Friday, July 10, 2009

Cheap fruit -- yummm!

I'm sure than anyone who spent any part of childhood in California (as I did) grew up with a passion for fruit. When we moved from the Southwest to Florida, we left behind such staples as apricots, Bing cherries and concord grapes. Mandarin oranges and Georgia peaches, though quite tasty, didn't quite fill the bill for California-style fruit lovers.

In recent years, though grapes, peaches and nectarines are often reasonably priced, the really, deeply delicious fruit have tended to be quite expensive, even at the peak of the season. Except for this summer of 2009. Today, those Bing cherries above were just $1 -- one buck -- a pound. Needless to say, I bought several pounds. That was at Costco.

Later at Fry's, this container of strawberries was just another buck (don't be confused by the small number -- we had strawberries for desert tonight). Wow. The raspberry season is past, but there was the day I showed up at Albertson's to see the sign "Raspberries. 10 for $10". The little Driscoll boxes, which usually go for over $3 per. I thought about it very briefly -- then loaded up with the requisite 10 boxes. When I got home, I ate 2 boxes with cream right away and froze the remainder. They took the chill beautifully and over the next few days, I was in raspberry heaven.

I do hope that these low, low prices don't mean that the growers are on hard times. I don't worry about the supermarket chains taking a hit from loss leaders, but would hate to see the farmers go under. Except perhaps the apricot folks who ship fruit that ripens into foam plastic at best, though the dried product is not bad.


Steve said...

Cherries and Strawberries are in season at the moment. Lots of farmers set up stands along the roads to sell direct.

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

There are many varieties of fruit and veggies here; however, prices are fairly high.

There is a farmer's market on the grounds of a local primary school on Saturdays and there are nice fresh bargains there now and then.

The strawberries here are pretty large, but tasty. Both white and yellow nectarines are available in quantity during the season.

Ca 6 varieties of apples are grown south of here and get down to about a dollar a pound at the top of the season,

No alementary problems here.


Granny J said...

steve -- we don't have that many fruit growers in these parts, tho I certainly remember them from California back in the 30s & 40s. We would buy a lug of apricots on our way into Riverside to visit my grandparents and cousins. The fruit would be gone in a day.

bro -- no Bing cherries or apricots in western OZ???

RV-boondocker-explorer said...

You've brought on a fit of nostalgia for northwestern summers. I used to eat my way through summer, picking fruit at U-Pik farms, starting with strawberries and ending with apples.

Granny J said...

boonie -- sounds like an appetizing way to spend a summer! Was this in your youth or more recently?

Anonymous said...

As you can imagine, the fruit on the Left Coast right now is brimming over and we're in bing cherry and peaches heaven.

I envy your raspberry "catch", tho, and am happy for you! Cream is a "must" for raspberries. What's really num-num is to pour a little Chambord over them... on top of cheese cake!

Ahk. Don't let me get started.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

anon av -- I miss the Calif. fruit, I do, wspecially apricots from the orchard. However, those raspberries were heavenly. Are they Calif. or Pacific NW?

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Cherrys, yes. The variety is unknown to me. They grow south of us, but the main source is South Australia.

Local apricots are sumptious, especially the sort of smallish ones with freckles. The season is too short though.


Anonymous said...

The raspberries are Pacific NW, some of the very best in the USofA.

~Anon in AV.

Granny J said...

bro -- lucky you to have "sumptuous" local apricots!!!

anon av -- as I suspected.

Meggie said...

That fruit looks wonderful. All we can get seem very expensive. We do try to buy locally grown produce.

Granny J said...

meggie -- the really good fruit (especially the berries) tends to be expensive here too, which is why these bargains are so special.

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