Friday, December 09, 2011

Produce notes from Allen.......85 Local Items!

"Beauty is only skin deep".  Not true!  
True beauty is under the skin, in humans and also Red Bananas.  

Red Bananas when delivered.
Red Bananas when ripe.

They are really "beautiful" when they are delivered, but oh so "ugly" when they ripen.  It is only when they ripen to the stage where they soften and the skin darkens and even blemishes, that they really taste great.   Taste is ultimately in the mouth of the beholder, but I believe that the Red Banana is sweeter, moister and creamier than the yellow "Cavendish" variety.  If the skin turns you off, I recommend that you peel it off and discard it.  This is a "politically correct" choice that you can make.  When you eat a Red Banana you are helping to preserve a species.  By creating demand for them, more of them may be planted.  The sustainability of the ubiquitous Cavendish is uncertain at best and many banana experts (some from the largest growers, i.e. Dole, Chiquita, etc.) believe that it is in fact doomed to extinction.  All it takes for you to do to support biodiversity is to eat something delicious.


I've written about the Subarashii Kudamono Asian pear, locally grown in Coopersburg, PA.  We now have exclusive access to their LilySan variety, the last harvest of the season.  This gigantic fruit has a delicate crispness and is bursting with juice.  Kris, who works on this blog with me, describes the flavor as "perfect, slightly floral, with a clean sweetness that leaves you wanting for another taste.  Your very own Cynthia Pennycooke is shown here, displaying the size and beauty of this rare fruit.  Trust me, wear a bib.

Did you ever wonder why so many produce markets build geometric displays of fruit, often using a pyramid?  I love pyramid displays, not just because they are beautiful.  I have been accused of having OCD, but that is not true.  I am afflicted with Obsessive Compulsive Order, and a perfect display makes me so happy.  I know that we sell our produce too rapidly to always pay attention to the beauty of display or to gentleness of handling, but Nicole and David were as proud of their effort as I am.  Here they are displaying a perfect Tomato display:

I hope that you too are inspired to make our beautiful produce even more beautiful every time you handle it.

85 locally grown items
Allen Zimmerman - Produce Buyer - General Coordinator