Eat This Now for the Week of 09/19/11

Best if Used By 09/26/11

Eat This Now for the week of September 19th, 2011 features: Honeycrisp Apples, Hard Squashes, Concord Grapes, White Potatoes, Organic Gala Apples

KEY ($) = Value Bargain (P) = Peak of the Season (F) = Flavor for Foodies

1. Honeycrisp Apples: (F) (P)

Yessss! They’re back! It’s Honeycrips Apple season! The cracklingly crisp texture. The juiciness that explodes with flavor into your mouth. The sweet taste with a little tanginess underneath that keeps each bite so interesting. Nom-nom… The Honeycrisp is the darling of Apple enthusiasts and becomes more in demand with each new person who tries them and falls in love. And right now, my wife and kids… that’s the only snacking Apple they want, and I’m totally cool with that.

HONEYCRISP! A bowl full of delicious. Oh, it’s on!

It’s snackin’ time, folks. Eastern Honeycrisp Apples are in peak season already. Mid-Western growers and Washington State Organic and Conventional growers are hitting peak production this week too, so the next 6 to 8 weeks will be the time for fresh Honeycrisps. Strong demand for this treat will keep prices a higher than other varieties, but one taste and you’ll remember (or discover) why it’s worth it! rule

2. Hard Squashes: (P) (F) ($)

Ahh, the nights are getting cooler, school is back in session and peak of the season Organic and Conventional Hard Squashes are filling produce department shelves. Oh, the possibilities! Smooth and nutty Butternut, easy to cut Acorn and noodle-fleshed Spaghetti are the three most common Hard Squashes (aka Fall or Winter Squash), but don’t miss out on some other tasty and interesting varieties available this time of year. Delicata taste like Sweet Potatoes. Hubbard varieties make delicious pies. Kabocha is gaining in popularity too for it’s dry texture and sweetness. Learn more here:

Baked Butternut & Apples with Sausage, and Delicata Roasted with Butter & Brown Sugar.

INSIDER TIP: Usually, picking out good Hard Squash that will last for weeks on your counter is a sure thing this time of year. But the summer has been particularly wet in many of the Eastern growing regions. Lots of water close to harvest can cause perfect looking Squashes to rot unexpectedly after being picked. Select Hard Squash that are, well, hard – give them a once over to make sure there are no soft spots. And it might not be a bad idea to use them within a couple weeks of purchase. rule

3. Concord Grapes: (F) (P)

Those purple Grapes that are used to make classic grape jelly and grape juice are the Concord Grape variety. They have thick skins and chewy centers that have hard seeds in them. Hmmm. But… they taste sooo good – familiar, rich and sweet. The next couple of weeks are peak season for Concord Grapes from places like New York, Michigan and California. So snack away or make your own homemade jelly and juice.

Tastes Good. Nevermind the seeds.

INSIDER TIP: Be on the lookout for Thomcord Grapes. They have all the flavor of Concords without the seeds! rule

4. White Potatoes: ($) (P)

If you see a 5lb or 10lb bag of White Potatoes on sale this month go ahead and pick some up. Quality is great, prices are reasonable and they’ll keep for a couple weeks in your dark, dry pantry. Moist-fleshed White Potatoes are excellent boiled, smashed, mashed and fried. Anyone have a good ‘n healthy Potato recipe to share?

Stretch you dollars with White Potatoes.


Organic Pick of the Week: 5. Gala Apples: (P) (F)

There have been very few Certified Organic Apples available in recent weeks at the end of the import season, and that’s part of what makes the arrival of peak season Organic Gala Apples from Washington so thrilling! These fresh crop Galas are gleaming, but more importantly they taste fantastic – crisp with a floral sweetness. Prices are starting to fall as volumes increase, making the next couple months a great time to go Organic on Galas.

Fresh crop Organic Galas – gleaming outside, sweet ‘n crisp inside.


Forward this to a friend if you think they’ll like it – Here’s to fresh!

Here’s to fresh! The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy