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  • Kiwano Melon

    Jul 19, 2017

    The horned melon is a very alien-like fruit, but not just for its appearance. It was also featured in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as the Golana Melon from the planet Golana

    Availability & Origin
    Horned melons are available year-round, you just have to know where to find them. February through August, they are grown in New Zealand. From September to November, we get them from California. Chile grows them from November through February. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    "Alien" is right. These fruits are spiked and are bright yellow and orange. If the spines weren't enough, they are also filled with green jelly-like flesh and small, white seeds. The taste is described as sweet and tart with a hint of cucumber. When picking them out, select melons that have firm, undamaged spikes and no soft spots or bruises. These fruits are edible all around; from the shell to the flesh to the seeds. 

    Storage
    When they're ripe, they will turn a deep orange and that means that you must eat it within a few days. Do not refrigerate them.

    Ways to Enjoy
    While many eat them raw, these melons also make great additions to sorbets, fruit salads, dressings, and sauces. Get creative by using the hollowed shells to present other foods. Want to serve some game-changing salsa this summer? Try this.

    History
    Originally grown in Africa, the horned melon was introduced to New Zealand in the 1930s. New Zealand decided on a new name for the fruit-Kiwano Melon-and they went on to trademark that name.

  • Champagne Grapes

    Jul 19, 2017

    Contrary to their name, this grape variety is not used to make champagne or wine. They do, however, complement the beverage they're named after. When dried, we refer to them as Zane currants.

    Availability & Origin
    California is the sole producer of the champagne grape, and they are grown and harvested in July and August.

    Appearance & Flavor
    These grapes, which are the smallest of all seedless grapes, are a deep, red-purple and have a sweet flavor and crisp texture. When bitten, the juice bursts from the tiny pea-sized grapes. When selecting, look for ones that are plump that are not wrinkled or soft. Make sure that they are firmly attached to their stems. Speaking of, did you know that their tiny stems are edible?

    Storage
    In a plastic, unsealed bag or bowl, they tend to last up to five days. Do not wash them before storing; the water triggers the breakdown process.

    Ways to Enjoy
    Famous as a garnish for champagne flutes, many also eat these grapes raw and in jellies, sauces, cereals, yogurts, desserts, and on cheese trays. Kick your sandwiches up a notch with this interesting recipe.

    History
    The fruit was originally known as the Corinth grape, named after the Port of Corinth in Greece from where they were exported heavily. They made their way to America in the late 1800s. You might wonder, then, how did the grape get its new name? The name was changed after the grapes appeared in an edition of the Sunset Magazine, pictured next to a flute of champagne.


  • Plums

    Jul 19, 2017

    Part of the stone fruit family, meaning a cousin to the peach and the apricot, this thin-skinned, single-pitted fruit is a juicy delight. 

    Availability & Origin
    California is the largest plum producer in the United States, and they are grown from May to September. Plums are available from January to March globally, and Chile is the largest importer to the U.S.  

    Appearance & Flavor
    They can vary from red to green to gold. They also have varying flavors from sweet and tart to spicy and acidic. Ripe plums give slightly to pressure, are rich in color, and have dull skin with no brown spots.  

    Storage
    When ripe, they will last up to five days in the crisper in an unsealed bag. Unripe plums don't do well in the fridge; the chill slows the ripening process. Placing them in a paper bag on the counter will speed the process instead.

    Ways to Enjoy
    Commonly enjoyed raw, pickled, in desserts, salads, dressings, compotes, and jams, you can really spice things up with this oven-roasted plum recipe.   

    History
    Some of the first plums available on U.S. soil were seen in the late 1700s; a nursery in New York advertised European plums for sale. Fun fact: a staple in the plum world is the Santa Rosa variety, a blend with a Japanese variety that was created in the U.S. in the early 1900s.

  • Tomatillos

    Jun 30, 2017

    Translation: little tomatoes. Tomatillos, also known as husk tomatoes, are the base of, the very popular, salsa verde.  They are not tomatoes, however. They belong to the nightshade family and are a close relative of the cape gooseberry.

    Availability & Origin
    They are available year-round and are native to Mexico and Central America. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    They are harvested while they're immature and the husks surrounding them are green. As the fruit ages after harvest, the husk begins to dry out, split, and fade to a light brown. Select dry, tight husks that are crisp and that are mold-free. When the fruit is not yet mature (dark green), they have a grassy, herb-like flavor with a hint of lemon. When mature (green-yellow), the flavor becomes sweeter, comparable to that of pineapples. Depending on what flavor profile you like; one can chose them immature or mature.

    Storage
    Store your tomatillos with the husks intact. Loose in the crisper drawer of the fridge, they'll last up to 10 days. At room temperature, you'll get a few days use from them.

    Ways to Enjoy
    Always remove the husks before consuming, and wipe off the sticky coating it leaves behind. Try them in salads, soups, salsas, and eggs dishes, or grilled, roasted, or raw. Take your tacos to the next level with this recipe.

    History
    It is believed that the Aztecs first used tomatillos around 800 B.C. Yet, recently, scientists discovered two tomatillo plants pressed in a 52 million-year-old rock in a lake in what is now known as Patagonia, making them the oldest nightshade plants. Learn more here.

  • Pluots

    Jun 23, 2017


    This fruit hybrid is 60 percent plum and 40 percent apricot... and 100 percent sweet and juicy.

    Availability & Origin
    Grown in California, the largest producer in the US, they're available from May to September. Chile, the largest importer to the U.S., grows pluots between January and March. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    With over 20 varieties, each with a short season, we move from one variety to the next as the seasons progress. Pluot skin varies in color between yellow, green, dark red, and purple. The flesh inside can be red, yellow, pink, and orange depending on the variety.  When picking the perfect pluot, find plump yet firm ones that give to slight pressure. Avoid soft or shriveled fruits.

    Storage
    If they do not give slightly at the end of the stem, they are not yet ripe. To ripen them, place them in a loose paper bag and store at room temperature. If they are already ripe, keep them in a cool place like your counter for up to three days. They'll last up to a week if placed in the crisper drawer. After cutting them, place the slices in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days. They can also be frozen the way you'd freeze a plum. 

    Ways to Enjoy 
    Everyone can enjoy a pluot raw, roasted, sautéed, or in jam, desserts, salad, and salsa. But you can really "wow" guests at your next get-together with this sweet dessert.

    History 
    Fun fact: the first pluot variety was trademarked in the late 1980's by Zaiger Genetics out of Modesto, California. 

  • Apriums

    Jun 23, 2017


    Apricot + plum = aprium. This new fruit on the block is 75 percent apricot and 25 percent plum. 

    Availability & Origin 
    Apriums are best between May and August. The largest producer in the U.S. is California by far.  

    Appearance & Flavor 
    They closely resemble the apricot, but their plum side gives them a rose-colored hue. Covered in clear fuzz, the firm, plump fruit will give to slight pressure. The flesh inside is sweet and tart, with a flavor that takes after its apricot relatives. When selecting apriums, steer clear of soft, shrived ones.

    Storage 
    If your apriums don't give slightly near the stem, they are not yet ripe. Ripen them by keeping them in a loose paper bag at room temperature. Ripe ones can be stored in a cool place like a countertop for three days. They'll also last up to a week in the crisper drawer. Put your aprium slices in an air tight container in the fridge for up to five days of use. 

    Ways to Enjoy
    Apriums taste great prepared in a variety of ways, including in jams, desserts, salads, salsa, roasted, sautéed, and, of course, raw. If you're looking to try a new dessert recipe, we're way ahead of you; check out this skillet cake.    

    History 
    This fruit has a very short history. In a nutshell, Zaiger Genetics (of Modesto, Calif.) created the aprium in the late 1980s.

  • Okra

    Jun 23, 2017


    Okra is the fruit of a large vegetable plant and a staple in the southern United States.

    Availability & Origin 
    On the list of top Okra-producing countries, India ranks first, followed by Nigeria and Sudan. The U.S. lands in 20th place on this list, since Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and North and South Carolina grow okra. They are available year-round and peak in the summer.  

    Appearance & Flavor 
    The torpedo-like pod has fuzzy skin that ranges from pale to dark lime-like green and is sometimes prickly known to cause an allergic reaction in some people, so be careful when handling it. The flesh is spongy with small white seeds. The smaller the pod, the more tender and flavorful it will be. Dry and dull pods will not do; instead, look for firm ones that snap when broken in half.

    Storage
    Don't wash whole okra before placing it in a paper bag in the crisper drawer, and it will last up to four days. You can also wrap them in paper towel and place in a perforated plastic bag. After cooking, store the okra in an air-tight container in the fridge to get two more days out of them. 

    Ways to Enjoy
    Deep-fried is their claim to fame, but okra is also a good base for soups and stews, and can be pickled. At your next barbecue, try grilling them. 

    History
    Discovered around the 12th century, okra is said to be native to what is now Ethiopia. Starting in Africa, they eventually made their way to Arabia via explorers and trade. They arrived in the U.S. with French explorers who brought the seeds to Louisiana.

  • Bing Cherries

    Jun 23, 2017


    The best of the best-and the most harvested-for sweet, red varieties.

    Availability & Origin
    The window of opportunity for Bing cherries is small, so grab them while you can! Beginning in May and lasting potentially until August, weather is a huge factor in the duration of the season because wind and rain can ruin these delicate fruits. They grow in Washington, the largest producer in the U.S., California, and Oregon. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    When picking out Bing cherries, keep in mind that the perfect ones are smooth, juicy, and firm with tight, dark red skin. Their thin skin is likely to bruise, so be careful when handling. The flesh inside varies between shades of blush-like red and they have a deep, sweet flavor with a hint of tart. 

    Storage
    The most common storage technique is to freeze them, allowing them to last longer due to their limited availability. They'll last five days unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

    Ways to Enjoy
    Eating Bing cherries raw is always the first choice. They also make a great addition to cereal, salads, yogurt, desserts, sauces, smoothies, jams, and pies. Step up your barbeque game with this grilled cherry salsa.    

    History
    They are native to China and were first harvested around 4000 B.C. The Bing variety was also harvested in the late 1800's on a family farm in Oregon. The name came from the family's Chinese immigrant worker, Ah Bing, whom helped create the variety.

  • Rainier Cherries

    Jun 23, 2017


    These cherries are so unique that they are the only variety with a national holiday. Try a new rainier cherry recipe on July 11! 

    Availability & Origin
    These have a very short window so grab them while you can. They start growing in late May can last until August. You'll find them growing in Washington, the largest producer in the U.S., and California. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    Rainier cherries are golden with swirls of pink and red. Within the smooth, plump exterior, you'll see juicy golden flesh with red streaks. Don't let brown flecks scare you away; they indicate a good accumulation of sugar. These cherries have low acidity and their flavor is described as sweet with a caramel-like aftertaste. Heads up: pressure to the fragile skin can cause bruising. 

    Storage
    Due to the short time that rainier cherries are available, many people freeze them in order to keep them longer. Unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge, they'll last about five days.    

    Ways to Enjoy
    Toss them on your cereal, salad, yogurt, and dessert, and mix them into your sauces, smoothies, jams, and pies. Or, you could always enjoy them raw.  The summer heat is coming. Get prepared with this refreshing slushy.

    History
    In the early 50's, the rainier cherry was named after Mt. Rainier by the Washington State Breeding Program that created the variety.

  • Kohlrabi

    Jun 23, 2017

    The word kohlrabi is German for "cabbage turnip." Though it's a staple in many Indian and German kitchens and is enjoyed across the world, some areas grow kohlrabi with the sole purpose to feed livestock.

    Availability & Origin
    You can find kohlrabies growing year-round, and around the world; they grow in China, India, Germany, Japan, Northern Europe, and in states such as Oregon, Maine, Texas, and California. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    Kohlrabies grow white, green, and purple. Their skin colors may differ, but the flesh inside is always greenish-white. There are mature and baby varieties. The babies are said to be sweeter and more delicate, and are the size of a golf ball. The kohlrabi flavor is comparable to a mix of broccoli and cucumber with a hint of pepper-like spice and the leaves taste like collard greens. The purple varieties are the spiciest of the three. When selecting, choose bulbs that are firm with no cracks or bruises. The leaves should be crisp.

    Storage
    Bulbs and leaves should be stored separately. Place the bulbs in a plastic bag in your fridge's crisper, regardless of whether they've been cleaned or not, and they'll last up to a week. The leaves must be washed several times, drip dried, wrapped in a paper towel, then placed in a plastic bag in the fridge crisper in order for them to last two days. 

    Ways to Enjoy
    Eat kohlrabies raw, cooked, in coleslaws, in salads, and in sandwiches. Try out this kohlrabi recipe with an Asian flair. 

    History
    They were first mentioned in European literature around the first century A.D. Kohlrabies became a staple in Indian dishes around the mid-1600s. It was recorded as an official crop in the U.S. in the early 1800s.

  • Taro Root

    May 16, 2017

    You may know that the taro root is the main component to the Polynesian food called poi. But, did you know that even people who dislike poi can enjoy the taro root prepared other ways? 

    Availability & Origin
    This vegetable is grown year-round and is native to Southeast Asia, India, China, and Hawaii. When explorers discovered Hawaii, they found hundreds of varieties of the taro root. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    You can find the taro root in a small variety or large variety. Large taro is cylindrical, but the small taro is plump in the middle and tapers to the ends. Both have dark brown skin. Their flesh can range between creamy white and pale pink and can have a purple tinge or purple spots. They both taste nutty, though the small variety is creamier than the large. When choosing, neither variety should be cracked, split, moldy, soft, or shriveled. 

    Storage
    Whole taro roots will last a few weeks in a dry, dark, room-temperature location. Stored in the crisper drawer, they'll keep for a week. After cooking taro, refrigerate the leftovers in an air-tight container for up to four days' worth of use. 

    Ways to Enjoy
    Both the leaves and the root are edible, but don't eat either raw as they are toxic-so cooking the taro is the way to go. Boil, steam, bake, or fry them like you would a potato. After cooking the root, serve it hot because its texture changes after it cools (except when fried). You can also create a paste to be used in desserts, such as this unique mooncake that will blow your guests away. 

    History
    The taro root is one of the earliest cultivated plants dating back to Roman times. Explorers spread the vegetable across the world. In Hawaii culture, the taro root is considered a sacred plant and a large part of their history.

  • Porcini Mushrooms

    May 05, 2017

    Porcini Mushrooms 

    We always recommend fresh produce, but in this case, consider eating dried porcini mushrooms due to the expense and limited availability.

    Availability & Origin
    They are at their freshest in June, July, and September. You can find them growing wild in the Northwest and California during the spring. They also grow in Europe, China, and Mexico, and their true origin country is Italy. In the U.S., it's easier to find them dried rather than fresh since dried porcinis are available nearly year-round.

    Appearance & Flavor 
    These plump, white mushrooms have thick stems and red or brownish-orange caps. They tend to have a sticky texture and a yeasty aroma. When picking porcinis out, find firm, mold-free ones. If you see small holes in the stalk, this is a sign of worms-another reason why some people prefer them dried. If your mushrooms have holes, don't worry; just stand the mushroom on its cap and the worms will work their way out.

    Storage
    Fresh porcini mushrooms will stay fresh for a week if laid out, not overlapping, in a pan or on a baking sheet topped with a damp paper towel. When sautéed, they can be frozen for up to two months in an air-tight container, if you let them cool beforehand. Commercially-dried mushrooms can last up to a year in these conditions: at room temperature, in the original packaging, and in a cool, dry place. You'll get up to a year's worth of use from the leftovers if stored in an air-tight container. Frozen in doubled-up freezer bags, they'll last several years.

    Ways to Enjoy 
    Eat porcini mushrooms grilled, sautéed, roasted, and added to sauces. Raw porcini mushrooms have a protein that can irritate your stomach, so avoid eating them uncooked. Whether you prefer fresh or dry, we have the recipe for you.
      
    History 
    It is highly likely that porcinis could be considered what the Romans called fungi suilli (Latin), which translates to 'pig mushrooms.' Though porcinis were originally found in Italy, they naturally grow in certain states.

  • Rambutan

    May 05, 2017

    Rambutan

    This hairy fruit has a startling appearance, and yet a sweet, tart orb inside.

    Availability & Origin
    Rambutans are available between October and May. The most prominent growers are Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hawaii.

    Appearance & Flavor
    The shells range from crimson red to orange and are covered in hair-like spines. After peeling back the skin, you'll find a white-gray orb that conceals an inedible pit. Once de-pitted, you can taste the globe's tart, juicy flavor. Chose rambutans that do not have cracks, show moisture or appear moldy. The spines should be flexible and look fresh.

    Storage
    Store rambutans at room temperature and they'll last one to two days. In the fridge, they'll keep for up to seven days in a perforated plastic bag. You can freeze either whole or pitted, and for up to two months. Keep in mind that when frozen, their orbs can become mushy, but they will keep their flavor and are still good to eat.

    Ways to Enjoy
    These orbs taste great raw, in fruit salads, pureed, in jams and jellies, and in sorbet. Turn some heads at your next function by preparing this rambutan pie.

    History
    Originating in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, rambutans were trialed in the early 1930's in Malaysia, and in the mid-1950's, they were registered officially. The U.S. attempted to grow them in the southeast in the early 1900's, but the test failed. They came to find out that rambutans grow wild in Hawaii, ever since, we've been getting our rambutans from there.

  • Rhubarb

    May 05, 2017


    Rhubarb

    If you think you're looking at a delicious vegetable, think again. Rhubarb was actually designated as a fruit back in the 1940's.

    Availability & Origin
    You'll find that rhubarb comes in two different varieties; field and hothouse grown. Field rhubarb starts in the spring and ends early fall. Hothouse rhubarb starts early spring and ends around January, with a peak in the winter. These types grow in Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom. Within the U.S., you'll see them growing in Maine, Michigan, Illinois, California, and the Pacific Northwest. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    Rhubarb has a texture similar to celery and a tart flavor when unsweetened. You'll know field-grown rhubarb by its dark red stalks and green leaves. The hothouse variety has pink to light red stalks and yellow leaves. Regardless of the variety, rhubarb leaves are toxic and should never be eaten.

    Storage
    Fresh, uncooked, and unwashed rhubarb wrapped in plastic wrap will last up to a week in the fridge. If you prefer to freeze it, take a look at these tips.  

    Ways to Enjoy
    After cooking the stalks with a sweetener, usually sugar, your rhubarb is then ready to be added to jams, pies, and other desserts. You can even pickle them. 

    History
    In China around 2800 B.C., rhubarb was used for trade and medicine. It wasn't until the 1800's that it was recognized as a food item. It is assumed that a London botanist sent rhubarb seeds to an American botanist around the same time.

  • Coconuts

    May 05, 2017




    There's more to coconuts than meets the eye. Aside from the milk they produce, coconuts are used in making ropes, baskets, instruments, and oil-to name a few.

    Availability & Origin
    Over 80 percent of the world's supply of coconuts comes from the Philippines and Indonesia. Available year-round, they also grow in Africa, other areas in Asia, and two states in the U.S.; Hawaii and Florida.

    Appearance & Flavor
    There are two different varieties of coconuts: common and young. The common variety are brown and the young are a whiteish-brown. Coconuts have their own unique flavor and that flavor hits in the back of the throat. The best coconuts are dense and contain a lot of water, not to mention should not have cracks or mold. To check for water, shake it and listen for sloshing. Less water inside the coconut can indicate a crack that allowed the water to leak or that air got in and caused the water to evaporate. Common coconuts have three spots-called eyes-and one of those eyes is not surrounded by a raised shell. Ensure that this eye is clean and shows no discoloration.

    Storage
    Whole common coconuts can last a week on the counter, two weeks in the fridge, and four months in the freezer in a tolerant bag. Whole young coconuts will last a few weeks when refrigerated. After cutting them open, either variety can be placed in plastic wrap in the fridge and will last one week. The common coconut flesh can be frozen in a freezer bag or container for up to three months, but do not freeze the young variety.

    Ways to Enjoy
    Not sure how to open your coconut? We've got you covered. Take a look at these instructions for opening and draining common and young coconuts. Young coconuts are mainly used for their water/milk as a sweetener in soups, drinks, and dressings. The flesh and water of the common variety can be added to pudding, cakes, cookies, pies, and enjoyed raw. Whether you prefer common or young, we found you a delicious recipe.

    History
    Fossil records in New Zealand state that coconut-like plants existed over 10 million years ago. It is believed that Hawaii's coconut plants came from Polynesian voyagers and that southern Florida's coconuts washed ashore and rooted themselves on the beach. For the full story, click here.

  • Sugar Snap Peas

    Apr 25, 2017

     
















    You guessed it; these snap peas are as sweet as sugar.

    Availability & Origin
    Sugar snap peas are grown year-round, but you'll get the best flavor in spring. In the U.S., they grow in California, Washington, Montana, and North Dakota. Globally, you'll find them growing in Peru, Colombia, and Guatemala.

    Appearance & Flavor
    The snap pea is aptly named; if it snaps when you break it in half, you know it's fresh. Avoid the ones that are limp or faded from their normal bright green color. Sugar snap peas are sweet, juicy, and tender with glossy pods, and you can eat the entire pea. However, if it still has a string, remove it-though many come string-less nowadays.

    Storage
    When placed in the fridge's crisper in a perforated bag, raw sugar snap peas will last up to five days. After cooking, let the leftovers cool before storing them in an air tight container in the fridge, and they will last three days at the most.

    Ways to Enjoy
    Raw is a simple favorite way to eat sugar snap peas. If you cook them, dry heat for a short time will do the trick. Other options include roasting them, adding them to soups, mixing them into salads, and, for a backyard barbecue, grilling them like this.

    History
    The sugar snap pea is a hybrid of the English pea and snow pea that was created around the 17th century. It wasn't until the late 1970's that it become commercially popular.

  • Nopales

    Apr 03, 2017

    A.k.a. prickly pear cactus paddles. They are delicious after you get past the spines.
      
    Availability & Origin
    You can get nopales year-round, but they peak in mid-spring. The largest growers are Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, India, and Africa. In the U.S., you'll see them most in the southwest where cacti flourish. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    When picking out your nopales, keep these tips in mind; look for rigid, medium-sized (about seven inches long) leaves that are not limp or wrinkled. The larger the leaf, the tougher it is, and the smaller ones can disintegrate when cooked. Nopales have a light, tart flavor and a crisp texture. 

    Storage
    Your grocery store will have de-spined nopales, but be careful with handling them in case they missed a spot. When whole, they will last a week when wrapped tightly in plastic and refrigerated. After being cut, they will last three to five days in an air-tight container in the fridge. If well-sealed in a freezer-tolerant bag or container, your nopales can be kept in the freezer for up to two months, regardless of if they've already been cooked. 

    Ways to Enjoy
    You can eat nopales raw, roasted, and grilled, or in your salads, soups, salsa, and stews. Plus, there's the ever-popular nopalitos with eggs. If you're looking for a unique recipe, you won't want to miss this cactus chili.   

    History
    The leaves are said to have been an everyday vegetable in Central Mexico, prior to the Spanish explorers arriving. Once they discovered it, the explorers took nopales back to Spain with them. This tasty cactus grew in popularity throughout North America after that.

  • Beets

    Apr 03, 2017


    Fun fact: beets are not just for eating... Their juice was used as a cosmetic for women in the early 19th century, forming the phrase "red as a beet."

    Availability & Origin
    You can have them any time of the year, but you'll get the best flavor between June and October. Italy, Great Britain, Canada, Chile, and Russia are all big beet producers. In the United States, you'll find them growing mostly in the northwest, plus Arizona and California. 

    Appearance & Flavor
    Some beet varieties include the classic red, gold, baby red, baby gold, and Chioggia, otherwise known as candy cane. When picking out beets, look for a smooth, firm bulb. Small and medium bulbs tend to be more tender. They should have fresh, crisp, green stems, which by the way, are also edible. Beets are known to taste similar to a mix of carrot and wild mushrooms.

    Storage
    Remove all but one inch of the steams from your beets and place them in a plastic bag and into the crisper drawer, and they will last up to two and a half weeks. The stems in a plastic bag will last up to two days. Baby beet varieties can be steamed whole with their stems intact. They can be stored in the fridge whole, though they expire quickly, so try to consume them within a day.

    Ways to Enjoy
    Try this unique, savory tart recipe if you're hoping to "wow" guests at your next gathering. Looking for an easier way to eat your beets? Try them raw, peeled, grated, steamed, baked, or boiled. 

    History
    It is said that the Greeks consumed beetroot leaves as early as 300 B.C. We have 19th century European colonists to thank for the introduction of beets in the U.S. People used the juice as a natural sugar. Later that same century, California was the first state to start production and that was the beginning of advising people in the U.S. to eat the bulbs, not just the juice.

  • Parsnips

    Apr 03, 2017

    This carrot look-alike is one versatile vegetable.

    Availability & Origin
    Parsnips are available year-round, though they peak during the winter. In the United States, Michigan, New York, Washington, and California are our top producers. The most prominent world-wide growers are  Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

    Appearance & Flavor
    Similar in shape to a carrot, parsnips are much sweeter, plus they have a nutty undertone. No orange here... Parsnips range from yellowish beige to bright white. They have a smooth skin and their flesh is white and creamy with a fine grain. If you're looking for a sweeter parsnip, chose the whitest and the smallest ones you can find-the smaller or whiter they are, the sweeter. Check your parsnips for firmness and intact roots, and avoid any with yellowing or brown cores that are beginning to shrivel.

    Storage
    When whole, wash your parsnips, cut off the tops, and let them air dry. After loosely wrapping them in a plastic bag and putting them in the back of the crisper, you should get two to five months from them. If they are already cut, store them loosely-covered in cold water or wrap them in a moist paper towel to get a few days-worth of use.

    Ways to Enjoy
    There are endless ways to prepare the parsnip. Baked, broiled, roasted, fried, steamed, pureed, in soups, in stews, and in casseroles. And we saved the best for last: you can make your own wine out of them.

    History
    Native to Europe and Asia and cultivated by the Romans, parsnip taproots were used to add starch to meals for several decades prior to potatoes. They are said to have come to the U.S. with the colonists in the early 16th century.

  • Savoy Cabbage

    Apr 03, 2017

    Availability & Origin
    Savory cabbage is available year-round, but it has the best flavor from November to April, so now's the perfect time to get your hands on some. Grown around the world, China and India are the top producers. In the U.S., New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California make up 60 percent of our production.

    Appearance & Flavor 
    Unlike your everyday red or green cabbage, savoy cabbage is deep green in color with tender, wrinkled leaves. The inner leaves can range from white to light green due to the lack of sunlight. When picking one out, choose a bright-colored head that is heavy for its size with compact, unblemished leaves. 

    Storage
    A whole savoy cabbage should be stored in the crisper-no bag necessary-separated from your other fruits and vegetables. Don't rinse the whole head as this will start the breakdown process. Under these conditions, it will last two weeks, and in some cases, up to a month. When you have a cut head, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate to get the remaining few days from it.

    Ways to Enjoy
    When it comes to preparing a savoy cabbage, they are mainly used raw, in stir-fries, sautéed, braised, pickled, added to soups, and roasted. Speaking of roasted savoy cabbage, we found this recipe for you.  

    History
    Savoy cabbage originated in England and was introduced to Germany in the 18th century. Around the same time, this cabbage variety was also making its way across the pond to the U.S. with English colonists.
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