Organic Picks of the Week 04/30/12

Best if Used By 05/07/12

Organic Picks of the week for April 30th, 2012 features
Tomatillos, Ataulfo Mangos, Pineapples, Orange-flesh Honeydew and Alexander Lucas Pears

1. Organic Tomatillos


Green salsa or salsa verde is not made from Green Tomatoes – it is made from flavorful Tomatillos. Tomatillos look like medium sized green Tomatoes with a husk on them. Peel the husk back and you can feel a sticky texture on smooth skin. Tomatillos are typically boiled or roasted then blended or mixed in whole as part of the recipe preparation. Roasting takes more time, but intensifies the flavor. Right now Organic Tomatillos are in peak season from Mexico. Perhaps you can try using some for your Cinco de Mayo fun this week. Do you have a good Tomatillo recipe to share?

Organic Tomatillos out of the husk and ready for Salsa Verde.

Salsa Verde

2. Organic Ataulfo Mangos


A big-time family favorite at our house – creamy, sweet Organic Ataulfo Mangos are in season and escaping from my kitchen counter everyday! The Ataulfo variety Mango (aka Yellow Mango, aka Manila Mango) is smaller than most other red and green skin varieties, but it also has a much thinner seed in the middle so you get more yummy fruit to enjoy. The texture of the golden flesh is smoother and less stringy than other orange-fleshed Mangos. The flavor? I love it! – sweet, tropical… almost caramel-like when they’re full ripe.

And it was all yellow.

As they ripen on the store shelf or on your kitchen counter from firm with lime-green skin color to yellow with a little give – they’ll be ready to eat with a balance of sweet and tangy. As Ataulfo Mangos ripen from yellow with a little give to gold, some wrinkles and soft – they’ll be luscious, super sweet! Organic Ataulfo Mangos are becoming more popular at Natural Foods Stores, Organic Markets and Co-ops each year. They may not be in stock every day where you shop, but keep an eye out for them. Peak season is on now and will last into June.

Ataulfo Mango video

3. Organic Pineapples


For the past month Organically grown gold-flesh Pineapples have been hard to come by due to lack of supply. A super-sweet variety of Pineapple takes 1-2 years to grow so growers can’t respond immediately. But thanks to some favorable conditions in the marketplace, this week and next will be a great time to once again enjoy plentiful supplies of Organic Pineapple from Central American growing regions like Costa Rica. Get while the gettin’s good – grill ‘em, juice ‘em, add ‘em to salad or chow down on some fresh Organic Pineapple.

Short window for better availability on tasty Organic Pineapples.

4. Organic Orange-flesh Honeydew


Specialty pick! Organic Orange-flesh Honeydew melons from Mexico are available now in some organic produce departments. The season is still early, but I was shocked by how good the flavor was on these small melons. The cream colored skin looks similar to a regular Organic Honeydew, but cutting them open reveals a peach-colored flesh that is juicy, rich and succulently sweet. The best Organic Orange-flesh Honeydew will have a faint floral, tropical aroma coming from the skin when they are ripe. If you find some – try one!

Looks like a honeydew – taste like tropical treat!

5. Organic Alexander Lucas Pears


Picked late in the Argentina growing season (it’s Fall down there), Organic Alexander Lucas Pears are now in for a short season. This old European variety, likely named for a monk that hybridized them long ago, the Organic Alexander Lucas Pear is shaped like and looks similar to a Green D’Anjou Pear. The Alex Lucas, when allowed to ripen at room temperature until the neck gives to some thumb pressure, will be smooth, creamy and sweetly delicate in flavor.

Monks breed good pears… ap-pear-ently.

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!