Fresh News



Its easy to ignore “The sky is falling” warn­ings when they are incon­clu­sive. The clas­sic folk tale of Henny Penny (Chicken Lit­tle) bares rec­ol­lec­tion when food safety is at stake.

The most recent indus­try mes­sages regard­ing romaine let­tuce alerts have been frus­trat­ing for every­one in the sup­ply chain.

In defense of all stake­hold­ers, no one wants to err on the side of per­sonal ill­ness or worse case sce­nario, death.

As com­pa­nies wait for more infor­ma­tion from fed­eral agen­cies on the E. coli O157:H7 out­break that has been ascribed to chopped romaine only and not a spe­cific sup­plier, fresh pro­duce indus­try asso­ci­a­tions are com­mu­ni­cat­ing in a uni­form voice about the sit­u­a­tion.

United Fresh Pro­duce Asso­ci­a­tion, Pro­duce Mar­ket­ing Asso­ci­a­tion, Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion and the Leafy Greens Mar­ket­ing Agree­ment have worked in con­cert on com­mu­ni­ca­tions regard­ing this recent outbreak.

Read more: Henny Penny →

Cal­i­for­nia avo­ca­dos have arrived! They are gen­er­ally avail­able from April to Sep­tem­ber, but for the nearly 5,000 grow­ers in the state, the avo­cado sea­son is a year-​round endeavor.

Farm­ers walk their avo­cado groves every month to check on the trees, assess weather affects and grove con­di­tions. They must ensure avo­ca­dos are on the right track for pro­jected har­vests. Each stage in the growth cycle is crit­i­cal.

Avo­ca­dos, grown on trees, have a tree growth cycle with six stages: flow­er­ing, shoot growth, root growth, fruit set, fruit growth, and har­vest.
That’s a lot to watch and care for dur­ing each sea­son.

Cal­i­for­nia pro­duces about 90 per­cent of the nation’s avo­cado crop. Ninety-​five per­cent of Cal­i­for­nia avo­ca­dos are the Hass (rhymes with pass) vari­ety.

The Hass vari­ety accounts for about 80 per­cent of all avo­ca­dos eaten world­wide. By now, most of us under­stand that an avo­cado is actu­ally a fruit.

Read more: Taste California →

Nearly six years ago, meal kits com­pa­nies took the food scene by storm in the United States.

They looked to be the major dis­rup­tors in how peo­ple choose to pro­cure, pre­pare and eat food.

As Amer­i­can food cul­ture evolves, what we eat, when we eat and how we eat are all open to per­sonal inter­pre­ta­tion.

The crowded space of meal kit com­pa­nies is fac­ing fierce com­pe­ti­tion as meal sub­scribers are select­ing from vast options for con­ve­nience, value and vari­ety.

Gro­cery indus­try “brick and mor­tar” spend­ing rep­re­sents about $650 bil­lion, with a “B”, dol­lars in the U.S. The expe­ri­ence of daily pro­vi­sions can be frus­trat­ing at best with lots of energy devoted to meal plan­ning, gro­cery shop­ping and finally preparation.

Read more: Kit or Miss →

Once the door to Spring is cracked open, watch out. There seems to be no limit of vibrant swaths of color pop­ping up every­where.

It’s hard to miss the stun­ning fruit tree blos­som­ing in and around neigh­bor­hoods or road­side orchards.

A river walk presents clus­ters of wild neon pop­pies and ver­dant anise in early bloom. Breathe it all in…then exhale slowly.

Awaken the senses with pots of bold color after Easter pas­tels fade. Peren­nial bulb plants give us an excuse, as if one is needed, to dig in the gar­den beds.

Avoid get­ting dirt on the hands alto­gether with one quick trip to a gro­cery store these days. The bevy of new color bowls and pot­ted color bulbs and plants is staggering.

Read more: Inhale Spring →

The fleshy green spears of aspara­gus are all at once suc­cu­lent and ten­der. They have long been con­sid­ered a true sea­sonal del­i­cacy.

This highly prized veg­etable arrives with the com­ing of spring. When the shoots finally break through the soil and reach their peak har­vest length, we are ready to enjoy locally grown aspara­gus.

In Cal­i­for­nia, the first crops may be picked as early as Feb­ru­ary. The sea­son gen­er­ally is con­sid­ered to run from April through May. Like most things in agri­cul­ture, Mother Nature is in charge.

In the Mid­west and East, the sea­son may extend through June or July.

Under ideal grow­ing con­di­tions, an aspara­gus spear can shoot up to be eight to ten inches tall in a 24-​hour period. Each crown will send spears up for about six to seven weeks dur­ing the spring and early summer.

Read more: Spring Forth →

Kids of all ages have per­fected the art and tra­di­tion of egg dying for Easter.

From waxy pen­cils to small tablets of color, not much has changed in the dec­o­ra­tion process. Or has it?

The kitchen pantry is a stu­dio of nat­ural ingre­di­ents and inter­est­ing col­ors wait­ing to be used. Com­mon food items, and food waste in some cases, will trans­form an ordi­nary hard boiled egg into a beau­ti­ful show­piece.

Nat­ural dying ele­ments have long been used in fab­rics and paper. Porous eggshells invite color no mat­ter the source.

Red cab­bage and beets, brown, red or yel­low onion skins con­tribute to an array of egg color pos­si­bil­i­ties. So will cof­fee, tea, and dried spices.

Read more: A Few Good Eggs →

A 300 mile radius, or less, to define locally grown may not mat­ter much to those that are able to pick straight from a hoop house out back every­day.

That real­ity doesn’t exists for most fresh pro­duce cus­tomers.

For three sea­sons out of the year, regional grow­ers make it easy for us to scratch our local itch. That fourth sea­son is tougher to rely on for close to home grown.

Liv­ing in the mid-​west, or other cold belt states, poses real chal­lenges for sourc­ing fresh pro­duce from inside the USA dur­ing win­ter.

Cal­i­for­nia, Ari­zona and Florida man­age to eek out a fair amount of crop pro­duc­tion through the dead of win­ter. The desert regions (Yuma and Huron) do the heavy lift­ing for Ari­zona and Cal­i­for­nia let­tuce and wet veg­etable production.

Read more: Transitions →

Sig­na­ture dishes are those that proudly rep­re­sent the best efforts of a restau­rant, chef or cook. They reflect a sense of place, ingre­di­ents that work well together or reflect a shared food mem­ory.

We know that Aunt Alice’s potato salad will always be served at Sun­day sup­per or at the church pic­nic. No one can top banana cream pie from XYZ’s famous restau­rant.

The dishes we fondly remem­ber may have cer­tain emo­tional attach­ments. A young per­son going fish­ing with a favorite grand­dad looks for­ward to the hand­made pocket sand­wiches that get packed along for lunch.

Grandmother’s sig­na­ture falafel pita is wholly embraced partly because it tastes so ter­rific. The rest of the clamor is due to the cir­cum­stances in which it was enjoyed — who it was shared with, the expe­ri­ence in which it was eaten, the excite­ment of being out­doors, etc.

Sig­na­ture dishes are con­sis­tent. They are largely fail proof due to rep­e­ti­tion. By mak­ing some­thing over and over again, a per­son gets to labor over a recipe and then own it. Exper­i­ment­ing with that one spe­cial com­po­nent might put a sig­na­ture stamp on it.

Read more: Sig­na­ture Fails →

Every year, lead­ers in the culi­nary world bring us new ways to think about food, plan our meals and choose how to eat.

From small plate shar­ing to home meal kits, vari­ety and dis­cover keep the food indus­try evolv­ing.

Con­sumers may not always agree with the changes, but they will at least take a look at what is on trend.

In 2018, health­ier eat­ing choices con­tinue to drive prod­ucts to the front of the food equa­tion. Watch for more pro­tein options and super food ingre­di­ents.

Plant based foods have been strong, cen­ter plate menu themes for quite some time now. From roasted cau­li­flower steaks to spicy gar­banzo bean cakes, lean­ing on global cuisines for plant based ingre­di­ents boosts their star power.

Read more: On Trend →

Another four to five weeks of win­ter ahead means there is still plenty of time to enjoy late sea­son cit­rus fruits.

The increas­ing demand for man­darins is tes­ta­ment to the per­fect gem of a snack or lunch box treat.

Man­darins are known for their sweet fla­vor and dis­tinc­tive fra­grance. Easy peel skins and bite size seg­ments make man­darins a pop­u­lar go to pick for cit­rus fans of all ages.

Lucky that there are late sea­son vari­eties to grab our atten­tion amidst the crowded space of apples and pears. These juicy fruits can be added to every­thing from fruit sal­ads to stir fries — jams and pre­serves to win­ter cock­tails.

One late comer, that is new on the scene at this point in the cit­rus har­vest is the Gold Nugget man­darin. Cal­i­for­nia grown, this seed­less, sweet tan­ger­ine named after its bright orange, slightly bumpy rind.

This hybrid is a cross between two non-​commercial. It was devel­oped by the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at River­side. The Gold Nugget is a great juicer, aver­ag­ing a 50 per­cent juice con­tent. The fruit itself has a deep orange color inte­rior flesh with a mod­er­ately fine tex­ture. Pro­fes­sional taste pan­els con­sider this to be one of the very best fla­vored cit­rus’ in the world with a rich, full-​bodied taste.

Read more: Win­ter Delights →

The Spring Fes­ti­val known as Lunar or Chi­nese New Year offi­cially begins on Feb­ru­ary 16th and cul­mi­nate on March sec­ond with the Lantern Fes­ti­val.

Cel­e­brated in a vari­ety of cul­tures and coun­tries — includ­ing China, Japan, Korea, and Viet­nam — fam­i­lies will gather around a reunion table to honor mul­ti­ple gen­er­a­tions.

Lucky foods are served dur­ing the 16-​day fes­ti­val sea­son, espe­cially New Year’s Eve. This most impor­tant meal is believed to bring good luck for the com­ing year. The sym­bol­ism of these foods is based on their pro­nun­ci­a­tions or appear­ance.

Sym­bolic foods such as fish (pros­per­ity and sur­plus), dumplings and spring rolls (wealth) and cit­rus (health and full­ness) are read­ily shared along with other fine del­i­ca­cies.

Not only do the dishes them­selves mat­ter, but so does the man­ner of the prepa­ra­tion, the ways of serv­ing and the eat­ing of them. Spring onion pan­cakes, noo­dle dishes and Jai (veg­e­tar­ian stew) are easy to get behind.

Read more: Year of the Dog →

Car­ni­val sea­son always cul­mi­nates on Fat Tues­day, the day before Ash Wednes­day, the first day of Lent.

Peo­ple lucky enough to visit New Orleans the week lead­ing up to Mardi Gras will enjoy a feast of foods and sig­na­ture bev­er­ages.

Influ­ence comes largely from Cre­ole and Cajun cuisines. Clas­sic crowd pleasers include gumbo, jam­bal­aya and étouf­fée.

Loca­tion aside, plan a cel­e­bra­tion dur­ing the days of Car­ni­val. High­light slow cooked, fla­vor rich meals that can feed a large table.

Build­ing depth in dishes is easy when it comes to mas­ter­ing the all pow­er­ful Miropoix. Three veg­etable basics — car­rots, cel­ery and onions com­prise this start to many fine dishes.

Read more: Fat Tuesday →

Sat­is­fac­tion meets fuel when power bowls are intro­duced to the week­day or evening menu lineup.

These protein-​packed, veggie-​rich solu­tions to com­plete nour­ish­ment are as ver­sa­tile as deli­cious.

One bowl won­der trends do not seem to be los­ing any momen­tum. Given the end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties, its easy to say they are here to stay for awhile.

Week­end war­riors, stu­dents, ath­letes, soc­cer moms and pro­fes­sion­als all look to max­i­mize calo­ries and deliver on good taste.

Pro­tein power bowls are a com­bi­na­tion of grains, col­or­ful fruits and/​or veg­eta­bles, a pro­tein and a dress­ing or topping.

Read more: Super Bowls →

Hun­ker­ing down to avoid the win­ter dol­drums requires a cer­tain amount of self-​awareness. Dreary, cold Jan­u­ary days sup­press high spir­its and kill spunk.

Need a quick boost? Skip the day spa and go straight to the fruit bowl. A shot of sun­shine and bright­ness is just a peel away.

Cit­rus ther­apy invig­o­rates the senses and tricks the mind into ener­gized, warmer thoughts.

A sim­ple act of reach­ing for any type of cit­rus– orange, man­darin or grape­fruit– sets a tone for self care and good health. This choice, above other salty or sweet snack options, rein­forces good behav­ior and new year res­o­lu­tions.

Break­ing open the skin of any easy to peel cit­rus fruit releases a burst of oil. Aro­matic and clean, the fra­grance is at once wel­com­ing and familiar.

Read more: Sun­ny­side Up →

Since Jan­u­ary holds title to National Oat­meal Month, now is the per­fect time to exper­i­ment with this favored morn­ing grain.

Oats have long been a part of the world’s diet for hun­gry humans and their ani­mal coun­ter­parts.

The health ben­e­fits of oats are well doc­u­mented. From low­er­ing LDL lev­els (bad cho­les­terol) to weight con­trol and heart wise affects, there are many plus ups to enjoy­ing oats.

Tra­di­tional think­ing puts a bowl of hot oat­meal smack cen­ter of the break­fast table. Bright “oats ideas” quick to fol­low are oat­meal cook­ies, gra­nola, muffins and breads.

Before we leave the break­fast table and morn­ing rou­tine, it should be noted that healthy oats are right at home incor­po­rated into soups, pilafs, meat­balls, entrees and desserts.

Whether one is a Quaker Oats oat­meal eater, or a fan of Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats, there is a place at the table for all Jan­u­ary oats.

Ardent pro­po­nents have cre­ated cold oats jars that are make ahead ready. These grab and go meals are a time saver for crazy morn­ing rou­tines. These jam jar jew­els boast lay­ers of oats, fresh fruits, chopped nuts, seeds (chia or flax) honey or maple syrup, along with yogurt or almond milk. Oat Cui­sine– Food carts and trendy break­fast spots from coast to coast are rein­vent­ing clas­sic oats.

Unex­pected ingre­di­ents and cre­ative meth­ods (from brulees to frit­ters) have made oat­meal hip.

Read more: Per­fect Porridge →

Cold and flu sea­son has arrived with some vengeance. It is shap­ing up to be an intense cou­ple of months.

Hol­i­day travel and shop­ping crowds con­nected the dots on both coasts.

Hard to know which is which? Usu­ally, colds are milder and include a runny or stuffy nose. A cough and sneez­ing go along with a cold.

The flu is usu­ally more severe and typ­i­cally comes on sud­denly. The flu has a knack for wip­ing peo­ple out for a few days. Fever, body aches, and exhaus­tion com­monly accom­pany the flu.

Pre­ven­tion is key. Hav­ing a flu shot will min­i­mize the affects of this year’s virus. Proper and fre­quent hand wash­ing will stave off con­t­a­m­i­nat­ing germs left on door knobs, phones, uten­sils and other surfaces.

Read more: Eat, Drink, Rest. →

A new year brings a clean slate with high hopes, dreams and every great pos­si­bil­ity.

Opti­mism abounds as we pack away orna­ments and reflect on the pass­ing hol­i­day sea­son.

Res­o­lu­tions swirl around improved eat­ing habits, exer­cise and renewed pos­i­tive behav­iors.

Key to com­mit­ment is mak­ing a rou­tine of the hatched plan. Cre­ative types might be famil­iar with the “One Hun­dred Day Chal­lenge”. This could breath life into most new year’s deci­sions look­ing to alter reg­u­lar daily reg­i­mens.

Land on one small thing to do for the course of one hun­dred con­sec­u­tive days. For artists (and other “cre­atives”), it means choos­ing one exer­cise like writ­ing, sketch­ing, tak­ing pho­tos, draw­ing, etc. and then doing that task each day. Doc­u­ment­ing the daily task is part of the project.

Read more: #100 Days →

Hol­i­day cheer — as we gather around a beau­ti­fully set din­ner table– will have a dif­fer­ent mean­ing to every indi­vid­ual.

This last week of the year serves as a vehi­cle to reflect, rejoice, rem­i­nisce and pon­der.

Good health or a healthy recov­ery (from injury, ill­ness or dis­ease) is a bless­ing with tremen­dous value.

Impor­tant to remem­ber are those friends and fam­ily mem­bers who have expe­ri­enced chal­lenges and set­backs over the past twelve months. Not every­one comes to the table with a clear mind, body and spirit.

Invari­ably, real life changes in 2017 will prompt emo­tions, anx­i­ety, stress and expec­ta­tions when it’s time to cel­e­brate with others.

Read more: The Last Bite →

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.

Read more: Marmelada →

Decem­ber hol­i­days beg for some décor that is fresh and nat­u­rally fra­grant to com­bat the assault of plas­tic, glit­ter all things arti­fi­cial.

Yule­tide cheer has evolved from past tra­di­tions into mod­ern day dec­o­ra­tions using ever­greens, berries, fruits and lights.

Gar­lands, wreaths and can­dles were once the only sure thing when it comes to door­ways and man­tels.

The sig­nif­i­cance of a wreath, sym­bol­iz­ing ever­last­ing life, goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times.

A renewed approach to fresh arrange­ments main­tains mean­ing to the com­po­nents. Con­tem­po­rary designs appeal to a much broader con­sumer base.

Read more: Greens & Berries →

Mar­ket­place trends are hot top­ics for dis­cus­sion when lean­ing in on the fresh pro­duce busi­ness.

Sim­i­lar to other indus­tries where mov­ing prod­ucts from “Point A to Point B” is nec­es­sary, the fac­tor of trans­porta­tion is crit­i­cal to agri­cul­ture.

So much is hap­pen­ing in the truck­ing indus­try right now, that it is a chal­lenge just to keep up with activ­ity. Con­vey­ing the impact of truck­ing to fresh mar­ket stake­hold­ers is another mat­ter alto­gether.

Tech­nol­ogy advance­ments, new reg­u­la­tory require­ments, dri­ver short­ages, increases in freight rates and dete­ri­o­rat­ing high­ways are top of mind for all truck­ing com­pa­nies and dri­vers.

Start­ing on Decem­ber 18th of this year, the com­pli­ance phase of the ELD (Elec­tronic Log­ging Device) man­date begins as dri­vers and fleets must start using Fed­eral Motor Car­rier Safety Admin­is­tra­tion (FMSCA) approved ELDs in their vehicles.

Read more: Keep on Truckin’ →

A ran­dom sur­plus of sea­sonal veg­eta­bles may pose a prob­lem worth solv­ing.

Com­ing out of a flush hol­i­day pantry or work­ing through a fat CSA box, par­tic­u­larly with seem­ingly incom­pat­i­ble or unusual fresh ingre­di­ents, may trip us up at first.

Take a sec­ond look at what there is to work with in the kitchen. Fen­nel, cele­riac and but­ter­cup squash…then what?

After a bit of head scratch­ing, turn to an inter­net search for a blog post spout­ing the ben­e­fits of that pecu­liar ingre­di­ent. A recipe pos­si­bil­ity is cer­tain to fol­low.

A wide spec­trum of menu options will be pre­sented. Decide first on which meal solu­tion to tackle. Break­fast, lunch or din­ner? Snack or appe­tizer? That answer will clear a path to the next hur­dle.

Cooked or served raw will be the next line to cross. Var­i­ous cook­ing meth­ods will pro­duce com­pletely dif­fer­ent tastes and tex­tures. Com­pare a crisp, crunchy car­rot to that of one, moist and soft, roasted in a hot oven.

Roast­ing ver­sus grilling pro­duces dif­fer­ent results. Sautéing ver­sus pan fried yields takes it in yet another direc­tion.

The pop­u­lar­ity of fresh pick­les lends itself to con­vert­ing some of these more obscure veg­gies.

Thinly shaved, juli­enned and whole items brined or soaked with sweet and sour spices make for good snack­ing and gift giving.

Read more: A Mixed Bag →

It could very well be a savory pear tart. Or a car­rot souf­flé or even a Brus­sels sprouts Cae­sar salad with pecans that starts a hol­i­day dis­pute.

A seem­ingly nice sur­prise and uncon­ven­tional approach to fruits and veg­eta­bles this time of year might sound per­fectly ratio­nal.

Thanks­giv­ing is a time to gather with friends and fam­ily around a table that holds mostly tra­di­tional favorite dishes.

The mere thought or sug­ges­tion of sneak­ing in a new take on a famil­iar salad, side, appe­tizer or dessert may be grounds for a fam­ily fuss.

Chances are good that if the group assem­bled at your Thanks­giv­ing table has been there year-​after-​year, the expec­ta­tion is to serve exactly those same “tried and true” dishes that have been plated before.

Read more: Savory Pear Tart →

Soup from scratch is well worth the small effort it takes to make. Likely, the famil­iar, basic com­po­nents are already in the pantry.

Why wait for that req­ui­site sea­sonal cold or flu to set­tle in? Make soup now as it can be a com­fort for the soul and a tonic to the body.

The nutri­tional val­ues and sooth­ing prop­er­ties of soup work on mul­ti­ple lev­els.

Con­sum­ing plenty of liq­uids is always advised when fight­ing of aller­gens or bat­tling anti­bod­ies. The broth of soup counts toward flush­ing out the tox­ins and hydrat­ing the weary body.

Warm liq­uids tend to clear the sinus pas­sages. Hot water and hot tea suf­fice, but hot soup is a wel­come change to the daily steam regimen.

Read more: Soup Vitality →

The cal­en­dar page says Novem­ber so all bets are off. The imme­di­ate feel of this new month takes on a more fes­tive and impres­sive aura.

Maybe we start to pay closer atten­tion to every detail of the plate. Is it pos­si­ble to have even more col­ors avail­able when using fresh ingre­di­ents this month?

The shift towards apples, pears and cit­rus is evi­dent as they crowd out peaches and nec­tarine dis­plays. Hard squashes and root veg­eta­bles make their way to menu selec­tions at food­ser­vice venues.

Besides pump­kin every­thing (food and bev­er­ages), there are some easy ways to add drama to the plate. Take Sat­suma man­darins, com­ing on region­ally through­out Cal­i­for­nia, are a good start to glam­our.

These delight­ful hand fruits have a zip peel and make the per­fect any­time snack. When the indi­vid­ual seg­ments are sep­a­rated, they brighten up a morn­ing break­fast and do more than dec­o­rate a sup­per dish. They perk up a ho-​hum serv­ing right away with a pop of color.

Read more: Glam­our Shots →

Eas­ily rec­og­nized, yams and sweet pota­toes are some of those ugly fall and early win­ter root veg­eta­bles that are found on the side of the plate this time of year.

Roasted, stuffed and on occa­sion, marsh­mal­low topped, the grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity of sweet pota­toes and yams has pushed their demand to become a year-​round thing.

Baby yams and sweet pota­toes, avail­able sea­son­ally from August through Decem­ber, make it eas­ier to enjoy a single-​serve sweet gem.

Com­pared to their larger coun­ter­parts, the smaller baby ver­sions allow for a petite, ten­der vari­ety to daz­zle the dish with color and fla­vor. With an edi­ble skin, the baby size have a sig­nif­i­cantly faster cook­ing time.

Well known named vari­eties, sim­i­lar to their larger and jumbo cousins include Gar­net, Jewel, Japan­ese and Sweet Potatoes.

Read more: Baby Food →

Chilly autumn morn­ings nat­u­rally make us yearn to have a lit­tle some­thing baked with our pre­ferred wakeup hot bev­er­age.

Warm­ing up to lovely muffins, breads, loaf cakes and scones has the power to trans­form a ho-​hum break­fast into a desir­able first bite.

Let fall pro­duce guide the menu for savory and sweet oven treats.

Apples and pears, pump­kins and per­sim­mons, sweet pota­toes and car­rots– these are ample base­line fla­vors to set the course.

Cran­ber­ries and other sea­sonal jew­els like dates and dried fruits (apri­cots, cher­ries, raisins, etc.) have a dis­tinc­tive mouth feel when baked.

Read more: Baked Goods →

If Brus­sels sprouts, broc­coli and cau­li­flower are not part of the nor­mal veg­gie lineup, it could be dif­fi­cult to intro­duce kohlrabi into the kitchen rota­tion.

Kohlrabi is the cool kid on the veg­gie play­ground that requires a bit of explain­ing and some under­stand­ing.

Part bulb, part bun­dle of greens, kohlrabi may have an intim­i­da­tion fac­tor unlike its cru­cif­er­ous coun­ter­parts.

This fall favorite offers a delight­ful com­bi­na­tion of famil­iar and sat­is­fy­ing tastes. Kohlrabi has the tex­ture of a radish and the sweet­ness of jicama, with a slight hint of broc­coli.

The edi­ble leaves are like a milder ver­sion of col­lard greens. They are quite thick and gen­er­ally taste best when cooked or steamed. They can also be eaten raw, chopped and in salads.

Read more: The Cool Kid →

Kabocha, pro­nounced “kah-​BOH-​chah”, is a win­ter squash encased in a dull, deep green, hard, mot­tled skin that is often­times lined with pale, uneven stripes.

There are also some orange skinned cul­ti­vars, though the green is the most com­monly pro­duced. This time of year, they begin to appear on autumn tablescapes and in earthy fall menu items.

The skin is tech­ni­cally edi­ble if cooked, though most com­monly, it is dis­carded. Round and squat, with a flat­tened top, it ranges from one to eight pounds. Gen­er­ally, aver­age weight is two to three pounds.

Inside is a deep yel­low orange flesh sur­round­ing a small seed cav­ity. Cooked, Kabocha offers a finely grained, dry flesh with a but­tery and ten­der tex­ture. Rather sweet, the rich fla­vor resem­bles a com­bi­na­tion of sweet potato mixed with pump­kin.

In Japan, Kabocha squash was tra­di­tion­ally eaten around the time of the win­ter sol­stice with shiruko (adzuki beans) in a sweet soup to boost the immune sys­tem and help pre­vent colds dur­ing the win­ter months.

Read more: Haku Haku →

Shav­ing off sev­eral degrees from day­time tem­per­a­tures makes fall seem more real­is­tic. The ther­mome­ter is catch­ing up to the cal­en­dar.

We’re on our way. So too is fall décor for plan­ning har­vest dis­plays, front porch vignettes and spe­cial work­place designs.

Autumn col­ors gen­er­ate lots of inter­est in the DIY home and work dec­o­rat­ing ideas.

From tablescapes to land­scapes, pump­kins, gourds, wreaths and foliage are ready paint the town red, orange, pur­ple and green.

Sun­flow­ers, mums and wheat shafts com­bine with orna­men­tal mini corn and gar­lands of leaves, acorns and mini pump­kins for door hang­ings and handrail swags.

Read more: Fall Y’All →