Did you know there's a region along the Lake Erie shoreline in Chautauqua County and stretching into Pennsylvania called America’s Grape Country? One of four grape growing regions in the state, this area is ideal for fruit production including more than 50 varieties of concord grapes.
There are four main wine growing regions, or American Viticultural Areas (AVA) in New York : Lake Erie, the Finger Lakes, Hudson River, and the East End of the Long Island. Lake Erie creates a dense, heavy clay that makes a happy home for vineyards in Western New York. The vast majority of the grapes grown here are actually concord and are used for juice production. There are approximately 31,500 acres of vineyard in the Lake Erie region of New York and Pennsylvania grown on 582 farms, making this the second largest grape growing region outside of California. Of this acreage, 98.5% consists of Labrusca (American Grape) varieties.
This week, we debuted the first grapes of the season with Somerset Grapes from Erdle Farm appearing in two curated fruit boxes. Their firm and crisp flesh yield a juicy, strawberry-like flavor.
We look forward to delivering up to 10 other varieties from around the area in the coming weeks.
Grapes are rich in phytochemical compounds such as resveratrol, a powerful anti-oxidant found to play a protective role against diseases and some cancers. They are also a good source of vitamins C, A, K, B6, B1, and B2.
Storage & Preparation
Grapes should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Place them in fresh cold water for a couple of minutes, gently swish them around a few times and pat day with a soft cloth.
We can't get enough of summer's sweet, juicy peaches. While they may be the official fruit of Georgia, New York grows more than 2,000 acres of peaches. This stone fruit is in season locally from about July to September.
Peaches are thought to have originated in China as early as 2,000 B.C. They were carried on the silk road to be traded in Persia. The first literature about peaches dates back to 550 B.C. Peaches often appear in Chinese paintings because they symbolize immortality and friendship.
Peaches are in the rose family and are also related to nectarines, cherries and almonds. If you pop out the peach pit, it looks like an almond! Cultivated peaches are divided into clingstones and freestones, depending on whether the flesh sticks to the stone or not; both can have either white or yellow flesh. Peaches with white flesh typically are very sweet with little acidity, while yellow-fleshed peaches typically have an acidic tang coupled with sweetness, though this also varies greatly. Both colors often have some red on their skin.
Storage & Preparation
Choose peaches that are firm, plump, and fuzzy. The flesh should yield to gentle pressure but shouldn’t bruise easily. Don’t select peaches that are green, extra hard, or blemished. Peaches can be ripened on a window sill or kitchen table at room temperature inside a paper bag. Once they reach the perfect ripeness, eat them immediately or refrigerate them for up to 2-3 days in an unsealed plastic or paper bag.
To prepare your fresh, ripe peaches for cooking, gently wash, peel, and remove the pit. Peeling peaches is easy if you blanch them. Blanching simply means dipping the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds and then dipping them in a cold water/ice bath. The skins will come right off, leaving juicy pink, orange, or sometimes white flesh. Use lemon juice to avoid browning. Or wash and eat whole!
Peaches are packed with antioxidants which help protect our bodies against aging and disease. One medium peach is full of vitamin A and C as well as riboflavin and beta carotene. They are naturally low in calories and are sodium-free and fat-free.
Cooking Ideas & Recipes
Peaches can be used in desserts such as pies, puddings, cobblers and shortcake. They are also terrific in savory recipes from barbecue sauces to salsas and chutneys and even salads. Top pancakes or yogurt with peaches for breakfast. To preserve a taste of summer for months to come, can peaches. We love them eaten fresh out of the hand!
It may look like a mild banana pepper, but the Hungarian wax pepper has a lot more bite. In terms of spiciness, it’s more akin to a jalapeño with a chance for a bit more heat. This is a great pepper for all sorts of cooking, including chiles rellenos, and a popular choice to top a salad or to pickle. They are very flavorful and slightly tangy-sweet with that mild heat layered on top.
These chilies originated in − surprise − Hungary! It couldn’t have a more fitting name, but it does go by a few others. Sometimes it’s simply known as the hot wax pepper or the hot yellow pepper. The other aspect of the name refers to the waxy-like texture of the pepper’s rind.
Hungarian wax peppers do change color as they ripen, turning orange in hue, followed by red at full ripening.
Storage & Preparation
Fresh, unwashed peppers can be stored in the vegetable drawer of your fridge for 7-10 days. To avoid the peppers drying out in the crisper, it sometimes helps to put a damp paper towel in the drawer to keep the air moist. To prepare your peppers, wash them with cold running water. Use a small paring knife to cut out the stem and core of the pepper. Remove the seeds by rinsing the pepper under cold water again.