Produce News for November 30, 2009
GREETING CARD RECIPES (Monday, November 30): Hey, you know, The Joy of Cooking, a great cookbook, was published this week in 1931. And you know, every year I always send out a recipe, one of my family’s secret holiday recipes. So I’m wondering this year what I’m going to send out. You know, appetizers at our house always undeniably the best guacamole on the face of the planet. You have to have that. Of course my mom’s deviled eggs. That’s always a great recipe. Oh, my mom’s favorite persimmon cookie recipe. Or how about some parsnip mashed potatoes? Well, may I encourage you – take out a couple of your great family recipes that you may have, your secret family recipes, and in your greeting cards this year may I suggest you include one of those great family recipes. It encourages people to cook a little bit more, try a new recipe, which is always a great idea especially this time of year. So anyway, Season’s Greetings with some holiday recipes. I’m Michael Marks…Your Produce Man.
TEASE: Hey, in my next Produce Man report, so which recipe is going in my holiday greeting cards this year?
CARROTS (Tuesday, December 1): You know, the middle of summer I get a lot of questions, a lot of e-mails, from viewers who want to know why are the carrots so bitter? Well, this time of year the carrots are so much sweeter. Fall and wintertime is like the time for some very sweet carrots. Now let me tell you why. A lot of it has to do with the weather. See, there are chemicals in carrots called keratinoids or terpenoids, and those terpenoids can become very bitter when you have very high degree of temperatures because…carrots are a root vegetable, right? What are root vegetables like? They like cool temperatures. They like calm temperatures. The like nice and even temperatures, so in the fall when we have some nice even temperatures, even though it’s cooler, that’s very good because it produces far fewer terpenoids or keratinoids in these carrots which means there’s no bitter flavor in them. They’re so much sweeter. So if you’ve been trying to get your kids, your husband to eat more vegetables, now’s the time of year. Get the carrots because they’re so much sweeter. I’m Michael Marks…Your Produce Man. (Takes Bite)
TEASE: Hey, in my next Produce Man report…what’s up Doc? Well, sweeter carrots is what’s up. (Takes bite)
ASPARAGUS (Wednesday, December 2): Hey, Britney Spears turns 28 today. Is she only 28? Holy Toledo! She’s lived half a lifetime already. So I thought I’d talk about spears, not Britney Spears - thought I’d talk about asparagus spears. Take a look at these spears. Now, there’s two main growing regions right now where we’re getting asparagus from. One is Mexico but not so much. We’re getting a lot from Chile and also from Peru. These spears are absolutely gorgeous. And as you go down this spear, take a look at these leaves. See those leaves? Look how nice and purple they are. Oh, man. You know what that tells…that’s one of the first things I look for when I see spears of asparagus, the little purpling on them. That means they grew in slightly cooler temperatures. Now see the cooler the temperature at nighttime means the sweeter the asparagus spear. That’s right. They grow during the day because it’s warm, but at nighttime when it gets cool, the spears get so sweet. So this time of year, hey, we’re still eating a lot of asparagus.
I’m Michael Marks…Your Produce Man.
TEASE: Hey, in my next Produce Man report, we’re talking spears – Britney Spears and asparagus spears.
RED PEARS (Thursday, December 3): Boy those Franciscan monks knew what to grow. You know they established…in fact, this week they established Mission Santa Barbara way back in the 1700s, but one of the very first fruits they planted – pears. Pear trees! Oh, my goodness! Many of the settlers who crossed the Sierra Nevadas into California…one of the first things they were met with at the missions was cream and pears. And one of the pears that I love, especially this time of year, beautiful red pears. Yeah, because of the color. Oh, my goodness! They are so sweet. And, you know, they’re like a Bartlett pear – very sweet. In fact, how do you buy a red pear? Well, first of all, color is insignifcant. It can be light red. It can be dark red. But how you treat it is the same as you treat all other pears. If you need them ripe, then you’re going to leave them out on the countertop like all together. If you don’t need them for a while, you can put them in the refrigerator. But red pears I love! Oh, this time of year what I’ll do, I’ll just cut of one of the cheeks and then slice it just like this. This goes in my salad whether it’s a fruit salad or a green salad. I’m Michael Marks…Your Produce Man. (Takes Bite) Mmmm.
TEASE: Hey, the colors of the holiday season are here and that means red pears.
NAVEL ORANGES (Friday, December 4): You know, Walt Disney was born this week in 1901. One of the great things he did, of course, was Mickey Mouse…and Disneyland, Disneyworld. Well, one of the things they had to do at Disneyland was they had to buy up a whole bunch of navel orange orchards in order to plant Disneyland. Now this is brand new crop navel oranges. This actually looks absolutely gorgeous for first of the season. Generally the color is very pale. Now let me…and you find a little bit more green. Now let me cut this open. I do want to show you the first of the season navel oranges tend to have a little bit more pale color on the inside of the fruit. Do not worry about that. Oh, my goodness! The sugar content has been fantastic so far this year. The weather people - they have been sending some cold night temperatures, and that’s very good for producing sugar content. Now the color’s going to get better and better. In fact, as we get closer to Christmas, we’re going to have what we call nat color which means good natural orange color, and the flavor’s going to be fantastic, but right now these are so good! I’m Michael Marks…Your Produce Man. (Takes bite) Mmm.
TEASE: Hey, in my next Produce Man report, the new crop of navel oranges are here. What do you want to know? How sweet are they? (Takes bite) Mmm.