Filed under: Produce
Learn about all the varieties of apples…
Learn about all the varieties of apples…
Introducing: the tastiest tomato you will ever eat. Dirty Girl Dry-Farmed Tomatoes are grown sustainably using only rainwater from the torrential rains that saturate the soil in Northern California during the winter. The plants are deprived of water after they reach maturity. This lack of water stresses the plant forcing the roots deep into the soil in search of water and focuses its efforts on producing fruit. The result is a smaller tomato and lower yield, but the tomatoes have a tremendous flavor and texture. Dirty Girl Dry-Farmed Tomatoes are sought out by the finest restaurants and sold at a few grocery stores and farmers markets around the bay area of California. Available for a limited time from Dirty Girl Produce and only at Plum Market. Be sure to try them for yourself, we’re confident you’ll agree.
Earthbound Farms recently invited Plum Market’s Phil Cassise and Marc Jonna to California last month to help harvest some romaine lettuce.
While they only pretended to bag romaine hearts (workers do this right in the field, below) they certainly enjoyed the scenery and were very impressed with Earthbound Farm’s organic farming methods.
The farming equipment used to harvest the spring mix triples as a mower, vacuum, and cooler to collect, sort, and keep the greens fresh just before pre-washing and packaging. Who knew so much work went into that mixed greens salad you’re eating for lunch?
Ever wonder how your berries get so perfectly placed in the plastic containers you purchase in the store? Well, we did!
That’s why we sent our Director of Produce, Phil Cassise with Co-Founder, Marc Jonna to the beautiful Driscoll farms in California.
Strawberry pickers walk the field and pluck berries off the plants and place them directly into the plastic container to minimize bruising and over-handling. Berries are brought to 32 degrees and the pallets of berries are wrapped up (oxygen is removed and carbon dioxide added) to keep the berries fresh during shipping.
So, last week we introduced a fantastic new beverage, Mamma Chia. Our guests and team members are going nuts for this drink! Every time you turn around, someone is raving about the taste and health benefits of Mamma Chia. Youtube videos are on repeat, the refrigerator in our office is stocked, and some of us are even talking about it in our sleep.
We bring in local produce as soon as it’s in season and will have it for as long as it meets our local produce standards. For example, we recently brought in shitake mushrooms that are grown on oak logs and are hand selected by our friends at Nature and Nurture in Ann Arbor, less than a mile from our store.
And this week, we are happy to have Michigan asparagus! A sure sign that spring is here, and summer is not far behind.
Need more help? Watch this video:
(updated 4.4.13) These spring favorites have a short season, so get them while you can!
Fiddlehead ferns—one of Spring’s most elusive goodies—have a mild flavor and closely resemble asparagus (some say they are similar to green beans and artichokes). They’re pleasantly crunchy with a nutty, slightly bitter bite—most recipes call for butter and salt. Treat fiddleheads like asparagus tips and you can’t go wrong; or pair them with morel mushrooms for a perfect seasonal treat.
Morel Mushrooms—perhaps you’ve gone morel hunting when the winter comes to a close and spring finally arrives. This earthy treat is certainly a seasonal favorite and is enjoyed fresh only during the springtime. Sauté with some butter, salt and pepper and add to your favorite dish (pasta, steak, atop crostini, or soup)
Ramps—sometimes called a wild leek—grow from South Carolina to Canada and are considered a spring delicacy. Flavor and odor is similar to onions and garlic. Use them raw or add ramps to soups, egg dishes, casseroles, rice and potato dishes for a wonderful and uniquely pungent flavor. Ramps are easy to clean: cut off roots, rinse thoroughly and scrub off excess dirt on the bulbs. (due to cold conditions, we do not have these in yet but we hope to soon!)
We know there is no magic pill to make you look younger, lose weight, or have more energy. But we’ve discovered Linwood’s Healthy Superfoods. Now, we’re not saying this is all you need; however, they do make it very easy to give your everyday foods a boost. Just add a couple spoonfuls to your cereal, yogurt, smoothie, salad, soup, shampoo…wait, maybe not your shampoo. Linwoods has a ton of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to support a more balanced diet. Meanwhile, you can be hitting the gym, yoga studio, or bike trails so you can be putting those Superfoods to work!
For more information, visit http://www.linwoods.co.uk/en/super_food.php
This odd looking fruit is actually one of the oldest members of the citrus family. Although it smells strongly of lemon, it has no juicy pulp hidden beneath its rind. Instead, the Buddha’s Hand is grown commercially for its powerful zest. The aromatic rind is used to flavor lemon liqueurs and specialty vodkas, and provides aroma to lemon-scented cosmetics. Chinese and Japanese households hang it in their homes as a natural air freshener, and it even has a place in some religious ceremonies.
Candied Buddha’s Hand Citron
Peels from 1 large Buddha’s Hand citron
2 c white sugar
1-2 c extra-fine sugar for dusting (see note)
1. Place citrus strips in sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and then simmer
for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse peels, and then repeat process 2 more times to
tenderize peels and remove any bitterness.
2. Make a simple syrup over medium-high heat by mixing white sugar with 2 c water.
Be sure to stir the syrup until the sugar dissolves completely.
3. When the syrup boils, add boiled peels and adjust heat to maintain a moderate boil.
Stir occasionally until the syrup reaches 230°F, about 1-2 hours total. Note that as
the syrup diminishes from the pan, you will need to stir more frequently.
4. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spread half of the extra-fine sugar in a thin layer.
5. When the syrup reaches 230°F, carefully remove peels and place onto sugared
cookie sheet. Sprinkle more extra-fine sugar on top of the peels and toss to
6. When cool enough to handle, dry peels on a rack overnight. Store in a cool, air-tight
container in single layers between waxed paper. Makes 12-24 pieces.
Note: To make extra fine sugar at home, place 1 cup of white sugar in a food processor and whirl for 30-60 seconds.