Organic Picks of the Week 04/09/12

Best if Used By 04/16/12

Organic Picks of the week for April 9th, 2012 features
Strawberries, Green Seedless Grapes, Collards, Abate Fetel Pears and Cara Cara Oranges

1. Organic Strawberries

BEST FLAVOR

Spring is in the air. Everyone wants berries! And the Organic Strawberries from Mexico and Southern California are tasting great right now. Growers are fighting to keep up with the current demand which is high, but the Organic Strawberries you find at stores are likely to be firm, have good red color and pleasing flavor the next few weeks. Keep berries cold in the fridge but away from the blowing air, and only wash them just before use since water tends to speed up decay on the fruit.

You want some too?

2. Organic Green Seedless Grapes

PEAK SEASON

Don’t blink. The season might be over by the time you open your eyes. There is a very brief window of time here in the Spring when Organic Green Seedless Grapes grown in South Africa are suitable to make the long trip to the States. And that time is now. This week you can find Organic Green Seedless Grapes in Organic Markets, Natural Foods Stores and Coops. The fruit is not the crunchiest or the sweetest, but doggone-it, it tastes pretty good and is free from pesticides and synthetic chemicals. Get some, enjoy and then wait until Mexican grown Organic Grapes start up in mid-May.

Here today. Gone tomorrow.

3. Organic Collards

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Big leaves, big flavor, big health benefits in Collard Greens. Organically grown Collard Greens from Florida and California have been looking stellar – big, broad, dark green leaves. Gorgeous. Prices on Organic Collards are at least twice that of Conventional Collards, but you cannot deny the care and attention in growing that shows in the quality of the Organic Collards right now. Sauteed, steamed, braised – what is your favorite healthy and flavorful preparation of Collards?

Collard fan?

4. Organic Abate Fetel Pears

BEST FLAVOR | PEAK SEASON

Abate Fetel Pears are named for a French monk who first bred them in the 15th century. They are quite popular in Italy. Abate Fetels are in season right now from organic orchards in Argentina, and they are available in many Organic Produce departments in America. Wow – that’s worldly pear if I ever saw one! Organic Abate Fetel Pears are long, slender, slightly curved and have green-yellow skin that is splotched with smooth brown russetting. Allow them to get just a little soft near the stem for a sweet and fruity-flavored Pear. They’re definitely worth a try!

Old World Pear. Timeless Flavor.

5. Organic Cara Cara Oranges

BEST FLAVOR

It’s been a delicious run, but all good things must come to an end. Now through mid-April is probably going to be one of the last good times this year to enjoy Organic Cara Cara Navel Oranges, because after that you won’t see them for 6-8 months. The season is close to the end in California. Cara Cara Oranges are seedless and have pink flesh that is sweet with some tart raspberry tones – mmm. Expect to pay a little more for Organic Cara Cara’s than you would for regular Organic Navel Oranges, but if you’re into big flavor it’s worth it! Select Oranges that feel heavy for their size to ensure juiciness. If you really want to make sure they’re juicy – ask a clerk for a sample or buy one to eat on the spot as a test. Avoid soft spots and discolored patches, but don’t sweat the scars on the skin since they have no impact on the flavor inside.

Last call for Organic Pink-fleshed Navels this season!

Buy Smart. Shop Healthy. Live Organic.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy
Forward this to a friend if you think they’ll like it – Here’s to fresh!