Fall is in the air and that can only mean one thing… pumpkin time! What is great about pumpkin time is all the decorating you can do with a full line up of fall harvest décor items you can find at your local Bristol Farms. This year’s offering includes: carving pumpkins, mini pumpkins (orange and white), gourds, ornamental corn and the list goes on and on!
Pumpkins are so versatile these days that not only are they great for carving and decorating, they are also great to make your favorite fall pumpkin dish (can’t beat a homemade pumpkin pie!). All of our pumpkins are grown locally here in California where they are pampered in the warm days and cool nights of Northern California! Make sure to come visit us today before it’s too late… Halloween is almost here! Read More
Cooler days, earlier sunsets, and New Crop Apples are all sure signs that fall is just around the corner. Loads of sweet, crisp new crop apples have been arriving in store and in a wide variety to choose from. They run the gamut from tart to sweet and can be enjoyed both out of hand and in sweet and savory recipes.
So what exactly is a new crop apple? In a basic explanation, new crops are the freshest apple you will taste all year long. As opposed to storage apples, which are brought to market all year long, new crop apples start coming off trees in August and are brought in fresh to stores through November, or until the first frost. New crops are your guarantee for enjoying an apple that has just been picked from the orchard.
Enjoy all the new crop apples while you can for that unbeatable fresh crunch and flavor. Below are a few of the varieties we are offering in store:
Gala Apples - Crisp, juicy, and sweet, Gala apples are perfect for snacking or enjoying with wine and… Read More
Heirloom tomatoes are gorgeous in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes, and offer the most "real" tomato-ey flavor of any tomato on the market. The secret is the seed which is "breed true", unlike hybrid tomato plants that produce plastic flesh-type flavorless varieties.
So what determines an heirloom variety? Heirloom tomatoes are classified in four categories:
Commercial Heirlooms: Open-pollinated varieties introduced before 1940, or tomato varieties more than 50 years in circulation.
Family Heirlooms: Seeds that have been passed down for several generations through a family.
Created Heirlooms: Crossing two known parents and dehybridizing the resulting seeds for as many years or generations it takes to eliminate the undesirable characteristics and stabilize the desired characteristics. This process can take as many as 8 years or more.
Mystery Heirlooms: Varieties that are a product of natural cross-pollination of other heirloom varieties.
Heirlooms are… Read More
It’s always a great time to gather family and friends together, and for your Labor Day celebrations consider a new dish with a secret ingredient: grapes from California. Fresh grapes are refreshing on their own, of course – pretty much anytime, anywhere. But they are a versatile ingredient too. Here's one of our favorite recipes incorporating sweet grapes. Give it a try at your holiday soiree and then bask in the compliments.
Shrimp Orzo and Grape Salad
When it’s too hot to cook, toss up this filling summer salad of orzo, grapes, and shrimp with a mustard-dill dressing for dinner or as a side.
2 cups cooked, drained orzo pasta
2 cups California seedless grapes
8 ounces small cooked peeled shrimp
1 cup cucumbers, seeded, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon each salt and dried dill weed
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon each olive oil, dijon-style mustard and… Read More
It’s getting hot in here! Get ready for Hatch Chile Season.
Hatch chiles are only here once a year—in August and September—and that’s why you might find us Hatch-heads going a little nuts. Grown exclusively in the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico), Hatch chiles have a reputation among foodies as the best peppers grown in the U.S. and some people say the world. The Hatch chile has the same shape as its Anaheim cousin, but has firmer flesh and a greater range of flavor, from mild to medium. It’s that strong New Mexico sun, those cool nights, and the mineral-rich soil that makes the flavor so distinct. Hatches are hardly ever eaten raw; it’s when they’re roasted that the smoky richness and depth of flavor really shine. If you buy them fresh, we recommend roasting over an open flame to get the absolute best flavor possible. Once roasted, they're easy to seed and make a great Southwesterny addition to almost any dish. Hatches have a short harvest season—just six weeks! So… Read More
One of our favorite things about summer is that it means we’ve got an abundance of organic peaches in store for you. Our favorite stone fruit ranges in flavor from the super sweet and juicy to the tart and tangy. While eating them straight from the hand, with ice cream, or in a cobbler is always appropriate, we’ve found that peaches are remarkably versatile for all types of more savory summer dishes: salsas, chutneys salads, meat marinades, and more.
How to Pick the a Perfect Peach
Nothing’s more disappointing than biting into a bland peach. So how do you pick the best? Well, when you shop at Bristol Farms, you’re already halfway there. That’s because our farmers leave fruit on their trees two to three weeks longer than an average grower, which means the fruit’s sugar levels and maturity are at their absolute peak. Here are a few more perfect picking tips:
Pick up a peach and give it a sniff. Good peaches smell, well, good. Like a peach should!
Vibrant… Read More
It’s not really summer if you’re not firing up the grill, and lucky for you there’s some seriously great meat on special to officially kick off summertime parties. And to finish things off sweetly, we have a secret tip for something special: grilled peaches. When you grill peaches (or other stone fruits), you perform a kind of magic. The heat of the grill makes the natural sugars caramelize, creating a new sweet and smoky flavor that will make you an instant fan. And you don’t have to serve the peaches warm to get the full flavor impact. Grill them up in advance, pop them in the fridge, and serve when you’re ready. And though you can use the grilled peaches in an endless variety of ways, some of our favorites are the simplest: Just top with whipped cream, Mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, chopped nuts, honey, or all of the above!
How to Grill Fruit
Our favorites for grilling: Peaches (of course!), nectarines, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, and watermelon
1. Cut the fruit so… Read More
Sweet corn is very forgiving and takes little effort to make a big impact on the 4th of July. There are many methods to prepare corn, but nothing beats freshly grilled corn with a light char and nutty flavor. Here are our favorite methods for grilling corn:
The simplest of methods is going naked, for the corn of course! Shuck the corn ears and remove silks and place on the grill so the flames touch the corn directly. Grill for about 10 minutes while turning constantly to avoid overly burnt spots. This method results in lightly charred brown bits with perfectly grilled flavor.
Grilling corn with the husks on gives the corn a deeper and nuttier flavor, plus it allows you to peel the husks back and tie for a nifty handle. Be sure to soak your corn at least 30 minutes to prevent flare ups. Peel the husks back and remove silks, season as you wish, then rest the husks back down over corn. Grill while turning until corn is steamed throughout; about 15 minutes. When… Read More
When it comes to fruit here in California, it's easy to say we are spoiled. You can enjoy most of your favorite fruits pretty much any time of the year as you please. Cherries, however, are only here for a limited time: in the late spring and summer months. Whenever we get our first cherry delivery of the year, the entire produce team shouts for joy. That’s not just because we miss them when they’re gone, but because we know that we’ve picked the very sweetest and most flavorful varieties for you.
Mounds of jumbo, sweet Washington red and rainier cherries are now piled high in our produce departments! Our cherries are large in size, sweet like candy, and a pure joy to eat. When it comes to enjoying cherries, pie is just the beginning. We like to add cherries to a myriad of sweet and savory dishes, such as topping salads, plopping them in summer cocktails, or cooking down into a spiced chutney.
Perfect for 4th of July celebrations, this rustic Peach and Cherry Galette is an… Read More
Grown in the San Joaquin Valley, Plumcots are known for their sweet, juicy plum-like flavor with a hint of apricot goodness. That’s because they’re a hybrid fruit, the result of carefully controlled cross-pollination between plums and apricots.
When picking plumcots, the fruit should be firm with just a slight “give” when gently squeezed. Avoid fruit that is overripe, characterized by loose skin and a “watery” feel to the fruit. Plumcots will continue to ripen at room temperature. Once the fruit reaches your desired softness, refrigerate it to keep it that way. Plumcots will last for a week or more in your refrigerator.
Plums and plumcots often have a white or silvery colored “coating” on them. The “bloom” as it is called, is natural protectant and produced by the fruit itself. It is harmless and easily removable by wiping the fruit with a cloth or paper towel.
Plumcots are great in many dishes, such as a topping for salad, fruit salads, infused vodka… Read More