by Keith Tsuchiyama, Produce Buyer
Yellow Nectarines are in season and sweeter than ever! Our locally grown yellow nectarines are on sale for $2.49 lb through July 1st, so grab them while you can. I’d like to give you a little back-story on our nectarines – the history, uses, and information on our grower.
Nectarines are a fantastic sweet/tart fruit that’s similar to a peach…without the fuzz! They are enjoyed in a variety of different ways: they can simply be eaten in hand or sliced, or as an ingredient in many recipes. Nectarines can be used in recipes from appetizers to desserts. They make a great marinade for steaks, fish, and pork, to salsas, ice cream, and in salads. We invite you to savor the flavor of our amazing fresh nectarines while they are at the peak of their season.
So, what’s the difference between a peach and nectarine?
Well, technically speaking, the difference comes down to one recessive gene, which determines whether or not the resulting fruit will be fuzzy. If both parent trees pass on a copy of this gene to a seedling, the result will be a nectarine. Otherwise, peaches and nectarines are genetically identical, as anyone who has noticed the resemblance between the two fruits probably realizes. Since many modern fruit trees are produced by cloning, this gene is not as large of an issue as it once was.
Why do they taste different?
As a general rule, the fruits have slightly different tastes and textures due more to breeder selection than to nature. Generations over generations of peach/nectarine crops have resulted into the taste similarities and differences between the two.
What came first? The Peach or Nectarine?
Prominent pomologists, such as Luther Burbank, have argued that the nectarine actually predates the peach and that the nectarine, not the peach, represents the ancestral form. It is quite possible that peaches are a cross between nectarines and almonds. All speculation, of course.
About Summeripe our partner/grower:
Summeripe is one of the few large growers/shippers that still support multi-generational family-centric growers. Most of our fruit comes from small family farmers, many of who live on land farmed by their parents, and grand-parents. They are stewards of the land. They know if you treat the land with haste, you’re ruining it for future generations. Old-time traditions are still implored and knowledge is passed down, one generation to the next. Our growers care about the fruit they grow and have pride sharing it with those who sell and eat it. There’s an inherent responsibility to provide the best fruit possible to the consumer and our partners who sell it… and it shows.
Meet Eric Laemmlen
Eric Laemmlen is a third generation farmer in the Central Valley of California. Eric’s Grandfather, Rudolf, arrived in California in 1925. Rudolf purchased 30 acres of farm land that included peaches, plums, and grapes. Eric’s father, Arthur, eventually bought the farm next to Rudolf which added another 120 acres to the existing family farm. Eric likes to say he has grown up with fruit juice in his veins. After high school, Eric went on to study at the University of California Davis, specializing inPomology and Fruit Science. After graduating from UC Davis, he returned to the family farm to work with his father. Eric loves the taste and unique flavor of each variety he grows, however a couple personal favorites would be, the Zee Lady and August Lady Yellow Peach. Farming for Eric has always been a family affair. Today he and his family farm over 200 acres of Summeripe peaches, plums, and nectarines. Eric is proud of his heritage, and he hopes consumers will see, taste, and enjoy the fruits of his family’s labor.
Through innovative all-natural processes, you can enjoy the sweetest, most delicious fruits of summer – peaches, plums, and nectarines – the minute you leave the store. Summeripe finishes what Mother Nature so carefully began. Fruits are fully-ripened, ready-to-eat, and bursting with farm-fresh flavor. Enjoy them as firm or as soft as you like, it’s up to you. Each one will be sweet and juicy – you have our promise.
Cooking with Nectarines
Bake in the oven or throw onto the grill, the Summeripe Nectarine and Prosciutto Flatbread Summeripe is the perfect appetizer for all of your summertime gatherings. Nectarine slices make this delicious and easy flatbread a savory yet sweet summertime treat! Perfect for the 4th of July! For more recipes, visit Summeripe’s website.
2 Summeripe Nectarines, skinned, pitted, and thinly sliced (may substitute Summeripe Peaches)
3 ounces (8-10 slices) thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
1/3 cup dark balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons spreadable goat cheese
2 heaping handfuls of fresh basil, torn
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-8.8 ounce package of flatbread/2 per package
Sea salt or Kosher salt to taste
1. In a saucepan, cook balsamic vinegar over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, stirring occasionally. Be careful not to let the balsamic over reduce and burn
2. Preheat oven to 450° F
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil into a skillet, lightly brown both sides of the flatbread
4. Place flatbreads onto baking sheet & brush one side with a light layer of remaining olive oil
5. Spread goat cheese onto one side of the flatbread
6. Layer basil, prosciutto, and Summeripe Nectarines slices on the flatbread, adding salt to taste
7. Bake in oven in for 10 minutes or until flatbread edges are brown and crisp
8. Drizzle reduced balsamic vinegar onto the flatbreads and enjoy!
Grilling the flatbread seems to make this dish really sparkle. To grill the flatbread, heat grill to medium to medium-high and lightly brown both sides of the flatbread before adding the toppings. After toppings are added, grill the flatbread for 10-12 minutes or until edges are brown and crisp. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar and enjoy!
By Alexandra Thurlow, The Kitchen at Summeripe