fruits

  • What are Donut peaches and how do they dif­fer drom other peaches?

  • David John III dif­fer­en­ti­ates figs: Brown Turkey, Kadota, Tiger Striped.



  • Learn all about this sea­sonal fruit: what it tastes like, how to choose, store and use it.


  • Learn all about fresh apri­cots; in sea­son now!


  • How to select corn; baby corn; intro­duc­ing new Sun­shine Raspberries.


  • David John dis­cusses sea­sonal items; mar­ket con­di­tion of figs; how to pre­pare fresh gar­banzo beans for a sum­mer treat.


  • What are Gold Nugget tan­ger­ines and how do they dif­fer from other tangerines?
  • Before we know it, Cal­i­for­nia grown cit­rus fruits will have to make room for cher­ries, berries and stone fruits. For now, the plea­sure is in cit­rus.

    Good news then that Cara Cara and blood oranges are not the only hand fruits we can indulge in for the next few weeks.

    The Golden Nugget man­darin is an excep­tional, late sea­son vari­ety that is worth the recent atten­tion and new found pop­u­lar­ity.

    Char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, it is roughly rounded in shape and rather bumpy in exte­rior tex­ture. Its skin is golden orange, aro­matic and easy to peel. Its eas­ily seg­mented flesh is deep orange, ten­der, juicy, extremely sweet and always seedless.

  • David John dif­fer­en­ti­ates heir­loom toma­toes in looks and taste; what to know about stor­ing tomatoes.



  • David John III explains how to choose, ripen, use and enjoy this sea­sonal treat!



  • Prunes vs. Plums; des­set ideas. Sweet!


  • Find out what Jack­fruit is, how to eat it, and what it tastes like. Try some­thing new!
  • What are Kiwanos? How do you choose and serve them? What do they taste like? Watch and find out!
  • Cal­i­for­nia farm­ers have been cul­ti­vat­ing grapes for well over two cen­turies. The fresh grape boom struck the golden state in 1839 when a for­mer trap­per from Ken­tucky, William Wolf­skill, planted the state’s first table grape vine­yard in the once Mex­i­can colo­nial pueblo now known as Los Ange­les.

    An agri­cul­tural entre­pre­neur, Wolf­skill was the first farmer to ship fresh grapes to North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. From there, the idea was expanded and the first twenty two pound box of Cal­i­for­nia grapes shipped to Chicago in 1869, via the then “new” transcon­ti­nen­tal rail­road.

    The gold rush may have ended, but the grape rush con­tin­ues. Today, over 99 per­cent of com­mer­cially grown grapes in the United States come from Cal­i­for­nia.

    With over 70 vari­eties grown, and more on the way, these vari­eties include seed­less and seeded grapes in the green, red and blue-​black color cat­e­gories.

    The Cal­i­for­nia table grape har­vest sea­son typ­i­cally begins in May, but more than half the crop is shipped from Sep­tem­ber and after­wards. Out of the 65+ com­mer­cial vari­eties of fresh table grapes, 49 of them are avail­able dur­ing the September-​through-​December time period, includ­ing 14 major vari­eties. That’s a lot of late, great grapes.
  • Sure, there are more ways than one to accom­plish any given task. Or cut a melon, pineap­ple or mango.

    When ama­teur knife skills clash with more expert tech­niques, there is a lot to be learned.

    Any­one can wield a knife blade. Exact­ing just the right cuts to extract every bit of fruit with­out waste can be tricky. Doing so safely is yet another feat.

    Round-​shaped fruits are espe­cially unruly. Pic­ture a large can­taloupe or hon­ey­dew melon rolling around the coun­ter­top. There is a ten­dency to judo chop it dead cen­ter to stop that action.

    Deft hands will exer­cise patience and exe­cute a plan.

    One clever move is to first cut both ends of the melon off. This cre­ates a flat base on which to stand the melon on end.
  • Food his­to­ri­ans credit Por­tugese cooks for the tasty spread we’ve come to know as mar­malade.

    Orig­i­nally made of quince (marmelo is the fruit’s Por­tugese name), the sweet/​tart gel like paste is used in desserts, breads and cakes.

    Quince are a rel­a­tively unusual fruit in that they are rarely, if ever, eaten raw. Mak­ing them into a jelly/​preserve/​compote allows them to be savored well past their sea­son.

    In Brazil, most marme­los are boiled, sweet­ened and then reduced to a thick jelly-​like paste called marme­lada.

    Quince are very tart and tan­nic, mak­ing them almost impos­si­ble to eat in their nat­ural state. Dur­ing cook­ing, their tan­nins mel­low and change color, giv­ing cooked quince a lovely pink-​to-​reddish hue.

  • About the Pro­duce Beat: David John hosts this weekly pro­gram regard­ing every­thing you ever wanted to know about fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles: selec­tion, stor­age, prepa­ra­tion, vari­eties, sea­sonal avail­abil­ity, trivia, and his per­sonal secrets about how to enjoy produce.

  • We’re com­pletely used to see­ing fresh pro­duce in vivid and some­times unusual col­ors.

    Even so, when the flesh of a water­melon sur­prises us with a bright yel­low inte­rior, rather than the req­ui­site pink or red, it’s excit­ing.

    Water­melon is that ancient half fruit, half veg­etable thing with likely orig­i­na­tion from the Kala­hari desert of Africa.

    5,000 year old Egypt­ian hiero­glyphs depict water­melon images. By sym­bol­i­cally bury­ing the dead with water­melon, loved ones were thought to be nour­ished in the after­life.

    Rich in anti-​inflammatory nutri­ents, water­melon is over 90% water and con­tains abun­dant elec­trolytes. This com­bi­na­tion is what is extremely hydrat­ing in hot weather con­di­tions. Color is optional.
  • Well over 100 apple vari­eties are com­mer­cially grown in the United States. For nearly five decades, red deli­cious apples were the con­sumer favorite.

    This year, title of con­sumer favorite will now go to the Gala apple instead of red deli­cious, which falls to the num­ber two spot.

    Apple grow­ers are tend­ing to grow more of the newer vari­eties as a reflec­tion of chang­ing con­sumer tastes. Gala apple pro­duc­tion is expected to grow almost six per­cent above last year.

    Taste, tex­ture and sweet­ness account for surg­ing gala apple pop­u­lar­ity. This out of hand fresh treat hits the mark on all cri­te­ria.

    Until the 1970s, Amer­i­cans had only a few choices of apples. Golden Deli­cious offered a color con­trast and Granny Smith brought tart­ness to the table. The iconic Red Deli­cious was the shin­ing star and heav­ily pro­moted by Wash­ing­ton state growers.

  • Pep­pery foods have been a part of the human diet for more than 8,000 years.

    Long before the ancient Greeks and Romans gave mon­e­tary value to pep­per­corns, South Amer­i­can Indi­ans were eat­ing fiery hot wild chili pep­pers.

    Chilies were eaten in Mex­ico, Brazil and Peru 6,000 years B.C. and were one of the first domes­ti­cated plants in the New World.

    The love affair with chili pep­pers con­tin­ues. Most of us asso­ciate chili pep­pers with vary­ing degrees of heat. Super­hot chili pep­pers go beyond habanero pep­per heat and sur­pass 350,000 Scov­ille Heat Units.

    Any num­ber of vari­eties of these super­hots have sur­passed two mil­lion Scov­ille Heat Units. Treat these pep­pers with the utmost respect when han­dling or cook­ing with them.