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Farmers Market Update: Dia de los Muertos, Guatemala

by | Nov 13, 2011
Guatemala

Guatemala

Karen Merzenich is a former pastry chef from San Francisco. She writes (mostly) about recipes and travel at Off The Meat(Hook). You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@offthemeathook).

Farmers Market Update: Dia de los Muertos, Guatemala

by Karen Merzenich

Last week I was traveling in Guatemala and had the great pleasure of visiting a farmers market in Santiago de Sacatepequez, a town that’s about a 30 minute drive from the main Guatemalan tourist town of Antigua. It was a festival day, so the market was in full swing.

One common Guatemalan fruit for sale is the nispero. I have never heard of this fruit before, but when I looked it up it was translated as “sapopilla” or “naseberry.” It was described as being similar to a plum, but a little more tart and with a mango-like fibrous pit. Guatemalans eat nisperos raw, and they also use them to make wine. I love how they’re displayed on a bed of banana leaves.

Nisperos

Nisperos

I was surprised to see rambutans in Guatemala – I always assumed they were only grown in Asia. In Guatemala, they are called momochinos.

Rambutans

Rambutans

Avocados grow wild all over Guatemala at this time of year, and many indigenous people make a living by collecting wild avocados in big bushels and selling them to vendors or at the market.

Avocados

Avocados

Radishes are in season too, and on many menus at this time of year. Here a young girl displays them on a piece of hand-woven Mayan cloth.

Radishes

Radishes

By November, the corn growing season is nearing its end, but you can still find maiz negro (black corn) for sale, raw or roasted.

Black Corn

Black Corn

The black corn is also ground to make masa (dough). for black tortillas, which have a very distinct flavor compared to the white or yellow corn tortillas. Women roll the masa heavily over a piece of volcanic rock. Then, they pat them into thick tortillas and toast them on a large flat metal plate over an open fire.

Making Black Corn Tortillas

Making Black Corn Tortillas

Some market vendors don’t even set up a stall—they just sell what they have off the back of their pickup truck.

Pickup Truck Vendors

Pickup Truck Vendors

I had specifically visited Santiago de Sacatepequez at this time of year so I could attend their well-known Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. November 1st is an official holiday for Guatemalans—so they can spend the day in celebration of their deceased friends and family members. In Santiago, the day’s activities combine elements of Catholicism with Mayan traditions. Because it was a festival day, there were special kinds of food for sale, like these half chickens with cooked eggs inside and whole fried lake fish.

Chicken With Eggs

Chicken With Eggs

Another special food people eat on this day is sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkins, or small plums cooked in a cinnamon-infused brown sugar syrup. Sticky, sweet and tasty!

Sweet Potatoes and Plums

Sweet Potatoes and Plums

On Dia de los Muertos people come to Santiago from far and wide and converge on the cemetery. The families spend the morning painting the graves with bright colors. Once the paint is dry, they buy marigolds and other long-lasting flowers, evergreen wreaths, and pine needles to adorn the graves. The fragrant pine needles from the surrounding hills are not only used on Dia de los Muertos but for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important holidays. (When I explained that we only use green wreaths for Christmas in the U.S., they thought it was crazy.)

Decorated Graves

Decorated Graves

As the day goes on, people sit on and around the graves and enjoy a special lunch. Many splurge on the variety of freshly grilled meats available in the market.

Grilled Meat For Sale

Grilled Meat For Sale

All day long, people in the cemetery proudly display and fly enormous homemade kites, which are made by painstakingly cutting and gluing tissue paper shapes together. The round kites are backed with bamboo poles for stability. It generally takes a team of people 2-3 months to make each kite.

Paper Kites

Paper Kites

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Farmers Market Update: Shanghai, China

by | Jul 31, 2011
Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower

Karen Merzenich is a former pastry chef from San Francisco. She writes (mostly) about recipes and travel at Off The (Meat)Hook. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@offthemeathook)

Farmers Market Update: Shanghai

by Karen Merzenich

I recently returned from a week’s vacation in Shanghai, and the highlight of the trip was a visit to Shanghai’s Wet Market on Lianhua Lu in the Minhang District. In a dizzying array of open-air lanes and buildings, the Wet Market serves both wholesale and retail customers.

In a fast-growing city of nearly 25 million people, it’s not surprising that the market remains open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wet Market

Wet Market

If you want to visit the Wet Market, I highly recommend going with a guide who can introduce you to the vendors and answer all of your questions. As far as I know, the only guide service that does this kind of in-depth tour is Shanghai Pathways. It’s an unforgettable trip to an amazing market! I peppered our guide Janny with questions about what was in season, where the produce came from, the lives of the vendors and farmers, and more.

Wet Market

Wet Market

July in China means: watermelons! They are everywhere, and they are delicious. The Chinese watermelons are a round variety about the size of a volleyball. They are juicy and succulent and they sure taste great when it’s 100 degrees out.

Watermelons

Watermelons

The summer humidity brings a wealth of fresh mushrooms, including these monkey mushrooms, which were described as having “a mushroom inside a mushroom.”

monkey mushrooms

Monkey Mushrooms

The first peaches and nectarines of summer are here too, as well as multiple varieties of corn. In China the yellow corn tends to be sweet, but the white corn has larger kernels and is referred to as glutinous corn.

Peaches and Glutinous Corn

Peaches and Glutinous Corn

An important lens to use when shopping for food in China is that of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) teachings–as most Chinese people believe that certain foods are beneficial to eat during certain times of the year for health reasons. For example, a popular Chinese summer food is winter melon, which is thought to cool you down in a hot summer. These winter melons were gargantuan!

Winter Melon

Winter Melon

Another cooling summer vegetable is soft cucumber, a spiny, delicate cucumber. Wrinkly, knobby bitter melon fits the bill for refreshing the body in the summer heat as well.

Soft Cucumber and Bitter Melon

Soft Cucumber and Bitter Melon

While lotus root (also a cooling food) is available year-round, the twisty, knobby part of the lotus appears only around the time the lotus flowers bloom, which is now. (I couldn’t find great information on this, but it seems like the thing we call “lotus root” is really the lotus rhizome, and this thing might actually be part of the root, but I’m not sure at all so don’t hold me to that.)

Lotus Shoot

Lotus Shoot

All manner of rice and beans are also available at this market. Rows of bags and stacks of sacks offer whatever legume or grain your heart desires.

Rice, Grains, Beans

Rice, Grains, Beans

You can also find all sorts of noodles. A Shanghainese special is noodles made from rice and green beans, so some have a light green color.

Noodles

Noodles

How about some spice and seasonings? Fresh ginger is available year round, and vendors place fans directly on piles of ginger to dry them out and keep them from molding in the humidity. You can see huge bags of peeled garlic cloves for sale too.

Ginger

Ginger

Chili peppers are ground and sorted to varying consistency and size, per the customer’s request.

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wet Market without some meat, fish, and other interesting delicacies. If you are squeamish about meat and butchery, now might be a good time to scroll to the end. I’ll start with something reasonably tame, sides of pork on big iron hooks. You can see the marbled belly pieces, ready for making bacon, on the left.

Sides of Pork

Sides of Pork

If you want a century egg, ask the vendor to rinse off the ash, clay, lime, and mud mixture so you can break into that pungent dark green yolk. (I was too wimpy to try one!)

Century Eggs

Century Eggs

Fresh frogs, snakes, and eels are on display; make a purchase and they’ll be butchered for you to order. (The frogs are in the mesh bag so they don’t jump away, and the snakes are tied up in the green bag, thank goodness.)

Frogs, Snakes and Eels

Frogs, Snakes and Eels

If you’re not quite up to eel or frog just yet, you can try beltfish, a popular Chinese seafood staple.

Belt Fish

Belt Fish

If you’re after hens or roosters, you can peruse the quality of the show bird on top of the cage before picking one out to be beheaded for your soup pot.

Rooster

Rooster

But good luck getting this teenager’s attention to skin you a fresh quail–he seems pretty engaged in his video game!

Quail Seller

Quail Seller

Getting the purchases back to your home or restaurant means loading up your bicycle cart, scooter, or rickshaw.

Bicycle Cart

Bicycle Cart

If you’ve left your scooter for too long, you might find one of the many alley cats that roams the market seeking scraps has taken over.

Cat on Scooter

Cat on Scooter

Market work can be exhausting. Sometimes you just need a break from selling jellyfish all day.

Napping Woman

Napping Woman

If you’re in Shanghai and you’d like to visit the market: contact Janny at Shanghai Pathways.

Would you like to share your farmers market with Summer Tomato readers? Find out more.

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Farmers Market Update: Puerto Rico

by | Jun 26, 2011
Sweet Red Ajicitos

Sweet Red Ajicitos

Before we get started on this week’s amazing farmers market update from Puerto Rico, I want to announce that I’m going to start offering farmers market tours/classes for small groups in San Francisco. I hope you can join us!

Adriana Angelet is a food lover and blogger from Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. She cooks and shares balcony gardening duties with her husband, Eduardo, and their recao eating kitten Gatamiaux. Visit her beautiful blog Great Food 360.

Farmers Market Update: Puerto Rico

by Adriana Angelet

I am very excited to share today some of our finds from the Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra’s bi-monthly farmer’s market. The farmers set up their stands at the Placita Roosevelt, a fifteen-minute drive from the Old San Juan area, on the first and third Sundays of every month. The market operates year-round; this is definitely one of the blessings of our tropical weather! The farmers’ coop that organizes the market recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra Market

Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra Market

Our first stop was Nelson’s table, where we purchased our regular greens (curly leaf and red leaf lettuces, arugula, spinach, and pac choi), which are available year-round.

Cucumber, Name and Chayote

Cucumber, Name and Chayote

His stand is usually one of the most diverse in terms of its offerings: he had eggplant, yucca and ñame (root vegetables), plantains, cucumbers, chayote (mirlinton), and sweet little red peppers known as ajicitos. Ajicitos are usually used in sauces, chopped into savory dishes, and blended into sofrito, the base for most Puerto Rican dishes.

Root Vegetables

Root Vegetables

Green Papaya Green and Ripe Plantains

Green Papaya Green and Ripe Plantains

We moved on to the Desde Mi Huerto (“From My Farm”) table to check out Raul’s collection of potted vegetable plants and herbs. I really like that they not only sell from their harvest, but foster growing your own at home. I make sure to stop by whenever I have questions on how to tend our balcony garden. We have also purchased some vegetable compost from them to make sure our garden thrives.

Desde Mi Huerto Potted Herbs and Vegetable Plants

Desde Mi Huerto Potted Herbs and Vegetable Plants

In my previous visit, I purchased some honey from Apiarios El Pancho. Their apiary is located only a couple of miles from our house.  In addition to honey, they make honey “butter” – a creamy confection made entirely of honey. I think I might have to get some next time. It would make a great spread on tart fruit slices or crackers.

Honey from Apiarios El Pancho

Honey from Apiarios El Pancho

Since we arrived earlier than some of the farmers, we took a break to enjoy some homemade probiotic yogurt with granola and molasses from Naturalandia and perk up with cortaditos – espressos “cut” with a little half-and-half – from Finca Vista Hermosa (“Beautiful View”). From a bench we watched as the fresh fruit, root vegetables, and vegetables kept arriving and tweaked our shopping list.

Coffee - Hacienda Vista Hermosa

Coffee - Hacienda Vista Hermosa

Although I’m not a fan, a lot of people like pomarrosas, also known as Malay Apples.  They can be ground and juiced or cooked into compotes or jams. They are pretty to look at! From what I’ve read, the tree and flowers are just as beautiful.

Pomarrosas - Malay Apples

Pomarrosas - Malay Apples

This is the first time I’ve seen cacao pods in the market. I bought two, although I have no idea what to do with them (after opening the pod and toasting the seeds). It was only two for a dollar! If I can get two candies out of them, the experiment would be worth it.

Cacao Pods

Cacao Pods

We picked up two whole wheat baguettes from Stephanie at the Peace n’Loaf stand. Besides baking artisanal breads, she is part owner of the first vegetarian pizzeria in Puerto Rico. I know we should eat bread in moderation (Stephanie herself couldn’t stress it enough), but one of the loaves was gone in less than two days.

Baguettes

Baguettes

On the Siembra Tres Vidas (“Plant Three Lives”) tent, I went straight for the green beans. I participated in their CSA last summer, and got hooked on them. The green onions also looked too good to pass up. I used one right after I got home to make a quick dip to take to my family’s Father’s Day luncheon.

Siembra Tres Vidas Green Onions

Siembra Tres Vidas Green Onions

On our way out, we couldn’t help but notice these baby eggplants on the back of a pick-up truck. Although my husband is not a fan, we couldn’t just take pictures of them – we bought pound. It will likely turn into baba ganoush.

Baby Eggplant

Baby Eggplant

Our Purchases:

  • Arugula (Nelson’s)
  • Red and green curly leaf lettuces (Nelson’s)
  • Spinach (Nelson’s)
  • Pac Choi (Nelson’s)
  • Whole wheat baguettes (Peace N’Loaf)
  • Baby eggplant
  • Cocoa pods
  • Green beans (Siembra Tres Vidas)
  • Green onions (Siembra Tres Vidas)

If you’d like to share your local farmers market with Summer Tomato readers, we’d love to have you! Here are the guidelines.

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Rain Day: Jai Ho Indian Grocery

by | Feb 20, 2011
Rasam Ingredients

Rasam Ingredients

The rain didn’t let up yesterday, so rather than face the cold wet farmers market I decided to visit the Jai Ho Indian grocery store to pick up some ingredients I can’t find at my normal spots.

Jai Ho was recommended to me by Anjan Mitra, a friend and owner of San Francisco’s premier South Indian restaurant Dosa. I’m a huge fan of Dosa and recently interviewed Anjan for an article about lentils and their health benefits I wrote for Edible SF.

Indian Groceries

Dry Goods

Jai Ho Indian Grocery

Jai Ho Indian Grocery

I’m delighted to report that Anjan was nice enough to share his amazing Rasam “fire broth” recipe for lentil soup, which I’ll publish here at Summer Tomato tomorrow.

Today I want to share some of the ingredients that go into the soup, since they may not be familiar to those of you who don’t have experience cooking Indian food.

Toor Dal

Toor Dal

The soup is based on a type of lentil (“dal” in Hindi) called toor dal, or pigeon peas. Toor dal are medium sized yellow lentils that fall apart easily when cooked through. You should be able to find them at any Indian grocery store.

The recipe also calls for wet tamarind pulp, the kind sold in blocks. The one I got actually had chunks of stems in there, which I had to pick out.

Asafetida

Asafetida

Wet Tamarind

Wet Tamarind

Asafetida is a potent smelling herb that comes in powder form. This was the first time I had worked with it so I had to check Wikipedia to see exactly what it is. Apparently asafetida is also known as “devil’s dung” but, ironically, is a known antiflatulent. How have I never heard of this stuff?

Turmeric

Turmeric

The only other ready ground spice used in the recipe is turmeric, which some research suggests may help in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. You can find ground turmeric at any grocery store.

Dried Chilies

Dried Chilies

As you might expect, the soup calls for several sources of heat. The first are dried red chili peppers. I used my own Thai dragon peppers I dried last summer, but any form of red chili works here.

Whole Black Peppercorns

Whole Black Peppercorns

Some of the heat also comes from a generous portion of black peppercorns, which are ground together with several other spices that form the main flavors of the soup.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin Seeds

The other spices in the mixture are cumin and coriander seeds. Mustard seeds are also called for, though these are added whole and are not ground with the other spices.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander Seeds

One of the hardest to find ingredients for the recipe is fresh curry leaves. The recipe is very explicit that if you cannot find them you should leave them out and under no circumstances substitute ground curry powder. I was able to find fresh leaves at Jai Ho, and their flavor was more subtle than I expected.

Fresh Curry Leaves

Fresh Curry Leaves

And of course, don’t forget your garlic.

Garlic

Garlic

Stay tuned tomorrow for Dosa’s rasam recipe.

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Farmers Market Update: Charentais Melons

by | Jul 19, 2009
Charentais Melons

Charentais Melons

I did not buy much today at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market because I will be out of town for much of the week. One thing I did get though is one of these small, fragrant charentais melons from The Peach Farm.

If you have never had a charentais I highly recommend you try one this summer. Their scent is intoxicating, like a mix of cataloup and passion fruit. At first taste they seem to resemble a cantaloup, but you quickly notice that their flavor is much more complex and floral than any cataloup you’ve ever had.

Charentais melons are one of my favorite summer treats.

What are you loving at the farmers market right now? Do you have a favorite pluot or berry that you wait for all summer? Use the comments as an open thread to share your summer fruit secrets.

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How To Cook With An Unfamiliar Ingredient

by | Apr 27, 2009
Amaranth

Amaranth Leaves

Last week a new farmers market started up at the UCSF Mission Bay campus where I work. As someone who makes it my business to know what’s happening at our local markets, I was very interested to check out what they were offering. To my surprise and delight, there was a tremendous variety of interesting, high-quality goods and produce. But I already had a bunch of fresh groceries at home from my Saturday market trip, so I only purchased a few special things I just couldn’t resist.

The first thing that caught my eye were the beautiful Asian greens I spotted at the beginning of my exploration (sorry, I’m not familiar with these farms yet so I do not remember the name). I had never seen okra or bitter melon leaves for sale before, though I am familiar with these vegetables. What really grabbed my attention though were these beautiful amaranth leaves.

I had always considered amaranth a grain, and did not know it was also a leafy vegetable. But apparently amaranth greens are incredibly popular in India, Africa, China, Vietnam and Greece. The leaves are fairly delicate and I would describe the taste as similar to spinach if spinach were Indian. In other words, the leaves have earthy and spicy undertones reminiscent of chai tea. Needless to say I was very excited to see what I could make with them.

When I got home with my greens I did a quick Google search for amaranth leaves recipes and virtually everything that came up on the first search page was for Indian dishes–perfect! I read through a few of them and realized that the most common use for amaranth leaves is in a lentil dish with spices and tamarind.

Since I had most of the required ingredients in the house, I decided to give it a try. Not too long ago I purchased an assortment of red and yellow Indian lentils from a specialty store in my neighborhood. Usually I have concentrated tamarind in my refrigerator for those occasional Thai food cravings. I didn’t have the fresh tomato most recipes called for, so I used half a can of diced tomatoes from my pantry (I used the rest in my roasted fava beans dish). I also keep standard Indian spices in the house such as cumin seeds, garam marsala (a traditional Indian spice blend), curry powder, tumeric and ghee (clarified butter).

See how easy it is to be creative when you have a well-stocked pantry?

The dish turned out amazing, and the batch I made was so large I have been eating it for days (not bad for a $2 ingredient). But I am not going to give you the recipe, because that is not the purpose of this post. Instead I wanted to give you an idea about how I approach shopping and cooking. If something is unique or catches my eye at the market, I inquire to the vendor about what it tastes like and how it is used. When I get home I look up recipes online until I find one or two that look yummy and are not too hard to make. Sometimes this involves changing the recipe slightly to match the ingredients I have available, or combining two or more recipes together to accommodate my own modest cooking skills or time allowance.

You do not have to be a brilliant chef to explore cooking this way, and you will certainly get better at it the more you practice. The key is digging through Google until you find a recipe that doesn’t scare you too much. You can also try services such as Recipe Puppy that allow you to type in an ingredient and receive a collection of recipes from around the internet. Recipe Puppy didn’t work particularly well for amaranth (no results), but it is useful for most ingredients and can be a terrific source of inspiration.

Next time you shop, go out of your way to find something you haven’t cooked before and see what you can come up with. Who knows, you may actually find a new favorite food and upgrade your healthstyle in the process!

Don’t forget to come back and let us know what you learned. Tell us your favorite accidental ingredient discovery!

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Farmers Market Update: Easter

by | Apr 11, 2009
Spring Garlic

Spring Garlic

I haven’t seen crowds like this at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza farmers market since summertime. The Easter crowds were in full throttle gathering goods for tomorrow’s festivities. Luckily for market goers, the spring vegetables were certainly worth fighting over.

The signs of spring today were particularly apparent at Far West Fungi where wild miner’s lettuce, ramps and fiddleheads were all available. Miner’s lettuce (as I learned last week on KCRW’s Good Food podcast) is a delicate green ideal for spring salads. It’s leaves are shaped like a tiny lily pad with a cone of small flowers growing from the center. Ramps are tiny wild leeks that could very well be my favorite egg addition of all time. Fiddleheads are the tender curls of baby ferns. They can be sauteed and served much like asparagus.

Fiddlehead Ferns

Fiddlehead Ferns

Miner's Lettuce

Miner's Lettuce

Heirloom tomatoes are starting to appear, though they still didn’t look good enough to buy. But I could tell that one day soon there will be rejoicing at Summer Tomato.

Other notable findings include fava beans, lilacs, asparagus, rainbow chard, sugar snap peas, morel mushrooms, strawberries, artichokes, kale flowers, sorrel and arugula.

Note: The How To Get Started Eating Healthy series will continue on Monday with the next addition, Seasonal Shopping. Consider this post a warm up 😀

Lilacs

Lilacs

Rainbow Chard

Rainbow Chard

Today’s purchases:

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Farmers Market Update

by | Apr 4, 2009
Kumquats

Kumquats

It was a perfect day in San Francisco and the farmers market was full of life. Spring is in full swing and it seems like every week something new appears.

Strawberries

Strawberries

Finally the strawberries looked good enough to eat, so I am happy to announce my breakfasts will be getting an upgrade. I also started eating salads again last week, which is refreshing. Still no (good) tomatoes, but I tasted one today and it was greatly improved from when they first came out a few weeks ago. So exciting!

I don’t eat a lot of popcorn or I would have bought this Shaman’s Blue from Tierra Vegetables. Isn’t it spectacular?

Shaman's Blue Popcorn

Shaman's Blue Popcorn

Kumquats are peaking right now (apparently Paredez Farms still felt the need to charge me $0.25 to taste one) and I recommend getting some while you can ($5/lb). It is also a great time for asparagus, baby kale, arugula, artichokes and chard.

Oh! and the morel mushrooms are beautiful at Far West Fungi.

Today’s purchases:

I cannot wait until I show up one morning at the market and it is exploding with cherries. What are you most excited about?

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What Is A Tamarillo?

by | Jan 14, 2009

Tamarillos or tree tomatoes are egg-shaped fruits native to South America. Being from San Francisco I had never heard of them until two weeks ago when I found them at my favorite farmers market.

That day I only bought one. The next week I got a full bag of them.

I will not deny that these little fruits are strange. The color alone could be the topic of an entire post. Their flesh is orange like a persimmon, but the soft black seeds are nested in a deep red gel, making it seem as if they are bleeding when you cut them open. Although that sounds kind of gruesome, they are actually beautiful to behold. If I were a food painter, I would certainly seek out some tamarillos to be my subjects.

The taste of my first tamarillo surprised me even more than its appearance. I had expected it to be, well, I’m not sure, but the person I bought it from said it is usually served with either sugar or salt, like a tomato. I guess I was expecting it to be more savory or acidic. In my estimation it was closer to sweet, and seemed to perfectly meld the flavors of passion fruit, kiwi and tomato.

Strange, but delicious.

Unfortunately the skin does not lend itself to palatability. It is tough, bitter and very sour. Best to do away with it completely. The seeds, however, are edible.

Unripe a tamarillo can lean toward sour and bitter, so I am told it is best to eat them when they are dark red and softer rather than harder (they never get very soft).

Tamarillos are high in potassium, manganese, copper and vitamins A, C, E and B6.

All I know is that I am going to keep buying them until I can’t find anymore.

Do any of you have experience with tamarillos?

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The Chocolate Persimmon

by | Dec 7, 2008

Ever since I mentioned the chocolate persimmon the questions have been rolling in. Are there really chocolate persimmons? What do they taste like? Where can I find them?

I even know someone who dreamt about them.

This weekend I finally got a hold of some chocolate persimmons of my own, the first I have seen this season.

Officially called Tsurunoko, chocolate persimmons are of the non-astringent variety, similar to fuyus. However they are unique in that the flesh inside is more brown than orange and the flavor is sweeter. These are highly sought after fruits; when ripe they do indeed possess subtle notes of chocolate flavor.

Like the fuyu, the texture of a chocolate persimmon is firm (not jelly-soft like the hachiya).

Keep your eyes out for Maru, or “cinnamon persimmons,” and Hyakume, “brown sugar persimmons” as well.

The vendor at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market said that the weather has not been favorable for persimmons this year because it is too dry. The season will be short, so be sure to get yours next week.

Has anyone else been able to find chocolate or other specialty persimmons?

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