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Frog Hollow Peaches


rdailey
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Sorry about the name thing -- I wanted to remain semi-anonymous in the hope that my boss won't notice how much time I'm spending on eGullet.

The last Summer Lady was perfect. It would have lasted until today, easy.

Bruce Cole knows what to do with underripe peaches: grill 'em, with balsamic. Much cooler than jams/cobblers, et al.

Can you grill plums, I wonder? Our tree is, um, promiscuous this year. I'll have to give it a shot.

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Can you grill plums, I wonder? Our tree is, um, promiscuous this year. I'll have to give it a shot.

Absolutely.

BTW, peach cobbler is in the oven. And when chopping up the peaches, I found that One Perfect Peach—the drip-down-your-chin, slurpy, juicy perfect peach. I am still licking my lips.

Edited by tanabutler (log)
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Not to drone on and on about the manifold varieties of FH, but the CalReds and O'Henrys I got last Sat., when they were crunchy and a little vegetal, came into their own yesterday.

Which 1) suggests that the complaint about how bruised they are depends on the variety and firmness at harvest; 2) confirms that some kind of "ripening" indeed takes place after they're picked; and 3) raises the question of how they can pick 'em rock hard but with sufficient sugar when supermarkets can't.

Also, in this batch, I preferred the CalReds.

Tana, please give us a report of the dinner.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, the peaches are gone for the year. I haven't had time to become sad yet. What's really sad, though, is that Brentwood itself may soon be gone:

The city still embodies the American Dream of owning an affordable home in  a safe neighborhood. Even though Brentwood is on the eastern edge of Contra  Costa County, making for a long commute for most workers, developers can't  build houses fast enough to keep up with demand.

Brentwood senior planner Jeff Zilm estimates that Brentwood's population,  which was 7,563 in 1990, is now about 37,000. That's up from the 33,000 that  the state estimated in January. By 2021, the city is projected to grow to 79, 000.

Chron article

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I just bought some local NJ peaches at Whole Foods in Ridgewood and even they are mushy despite the fact they looked great. Unfortunately, as far as I am concerned peach season is over :sad:

Does anyone know what makes these otherwise beautiful peaches mushy and how they can be avoided? :hmmm:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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PS I just bought some incredible peaches at the Market Hall this week, so they're not ALL gone.  :smile:

yes, you can still get "mountain peaches" from colder parts (and washington state). Whoever buys produce for market hall knows what he or she is doing. (and pays for it too).

AND, to my delight, Frog Hollow had one last batch of Autumn Flames on Sat. (they had nothing but pears on Tuesday, which made me sad).

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  • 9 months later...
I recently ordered cherries and peaches from Frog Hollow. while they were good and better than average supermarket fruit, they weren't special and certainly not worth the cost.

I also recently ordered bing and rainier cheries from Buckskin Orchard in Washington. They were exceptional.

Although for some reason I was less than fully enthusiastic about the value of the fruit I ordered from Frog Hollow last summer, I decided to try them again. this time I went whole hog and ordered Farmer Al's 12 Pack Pick of the Crop which consists of "10 shipments throughout the summer of the following varieties which are Farmer Al's picks of the crop: peaches (Suncrest, Summer Lady, O'Henry, Cal Red), Asian Pears, pluots/plums, Golden Sweet apricots, and Warren Pears."

So far I have received Golden sweet apricots and Suncrest Peaches. Each shipment were as good examples of those fruits as I've ever had. They remain pricey, but the value has increased substantially IMO. If the quality of the rest of the fruit is similar to what I have received so far, I will order this again next year.

I also ordered the cherries from Buckskin Orchard again. They continue to be outstanding.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Excellent story and sidebar, Russ. just thinking about this fruit is really making my mouth water. As I was writing my previous post here, I received a shipment of Ruby Grand nectarines that are simply amazing. In your sidebar, you talked about different ways of serving the fruit. With fruit this good the only way I can justify serving it is by itself.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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absolutely. i get tired of hearing myself say it, but it really is a matter of being able to tell the difference between embellishment and improvement. when you've got an absolutely perfect product (like a peach or a tomato), it's hard to think of something that will actually make it better.

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Thanks for popping this thread to the top again. I've only had Frog Hollow peaches once, in June of this year, but they were excellent. Far better than the peaches available to me at the Pleasanton Farmers' Market. I think one big advantage Frog Hollow has is their ability to deliver very good to excellent peaches for the whole season. Especially for a restaurant, that's important. I'm not in that business, but imagine having to send someone around to five different vendors trying the peaches to get good ones. The labor cost would quickly eat up any savings on the cost of the fruit. In fact, while I was at the Frog Hollow stand a chef came up and bought 1.5 lbs. of peaches. He asked for a receipt. I guess there's no such thing as petty cash in the restaurant industry?

The cherries were $6/lb., same as the peaches, and not exceptional. Maybe it was just too early.

Walt

Walt Nissen -- Livermore, CA
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Thanks Russ. Great articles.

I was at my local Frog Hollow purveyor yesterday and noticed that their crate of mango nectarines was from Frog Hollow. I wonder how much they're branching out into other varieties. (Or if the mango nectarines actually came from elsewhere and were just stuck in the FH box!)

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I was at my local Frog Hollow purveyor yesterday and noticed that their crate of mango nectarines was from Frog Hollow. I wonder how much they're branching out into other varieties. (Or if the mango nectarines actually came from elsewhere and were just stuck in the FH box!)

Did you try any? Ifso, how were they?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Just came across this thread and was reminded that, although I've made a point of tasting them each Tuesday at the Berkeley farmer's market, I have not yet bought Frog Hollow peaches this year. They just don't seem to have the sweetness I'm looking for. I have bought and enjoyed others (maybe Fat Belly? I can't recall) and will make a point of checking them all out tomorrow. So far this summer, white nectarines and dinosaur egg pluots have been the outstanding fruit for me.

Having stumbled across eGullet and just registered, I'm looking forward to reading many more threads, while trying to keep peach juice from dripping onto the keyboard.

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It appears that stone fruit in general are great this year, thanks to the hot spring weather we had. That could explain why docsconz had some great fruit this year, and not so great the other year, from the same supplier.

If you followed the papers, there were a handful of articles about the great stone fruit this year, including the cool articles mentioned by Russ Parsons above.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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It appears that stone fruit in general are great this year, thanks to the hot spring weather we had. That could explain why docsconz had some great fruit this year, and not so great the other year, from the same supplier.

hmm, i do think it varies greatly according to producer and variety. i have to say that for the most part, i've found peaches to be lacking this year. most of them don't seem to have the depth of flavor or the acidity that i want in stone fruit. nectarines, which tend to be a little tarter anyway, seem to be a little better. putting on my fruit wonk hat, i think it probably has to do with the unusually mild winter we had, which didn't give the trees enough dormancy. art lange explained it to me and it has something to do with dormancy encouraging the production of some plant hormone or something.

but the main point is correct and important: that the best farmer growing the best varieties in the best place in the best ways can still produce fruit that is less than spectacular depending on the vagaries of the weather. it's not an easy business

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Did you try any? Ifso, how were they?

Oops, sorry. Didn't see this until today. I didn't buy them there, but I had picked up some mango nectarines a few weeks ago at Berkeley Bowl. They were interesting. Peach-like in their juiciness with an overlay of, I suppose, mango flavor, but the mango flavor was more faint than I'd been led to believe. I think they're more like fuzz-less peaches (with a skin more apricot-like than nectarine-like) with more intense perfume than regular peaches have.

Oh, speaking of Frog Hollow---At Rockridge Market Hall, I overheard a conversation one of the fruit guys was having with a customer. He said that the owner was rather upset with FH because their shipments have been contained about 10-20% bad fruit, and that they've threatened that they'll stop buying from FH if they didn't shape up.

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Santa Cruz is having a spectacular year for stone fruits. And berries, for that matter. Farmers Joe Schirmer (Dirty Girl Produce) and Joe Rubin/Thom Broz (Live Earth Farm) have the best strawberries I've had since I was in New Orleans in 1982.

And the peaches are fine. (I buy from Thomas Farms at the Saturday market at Cabrillo College.)

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I've been buying Frog Hollows again almost every week I've been around. They are, still, almost always the best at Berkeley FM. I still haven't made it to Ferry Plaza to see the Honeycrisp guy, despite the enticement of Russ's article. Overall, I do think the nectarines have been been better this year, but the peaches have mostly been very good, as Tana said. And there have been a few weeks of unacceptable bruising -- at least, unacceptable at $3.60/lb. Perhaps that was what the Market Hall guys were talking about.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Frog Hollow Fruit is expensive, but at least I am able to show my boys what archetypal peaches, nectarines and plums are like.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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These are now available at our local grocery store (metropolitan market) in Seattle. I bought one and was quite impressed. I have been buying one a day on my way to work. I was worried that the travel distance would affect the flavor, but they seem to be fine. Very few are bruised and they are quite lovely.

I live in Seattle and believe it or not, my babcock and red (sorry about the name) peaches did quite well this year. Even our other old tree that usually makes tasteless peaches is loaded with amazing fruit.

lalala

I have a relatively uninteresting life unless you like travel and food. Read more about it here.

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