Seasoned Shopper – October 2020

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Strawberries and Persimmons

    One of the most popular produce picks at Orinda’s Farmers Market is strawberries. Growers from Viveros Farm come from Watsonville to continue to sell baskets and boxes of fresh picked strawberries this month. It’s a welcome sight as many of summers’ stone fruits and melons are finished.
    Look for Lupe Garcia and Ben Gonzales behind the Viveros stand making sure the berries are ready for sale. The large Albion variety berries are their specialty and show off an intense red color and offer an exceptionally sweet taste. They are an excellent choice for eating fresh, making pies and preserves, and freezing.
    If you purchase flats of berries, storage is possible for two or three days. Arrange unwashed strawberries in a single layer in a moisture proof container lined with paper towels. Top that with another layer of towels and refrigerate.
    Strawberries freeze well too. Rinse, drain, hull and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet before placing in freezer bags.
    Persimmons are another fall favorite. Two available types of persimmons have the same beautiful deep orange hue inside and out and a sweet rich flavor when ripe, but textures vary considerably. Acorn-shaped hachiya persimmons are an astringent variety that must be allowed to soften and become almost pudding-like before eating. Once completely ripe, the astringency disappears and the sweet, juicy flavor develops. Scoop the pulp from the skin with a spoon to eat fresh or use in puddings, cakes and cookies.
    The fuyu persimmon is non-astringent and delicious right off the tree. The ripe flesh of the tomato shaped fuyu is firm and sweet tart in flavor. These are particularly attractive sliced into thin crosswise pieces to add to salads or to garnish entrée dishes.
    The Orinda market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in Orinda Village. More information is available at cccf.org, facebook.com/OrindaFarmersMarket and Instagram@OrindaFarmersMarket, or call the market hotline at 925-431-8361.

(Barbara Kobsar, Photographer)
Lupe Garcia and Ben Gonzales of Viveros Farms.

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