Fruit

What do you do with your free time?

Fruit

Postby cmsellers » Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:32 pm

So in the last couple weeks, we've reached two milestones which I consider vitally important to a year in New England. The first is that fresh local strawberries have become available. The second is that fresh black figs have started arriving from Georgia or California or wherever fresh figs come from.

New England is not a place you'll find fresh figs locally, but we're known for our berries. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are available pretty much all summer long (though blueberries and raspberries don't come out until July. Gooseberries and currants are also available from Nourse Farm, which is better known for shipping berry plants all over the country. In the summer, our farmers also grow both sweet and tart cherries and melons, which being an annual are sold by vegetable rather than fruit farmers.

From the middle-to-end of the summer we also get ground cherries, which roughly tripled in price while I was in Turkey. I strongly suspect that some health guru advertised them as being high in anti-oxidants while I was away, and I really wish I could punch whoever it is square in his or her stupid alternative medicine-promoting face.

At the end of summer we get peaches and pears; the peaches lead into apples which outlast the pears. (I'll probably start a whole thread about heirloom apples come fall; I'm not a huge apple fan but they're such a big part of New England history and culture, and heirlooms are awesome. So no talking about apple varieties on this thread, comprendes?) And for a short season in the fall, people sell the fruit of the hardy kiwi plants ("kiwi berries") from their backyards, and those are beyond amazing.

And that's pretty much it for fruit in New England. One local farmer grows quinces in small numbers, but I'm not a fan of quinces. And we're just a teeny bit too far north for apricots. Pretty much all other fruit is either subtropical (like figs), tropical, or just not worth growing commercially. (Like mulberries. They grow here, and are delicious, but nobody sells them commercially.)

Strawberries these days are generally disappointing, because there's a saying about strawberries: "yield, size, and flavor: pick two." There used to be a few places which picked yield and flavor but now all the local farmers have picked yield and size, which means that local strawberries are only a little better than supermarket berries.

Melons are highly unpredictable in quality, and of the places where I get peaches, two are routinely excellent and one is unpredictable. And everything else is generally awesome, although cherries, "kiwiberries," and Seckel pears have much too short a season. (99% of pears grown in the US are D'anjou, Bartlett, or Bosc; Seckels can occassionally be found in the supermarket but are invariably hard as a rock and flavorless.)

On a somewhat-related note, I find it baffling that figs can be shipped across the country (not that I'm complaining, mind you), but that cherimoyas and passionfruit (both of which are picked unripe) cannot. Also, you can sometimes get lychees, rambutans, and mangosteens in Chinatown. All are delicious, but not as much as when I had then in Hong Kong. (They were also a lot cheaper in Hong Kong.)

Oh, and pineapples, mangos, and kumquats are good even after being shipped across country, but if you get them locally, they're so amazing you'd think you're eating a different kind of fruit. In Hawaii you can eat the entire thing, including the core. In Puerto Rico, I got a different variety of pineapple the size of my head and with white flesh. Also, I don't like regular guavas, but in San Diego I had a truly amazing orange fruit called a Brazilian guava courtesy of a local farmer.

I've tried all sorts of fruit in various situations, including Suriname cherries (delicious, like a marigold-accented cherry), sapodilla (quite disappointing), noni (why the hell would anyone want to eat that), loquats (quite good), and Monstera deliciosa (like a tarter cheirmoya, and with a fascinating texture). Someday I'd like to try other stuff like acai berries, schizandra berries, barbados gooseberries, and pretty much any fruit.

I just really love fruit. (Well, except for papayas. Even fresh from my aunt's yard, they resemble a half-dissolved dishcloth soaked with sugar water.)
  • 8

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 7930
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore

Re: Fruit

Postby iMURDAu » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:03 pm

Fresh apricots.

Yeah.

/homersimpsondrool
  • 7

"Our landfills are third world bling"
- Doug Stanhope
User avatar
iMURDAu
TCS Chomper
TCS Chomper
 
Posts: 6111
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Route 11 by Scoopalicious
Show rep
Title: King of Fuh

Re: Fruit

Postby cmsellers » Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:07 pm

iMURDAu wrote:Fresh apricots.

Yeah.

/homersimpsondrool

Oh yeah.
The best apricots I ever had were from a farmer's market in Manhattan.

They came from New Jersey. Surprisingly, "Garden State" didn't originate as "Viking trying to get people to come to Greenland"-style PR move, even if you'd never know it driving through the state.

I even had fresh apricots in Turkey (you know, that place that every dried apricot on Earth comes from), and they still weren't as good as those little orange fruits from Jersey.
  • 7

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 7930
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore

Re: Fruit

Postby SilverMaple » Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:17 am

Ladies and gentlemen, meet the saskatoon berry.

Image

While I wouldn't recommend the city that's named after these things as a particularly thrilling tourist destination, they're sort of like smaller, consistently sweet blueberries with a kind of nutty taste. You can find them growing in the wild in a lot of different places here, and collect an ice cream pail full of them in a reasonable amount of time. No, I'm not telling you where the best spots are. They make a ridiculously awesome jam, and saskatoon pie is pretty much the greatest non-chocolate-containing dessert ever.

Pin cherry jam is my favourite thing to put on toast, it tastes sort of like cherry but with a slightly more tart taste. I've never had the berries raw, though, and they're apparently very sour right off the tree.
  • 10

Bert wrote:The best part of my job is fistfighting an 8 year old every day.


//Friend come and go, like the wave in the ocean, but true ones stay like an octopus on our face.\\
User avatar
SilverMaple
Champion
Champion
 
Posts: 1480
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2015 6:34 pm
Location: The Cloud District
Show rep
Title: Science Chef

Re: Fruit

Postby RainyDays » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:10 am

Raspberries are the best. If they weren't so expensive, I'd eat so many of them. I'm fondest of the more tangy fruits, like pineapple and pomegranate. Most fruit, I like a little underripe, both to reduce some of the sweetness and to avoid mushiness. I disliked peaches until I realized I'd only ever had overripe peaches. I've since seen the error of my ways. I picked some up recently. I'm going to eat some fresh and try roasting the others. Peaches and plums have way too short a season around here, and I almost always get a sudden taste for them in the dead of winter.

I got to try fresh lychee recently, which was fun because I've only had them as a part of desserts before. It has kind of a coconut/peach taste. Not something I see myself eating a lot of, even if I could find them again, but it was nice to get the opportunity.

I also really like persimmons. They're very sweet, but they have an interesting cinnamon-y flavor. Unfortunately, they're pretty rare in my area. The last time I managed to find some, they were all in awful shape and I wound up not getting one. If you run across them, I recommend trying them.

Anybody had starfruit (carambola)? It's one of many fruits I've been wanting to try, but I've never once seen it for sale.
  • 8

User avatar
RainyDays
TCS Necromancer
TCS Necromancer
 
Posts: 402
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:40 pm
Show rep

Re: Fruit

Postby cmsellers » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:28 am

RainyDays wrote:Anybody had starfruit (carambola)? It's one of many fruits I've been wanting to try, but I've never once seen it for sale.

I've had starfruit. My aunt used to have a whole tree of them in her yard. I'm not a fan; to me they taste basically watery and have that weird mouthfeel that pomegranate juice from concentrate has, but without the pomegranaty flavor.

However I dislike persimmons (to me, they taste like pure brown sugar), whereas I love lychees, and don't think of them as coconut-tasting, so don't let my comments deter you. We clearly taste things differently.
  • 6

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 7930
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore

Re: Fruit

Postby iMURDAu » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:53 am

Starfruit is amazing but that may be nostalgia talking because I haven't had one in at least 20 years. Last time I saw one was at a Wal-Mart years ago but just like all the rest of their produce it was not something I'd purchase.

My Grandma had a blackberry bush in her yard for most of my youth so they have a special place in my stomach.
  • 6

"Our landfills are third world bling"
- Doug Stanhope
User avatar
iMURDAu
TCS Chomper
TCS Chomper
 
Posts: 6111
Joined: Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:08 am
Location: Route 11 by Scoopalicious
Show rep
Title: King of Fuh

Re: Fruit

Postby Matthew Notch » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:12 am

Am I going to hell if I say I like bananas?
  • 6

It's Dangerous to Go Alone


"I desperately want Jiggery Pokery now."-- Pikajew

"I do feel that if she happens to favour attractive, successful, intelligent men I will be at a disadvantage."--Anglerphobe

"I have a beautiful sphincter and Mexico is gonna pay for it."--Kate
User avatar
Matthew Notch
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 4950
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:48 am
Location: The ICT
Show rep
Title: The Last Finisher

Re: Fruit

Postby Andropov4 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:28 am

My favourite fruit is Elton John.
  • 5

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a lamb."- Ryan Stiles

Jenna is mine.
User avatar
Andropov4
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 3307
Joined: Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:24 pm
Location: 'Murica
Show rep
Title: Rhetorically Correct Rascal

Re: Fruit

Postby pikajew » Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:20 am

I'm so unbelievably jealous. Las Vegas has an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch and that's it for any locally grown produce. I take every opportunity I get to drive to California so we can stop at fruit stands, particularly Casa de Fruta up by my in-laws. I also harass any friend/family driving up from California to stop at fruit stands for me.

My future mother-in-law has a Sicilian lemon tree on her patio, in a pot. It gives lemons sweet enough to eat like oranges. She has a pretty extensive concrete garden with tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and some kind of flower she makes tea with. I have a basil plant in the kitchen.
  • 8

User avatar
pikajew
TCS Sithlord
TCS Sithlord
 
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 8:19 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Show rep
Title: Darth

Re: Fruit

Postby AboveGL » Sun Sep 27, 2015 9:24 am

Bananas are important because of the energy they have. I have one at work and before the gym.

Blackberries are sour, but amazing in a pie. Star fruit is nice. Lychees are sweet but make you feel really thirsty after having a few. But my favorites are strawberries and raspberries, they taste so delicious. Those are the ones I'd go out of my way to buy.
  • 3

[10:11] <@JTAWAAAAAY> guys
[10:11] <@JTAWAAAAAY> I just pooped so hard I got a bloody nose
[10:11] <@JTAWAAAAAY> not joking
[10:11] <@Tesseracts> please dont make a twitter about this


Dear Vagina-Haver,
I would prefer it if you ceased your writing career, and instead focused on suicide.
Sincerely,
Lindvaettr
User avatar
AboveGL
TCS Sithlord
TCS Sithlord
 
Posts: 1766
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:37 pm
Show rep
Title: Giblet

Re: Fruit

Postby cmsellers » Sat Oct 10, 2015 6:35 am

pikajew wrote:I'm so unbelievably jealous. Las Vegas has an apple orchard and a pumpkin patch and that's it for any locally grown produce.

Don't be. Now I, too, am in the Southwest.

I miss the New England fruit so badly. I left New England just before peach season there started, and got to Texas just after peach season here ended. The bright side is Texas does grow figs locally. The downside is I missed fig season too. I have no clue what other fruits might be available here, but there's nothing fresh available now, when I would usually be drinking pretty much nothing except sweet apple cider (you can only get hard cider and sparkling cider down here). I've been consoling myself with Trader Joe's wicked expensive sour cherry juice.

Vegetables are grown every season except summer apparently, but the prices at farm stands in the city (that's a thing, apparently) are roughly thrice the price back home, and I can't seem to find any farm stands outside the city limits. I'm sure there must be some (I passed a few in East Texas on my way down), but I can't find them.

Oh, also after I wrote the original post, I discovered that there are two orchards near where I am that do grow fresh apricots. Apex Orchards has been growing them for years (but I never went up to Apex), and Clarkdale started growing them a few years ago and selling them this year. I discovered my home and natal land is capable of producing apricots just in time to bid it goodbye.
  • 3

User avatar
cmsellers
TCS Junkie
TCS Junkie
 
Posts: 7930
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:20 pm
Location: Three miles from the bat bridge
Show rep
Title: The Bad Bart of Ruddigore


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest