Organic Picks of the Week 08/07/12

Best if Used By 08/14/12

Organic Picks of the week for August 7th, 2012 features
Vine Ripe Tomatoes, Yellow Peaches, Green Beans,
Wax Beans and Cantaloupe

Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes


Mmmm – the perfect slicing Tomato: full red, meaty flesh that juicy but not loaded with gel, flavor that is full and acidic but still slightly sweet, and grown organically not too far from where you live. Sandwiches, BLTs, salads, salsas – go to town! Sounds great, right? Well, if you live in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, now through mid-September is your prime time to enjoy peak season Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes from certified organic farms throughout the region.

Flavor by the slice - Organic Vine Ripe Tomatoes

I’m a huge fan of peak season Organic Vine Ripes, especially from Pennsylvania (indeed, I’m biased). True Vine Ripe Tomatoes are picked from the vine when the Tomato is almost full red in color and quickly turn dark red. Vine Ripes have tender shoulders around the stem and the shelf-life is limited, but man, is the flavor worth it!

Public Service Announcement: NEVER Refrigerate Your Tomatoes (unless you’ve sliced them), because temperatures under the mid-50s make for poor texture and kill flavor.

Organic Yellow Peaches


August is for Peaches – flavorful, juicy and sweet – a bit-size reward for enduring the heat of summer. Savor peak season Organic Yellow Peaches right now from South Carolina, California and later in the month, Washington. It takes some special attention and care to grow a nice Peach without the use of chemical fungicides and pesticides, but the growers committed to their organic orchards bring some really tasty fruit to market this time of year.

August is for peak season Organic Peaches!

Select Peaches that appear to have been handled with care. Yellow-flesh Peaches have more acid than White-flesh, and thus, taste more sweet as the fruit softens, allowing the acid levels to ease and the sugars to shine through in balance. Peaches should be stored at room temperature until the fruit gives gently to thumb pressure. At that softness level the Peach is ready to eat or use in a recipe, or it can be kept at that ripeness in the refrigerator for a few days. Red skin blush varies from variety to variety and is not an indicator of ripeness.

Freedom! Another great part about peak season for Organic Yellow Peaches in August is that most all varieties that are being picked are “free stone” – where the fruit easily separates from the pit.

Organic Green Beans


Certified Organic Green Beans are in peak season in California. One of the premier organic bean growers in full harvest right now, picking daily and shipping the product onto refrigerated trucks that same night to be distributed around the country. These Organic Green Beans feature a crisp texture and fresh flavor – mmm! – perfect for your favorite summertime Green Bean recipes!

Certified Organic Green Beans are tasting great this month!

Organic Wax Beans


Wax Beans, also referred to as Yellow Beans, are a golden-colored variety of Green Bean. The flavor is similar, but more mild, almost buttery when you cook them, tender as you eat them. What a fun seasonal treat for picnic side dishes and summer meals! Organic Wax Beans are in season for a short time here in August from California. Look for them at stores that stock a broad variety of organic produce.

Yellow Bean = Wax Bean = mild, tender, seasonal treat.

Organic Cantaloupe


Delicious flavor and firm, yet juicy texture continues to be what to expect for peak season Organic Cantaloupes from California. Yum!

Juicy, sweet and in peak season – Organic Cantaloupes.

Western-style Organic Cantaloupes have thick, tight webbing on their exterior and are ready to eat when you buy them. Select melons that are free from sunken, discolored spots. Storing for a day or two at room temperature will soften the fruit a bit. Cut melon can be kept in the fridge for several days, but when it’s tasty – you’re likely to eat it right away or use it in a recipe, right?

What is Organic Produce?

Certified Organic Produce meets a set of standards for growing, handling and labeling that is governed by the USDA’s National Organic Program. Organic fruits and vegetables are grown without the use synthetic chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. The terms “Natural” and “Local” are not the same as “Organic.” Learn more about Organic.

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!