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Eat This Now for the Week of 08/13/12

Best if Used By 08/20/12

Eat This Now for the week of August 13th, 2012 features
Green Grapes, Roma (Plum) Tomatoes, Nectarines,
White Potatoes and Organic Cherry Tomatoes

Green Grapes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

Where are all the Green Grape fans at? Great news! Peak season is rockin’ for two of the best Green Seedless Grapes from California now though mid-September. The barrel-shaped Princess variety is crisp, firm and has nice flavor. The classic Thompson variety is known for it’s long shape and sweet taste. This is one of the best times of the year to eat Green Grapes for eating quality, plus retailers are frequently promoting them at a discount in their ads.

Green Grape lovers, rejoice! Peak season fruit is fantastic!

What does it mean when the Grapes are more yellowish than green? In my experience, yellow hue indicates a very sweet eating berry – yum! But keep ‘em refrigerated and eat ‘em quick since the more sugar the fruit has the shorter the shelf life will be. Avoid Green Grapes that appear wet and sticky in their package. Select Grapes that feel firm to a gentle squeeze and are clinging to healthy-looking green stems. Refrigerate Grapes and rinse with water just before eating. The California Table Grape site has a nice array of Grape recipes, tips and use ideas.

Roma (Plum) Tomatoes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

There are Slicing Tomatoes. There are Snacking, Cocktail and Salad Tomatoes. And then there are Roma Tomatoes, also called Plum Tomatoes. Roma’s are their own “use category,” ideal for cooking, sauces and salsas. They are smaller than round tomatoes and have an egg shape, and the varieties often grown during local summer season are elongated. Roma Tomatoes are meaty and have less gel inside than larger round varieties. This makes them ideal for dicing for use as an ingredient or topping.

August and September are for Vine Ripe Roma Tomatoes.

Full-flavor. Here in August and into September, you’re likely find vine-ripened Roma Tomatoes grown in states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These Roma’s are softer and redder than the ones you find in stores during the winter, and you can taste the difference – rich, acidic Tomato flavor – making them perfect for homemade Tomato Sauce. Romas also wedge well to add to salads, can be stuffed and intensify with roasting. Save the flavor! Do not refrigerate Tomatoes until after you cut them.

Produce Geek’s Easy Bean Salsa:

  • 1 can drained and rinsed Black Beans (frijoles)
  • 3 ears of boiled Sweet Corn knife-scraped from the cob (or 1 can drained Corn)
  • 5 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 Jumbo Sweet Onion, chopped
  • season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and red pepper flake to taste
  • Stir and Enjoy!

Nectarines

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR | VALUE PRICED

Snack time, break time, any time really is good for a sweet, smooth, peak season Yellow Nectarine. Harvests are steady in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Washington growing regions, flavor is excellent and you can probably find ‘em on sale. It only takes a day or two at room temperature to ripen a Nectarine to nicely soft and juicy enough to require a napkin. Yum! But too many days on your counter or worse, too many days in your fridge, will leave you with a mealy Nectarine.

Mmm – peak season Nectarines.

So, here’s the million dollar question: How do you find a good one? During peak season here in August it will be hard not to find a tasty Nectarine. Color is not a sure-fire indicator of ripeness. Nevertheless, Yellow-flesh Nectarines advertised as “Tree-Ripe” are good starts on the hunt for flavor. Avoid, fruit will wrinkled skin or that feel too soft. But to really be sure you’re spending your money on delicious fruit and not duds – you need to do a taste test. Go ahead, ask your produce clerk for a sample, or buy one piece of fruit to try. If it’s yummy – go back and buy more, simple as that.

White Potatoes

PEAK SEASON | VALUE PRICED

Peak season for fresh crop White Potatoes is here in the Mid-Atlantic. Harvests are abundant in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania so look for value priced advertised specials, especially on 5lb or 10lb bag of White Potatoes. Quality is nice, but since they’re packed fresh and have lots of moisture in them, you’ll be wise to store them in your dark, dry pantry and use them within a couple of weeks. Moist-fleshed White Potatoes are excellent boiled, smashed, mashed and fried. Anyone have a good ‘n healthy Potato recipes to share?

Stretch your dollars with White Potatoes.

Organic Pick of the Week:
Organic Cherry Tomatoes

PEAK SEASON | BEST FLAVOR

Bursting with juicy and intense tomato flavor, Organic Cherry Tomatoes are fun for salads, snacking and roasting. They’re bigger and slightly more acidic than Grape Tomatoes. August is peak season for local crops of Organic Cherry Tomatoes in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Enjoy!

Ch-ch-cha- Cherry bomb!

Buy Smart. Shop Healthy.

The Produce Geek, Jonathan K. Steffy

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

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