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clementines (and winter fruit)

  • s

These have become my fruit mainstay for the winter months, and I know lots of people in the NY area who feel the same. But I hear that clementines are hard to come by in other parts of the country--true? What fruit do you eat in the winter?

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  1. Personally, as a new New Yorker, I really miss the splendid clementine tree that I had in my California back yard, which got sweeter as the season got longer until there was only the syrupy, sunbleached fruit left in the very crown of the tree. I just can't bring myself to pay $6 for a box of that dessicated fruit from Morocco. But I digress...

    1 Reply
    1. re: j gold

      Red grapefruit from Texas are my favorite. They are the sweetest. My in-laws mail them to us.

      I also like to make fresh lemonade in the winter. Warm or cold.

    2. We are mad for ripe persimmons, the last fruit of the year. Make sure they are soft to the touch and cut them horizontally.

      1. For me, winter fruit means pears. Here in the Pacific Northwest we get a lot of nice local fruit, including comice from Oregon's Rogue Valley (what Harry & David sell at exorbitant prices as Royal Riveria) that have an amazing perfumy aroma and an incredible sweet flavor. The trick is eating them at exactly the right moment, when they're barely soft and full of juice. Too early and they're hard and flavorless, too late and they turn to mush.

        We also get bosc, bartlet, and anjou, the last two in both red and "green," which means anything from green apple green to pale yellow with a rosy blush. The bosc stay firm and are good for poaching as well as eating out of hand.

        A good pear, a wedge of stinky, blue-veined cheese, and a glass of Port make Oregon's wet winter survivable.

        Link: http://www.realgoodfood.com/

        1. I've just gotten hooked on Fuji apples, which I get at the Tribeca farmers market on Saturdays. It's now an all year market, but only the fruit people, the bread guy - have you tried the rye?, and the rugelach guy until spring. Find great bite and mouth feel with the Fujis.
          Lunch time, I snack on endamame's from the take out sushi next door. $1.59 buys me lots of protein and fun with my food, popping the beans from their pods.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Liza

            I love edamame, and I now buy it frozen, by the bag, at a Japanese grocery store on E 41st between Fifth and Madison. (It's under scafolding, so the entry's sort of hard to spot.) They sell a 1-lb. bag for about $1.59, and the beans take 5 minutes to cook. Yum!

            This store also stocks a lot of well-priced sushi ingredients and Japanese rice-cracker snack mixes.

            1. re: Sue
              v
              Veggie Friend

              I'm sure there are lots of places that sell edamame (heck, today even the salad bar at work had shelled soy beans), but MU and I get ours frozen from Trader Joe's in Westchester or in Rockland at the truly weird Foodworld in Tappan (Rte. 303).

              Food world used to be an IGA, but has been transformed by Korean ownership into a cross between a slightly run-down American-style supermarket and a well stocked asian grocery (mostly Korean and Japanese items). The produce varies in quality (some things are pretty worn out) but there is a very nice variety of stuff by Rockland County standards. Prices vary from cheap to wildly overpriced. I suppose they have a somewhat captive market and can jack prices up accordingly -- for example, my favorite ginger candy that is about $1.50 in chinatown for a big bag is something like $3.00 for a smaller one at Foodworld. As I recall, the edamame are $1.59. They're $1.39 at Trader Joe's.

              Also, one of our cats is crazy about edamame. He loves them so much that we have to put the shells in a seald bag or he digs though the trash to get at them!

              VF

              1. re: Veggie Friend

                Have you been to Yao-Han in Edgewater? Is Foodworld anything like it? I managed to find raw monkfish liver there, of course presented beautifully. Yao-han isn't great on produce, but their fish is top.
                That's some smart lucky cat you have. In the summer, one of the farmers at the local market had fresh edamame and it sold so I'm hoping for more come spring and summer.

                1. re: Liza
                  v
                  Veggie Friend

                  Yaohan is very nice, and clean, and pretty. Foodworld is vaguely smelly and the floors look a little dirty. Fruit is on display until it starts to get funky, and is never individually wrapped in paper or foam. But as MU just pointed out to me (she's reading over my shoulder) you can find sesame leaves there, and the napa was very fresh the last time we were there. At least 4 kinds of radishes too. I dunno, I like it because it seems like an adventure. I don't know about the fish or other meat -- not my scene. Basically, though, it seems like the Korean stuff is pretty fresh and appealing.

                  Also, practically everything is overpriced at Yeaohan, but it seems like it's mostly the Japanese food that is overpriced at Foodworld; the Korean items seemed a lot more reasonable. Go figure.

                  VF

                  1. re: Veggie Friend

                    FWIW, my grandparents swear by the fish at foodworld. And, since normally anything that has not been certified 100% sterile etc. etc. crosses not their lips, I have to assume that the fish actually is good for them to overlook fw's grime.

            2. re: Liza

              When we begin to get a large assortment of apple varieties at our St. Louis supermarket, I can't wait for the Empire apples. Of course, that's the apple from the Empire State. The first time they appear I only buy a few. The flavor just isn't quite right. But the second time around I buy lots and continue to until once again the flavor and texture fall off again.
              It's a wonderful apple. pat

            3. j
              jonathan sibley

              Plenty of clementines available in Montclair, NJ, but I'm not sure how long they've been off their trees, and how they've been stored. Better than nothing, but they could certainly be a little fresher.

              I've ordered some Honeybell Tangelos from Florida for the end of the month, and will report back on how that goes.