get the text that my order was next, and it wasn't...because it had been delivered to the wrong apartment!

 

I'm more concerned with stuff (and have stopped ordering) that shouldn't be refrigerated at all - tomatoes/basil are a prime example. And when avocados get too cold, I just don't think they ripen as well.

I've had pretty good luck with their avocados - I sometimes order their "ready to eat" that come in a 2-pack.  I'll use the softest one right away, the other goes in that special door in my refrigerator and keeps for weeks practically perfectly.  I got the idea a long time ago when there was a discussion here about slowly ripening unripe avocados in the fridge rather than on the counter, and that they ripen more evenly.  I haven't had too many problems doing so ever since.

 

I also haven't had problems back when they carried the Campari tomatoes - granted, they are pretty bulletproof, but they've always been fine.  I have no experience buying herbs from them though, for obvious reasons.

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I gave up when my avocados turned black inside, in lieu of ripening. 

 

Unfortunately, probably all of the tomatoes we get here see some refrigeration at one point or another, which is why most of them have little flavor. 

 

But I'm glad you're able to make the best of the stuff.

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30 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Re crappy tomatoes.    Slice and sprinkle with SUGAR before salting.     This is a 150 year old practice.  

couple drops of fish sauce works for me

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

Unfortunately, probably all of the tomatoes we get here see some refrigeration at one point or another, which is why most of them have little flavor. 

 

But I'm glad you're able to make the best of the stuff.

That could be true, but I've had lots of (really expensive) heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market that had no flavor compared to what I grew myself.  I don't know if that stuff was refrigerated, but I do know that it was not picked super ripe - because if they were, by the time they got to the market they'd be mush.   I have 2 thoughts - first, most heirloom tomatoes taste like nothing but because they're technically an heirloom variety, growers can get a lot of money for them, plus they look the part - they're irregular, different colors, etc.  Very few heirlooms have been bred for flavor.  Those that have been are notoriously difficult to grow - they are super susceptible to blossom end rot, mildew, poor water/nutrient uptake, pests, you name it.  Because of this, even the best ones on grafted root stocks you basically get only 50% of their fruit being marketable in the best of conditions.  The second thought is that between what I grew in my living room and my experience as a kid with my father's tomatoes (he grew lots of them in our garden every year, but all hybrids) is that a tomato's full flavor only comes about in the last couple of days on the vine.  They don't really get any riper once picked - even though you can gas them and cause them to go from green to red, but you'll never get the sweetness or the full flavor profile of a completely vine ripened tomato.  These are impractical to sell at any market more than 100 feet away since if you breath too hard they get damaged.

 

@Margaret PilgrimSure, you can add a bit of sugar to them which will help bring out the perception of sweetness, but I don't think the flavor profile will be like it should be when completely vine ripened - it's not all about brix levels, it's also about ripening the phenolics and developing all the esters/aldehydes etc that contribute to the aroma and flavor.  The same is true of ripening wine grapes.  If you get a really hot/dry season, you can get full brix levels much earlier before the phenolics ripen, which will cause an unbalanced wine.  If you let them hang longer to ripen the phenolics, you wind up with super high alcohol levels (because of the excess sugar), or you can harvest early but the tannins won't be round and ripe.

 

Sorry for the rant.

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, KennethT said:

 

 

@Margaret PilgrimSure, you can add a bit of sugar to them which will help bring out the perception of sweetness, but I don't think the flavor profile will be like it should be when completely vine ripened - it's not all about brix levels, it's also about ripening the phenolics and developing all the esters/aldehydes etc that contribute to the aroma and flavor.  The same is true of ripening wine grapes.  If you get a really hot/dry season, you can get full brix levels much earlier before the phenolics ripen, which will cause an unbalanced wine.  If you let them hang longer to ripen the phenolics, you wind up with super high alcohol levels (because of the excess sugar), or you can harvest early but the tannins won't be round and ripe.

 

Sorry for the rant.

 

Not a rant at all.   Just a scream of frustration that we all experience and understand.    i grew up in coastal California with backyard tomatoes that I thought were ordinary until I grew up and away and realized that they were quintessential and possibly not to be experienced again:  a totally vine ripened beefsteak tomato, still warm from the sun, off the plant 5 minutes.   Same for strawberries.   Same for clams from Monterey Bay.   And the list goes on.   But we do what we can with the #$%^ that we are able to access.   

ETA totally forgot the Blenheim apricots 5 miles away that my father used to buy by the "lug box".

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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eGullet member #80.

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The Fresh Direct South Asian mango was much better than the Kesar.  This mango, while smaller in size, reminds me very much of some of the mangoes I still dream of in Thailand.  This was a minimally fibrous mango (really only right near the pit), with really strong aroma of coconut. Nicely sweet and still slightly tart.  I'm glad I got 2 of these, and am looking forward to the second one.  It would be really good as mango with sticky rice as the mango itself is already scented of the coconut and palm sugar saturated sticky rice.  I wish it was a little juicier though.

 

PXL_20220515_014603790.thumb.jpg.07c2d1d7dd9b8ed0c71f495e1e9ecf48.jpg

 

PXL_20220515_015359453.thumb.jpg.d2f583361dd6fa58d7e8270c19d05900.jpg

 

 

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10 hours ago, KennethT said:

That could be true, but I've had lots of (really expensive) heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market that had no flavor compared to what I grew myself.

 

Yes - I'm not a big fan of heirlooms. Often bloated, mushy, etc. in my opinion, not really grown for their flavor, in my opinion.  Gimme a good Early Girl, Better Boy, Roma, etc. the kind of tomatoes I grew when I had a backyard in San Jose (there were years when I still had tomatoes on plants at Thanksgiving!) And of course, most all of what we see is not picked at its peak of ripeness, or it will probably be unsellable at market.

 

All reasons why, since I cook so much Italian style food, I have a varied case of high-quality canned tomatoes on hand at all times.

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

 

 

All reasons why, since I cook so much Italian style food, I have a varied case of high-quality canned tomatoes on hand at all times.

Canned is good enough for Rao's, it's good enough for me.

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My corner fruit vendor, this morning...

 

image.thumb.jpeg.a658afa9132c14f883bbfd0d62584ed4.jpeg

 

Any 3 for $5.  They're a decent size, and if they ripen nicely, all the better.

 

Some fascinating info...

 

Quote

 

 PLU code 3621 for the Francis mango variety. 

Francis mango usually begins shipping from Haiti in mid-April, with peak volumes in May, June and July. During the 2011 season, Haiti shipped approximately 2.2 million boxes of Francis mangos to the United States. South Florida is the primary entry port for Haitian mangos.

 

 

Quote

The Madame Francis mango is unique to Haiti’s economy. One of the best-known mangoes peculiar to the West Indies is 'Madame Francis' which is produced abundantly in Haiti. It is a large, flattened, kidney-shaped mango, light-green, slightly yellowish when ripe, with orange, low-fiber, richly flavored flesh.

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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18 minutes ago, weinoo said:

My corner fruit vendor, this morning...

 

image.thumb.jpeg.a658afa9132c14f883bbfd0d62584ed4.jpeg

 

Any 3 for $5.  They're a decent size, and if they ripen nicely, all the better.

 

Some fascinating info...

 

 

 

 

Please update with results!

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I opened the Francis last night...

 

image.thumb.jpeg.d5cc880411f463500c5b3f85a126fda0.jpeg

 

Nice and juicy, a little fibrous towards the pit. Pretty rich flavor that I don't know if I prefer over a Champagne mango. But I'm not really well-versed in mango taste, descriptors, etc.  

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On 5/15/2022 at 8:02 AM, weinoo said:

 

Yes - I'm not a big fan of heirlooms. Often bloated, mushy, etc. in my opinion, not really grown for their flavor, in my opinion.  Gimme a good Early Girl, Better Boy, Roma, etc. the kind of tomatoes I grew when I had a backyard in San Jose (there were years when I still had tomatoes on plants at Thanksgiving!) And of course, most all of what we see is not picked at its peak of ripeness, or it will probably be unsellable at market.

 

All reasons why, since I cook so much Italian style food, I have a varied case of high-quality canned tomatoes on hand at all times.

 

Completely agree.

Heirlooms look great, but are often mealy with diluted flavor.

Perhaps they could be grown better, using minimal water to concentrate flavor.

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@KennethT - Indian mangoes this year have been disappointing (as are the prices - $40-60/case!!!)

 

Was told by a friend to check out the Colombian Sugar mangoes - they are small (think hardball size) but pack an unreal floral aroma and taste.  Not fibrous, delicious - and at $2 a piece, somewhat reasonable....?!

 

 

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20 minutes ago, TicTac said:

@KennethT - Indian mangoes this year have been disappointing (as are the prices - $40-60/case!!!)

 

Was told by a friend to check out the Colombian Sugar mangoes - they are small (think hardball size) but pack an unreal floral aroma and taste.  Not fibrous, delicious - and at $2 a piece, somewhat reasonable....?!

 

 

I don't know if the Colombian Sugar mangoes are sold near me - I've never seen them before, either in person or online.

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

I don't know if the Colombian Sugar mangoes are sold near me - I've never seen them before, either in person or online.

 

Just approved for import into US six months ago...https://www.producebluebook.com/2021/11/29/aphis-approves-colombian-mangos-for-u-s-market/#

 

Quote

 

Washington, November 26th, 2021. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published on November 22nd in the Federal Register the Final Notice with the phytosanitary requirements that Colombian producers, who are willing to export mangoes to the United States, must meet.

Such requirements are detailed in a Work Plan agreed between both phytosanitary authorities: APHIS, for the United States and the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), for Colombia.

 

Mango imports will be subject to phytosanitary risk mitigation measures such as hot water treatment or phytosanitary irradiation.

Nowadays, the main suppliers of mango to the US are Mexico with a 57% share, followed by Peru (15%), Ecuador and Brazil (10% each) and Guatemala (3%). These countries export under conditions equivalent to those authorized for Colombia.

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I am addicted to RG's Stardust, on Everything!!  🥰

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Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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Very late oranges - weather/water issues  - but they are juicy, flavorful and getting attention in my cooking. Also looking forward to the 2 white nectarines I picked up ay grocery store. Still hard as a rock, $3/pound, but they smell wpnderful. 

orange.JPG

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Today I had a delivery of yet a different mango variety from Fresh Direct - this one was a Francine mango - which after a bit of research, turns out is a Haitian variety.  I don't know if these were Haitian grown though.  What I do know about this mango was that it was, for lack of a better word, ok.  Pretty good.  It's a lot of "not"s... it's not very sweet, not acidic, not fibrous (but that's a good thing), not especially fragrant - there was a slight coconut/florality, but it was really slight.

 

PXL_20220523_010929476.thumb.jpg.68f9f10ca9d51140ad25b7a15d320e4e.jpg

A decent sized mango - ripens to a yellow color.  I would have liked it to get a bit riper, but it was already a little soft.

 

PXL_20220523_011021407.thumb.jpg.8a4bc2d3260b54512fb53091c0ca257a.jpg

Vibrant orange flesh

 

PXL_20220523_011925170.thumb.jpg.4ff7650eb104b4549207350bb3ac7c1d.jpg

 

 

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The blackberries sold locally in grocery stores are very good right now. I believe they’re from CA, which is across the country for me but they’re somewhat reasonably priced and have a nice deep flavor— not tart. 
 

  I’ve never been a big fruit eater and tend to shy from fruits due to the sugar content but I think eating a balanced diet is the wisest move. 

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