Blenheim apricots, Santa Rosa plums @ Live Oak Farm, Grand Lake Farmer's Market
- daveena Jun 9, 2007 09:42 AM
First sighting of these for me this year - the Blenheim apricots are teeny, some no bigger than marbles. They taste good, but stone fruits are so good this year I can't say they taste significantly better than other apricots. Or maybe the ones I had were a bit underripe. I'll give them a few days. The Santa Rosa plums are excellent - sweet, super juicy (as in eat over the sink juicy), flavorful. Both are $3/lb.
Also - the zucchini guys (forgot the name of the farm... they don't sell just zucchini, but they have more zucchini varieties than anyone else - they're near the orchid sellers) are selling zucchini blossoms this year! Male blossoms only, but super cheap (I bought 12 for a dollar today).
Daveena, have you ever had the Blenheim apricots or Santa Rosa plums from C.J. Olsen in Sunnyvale? It has to be their own apricots/plums because they do buy from other farms once their own fruit is sold. They are usually available toward the end of June. Really, really ... really ... worth a ride to Sunnyvale. Really high up in the top ten food I've eaten in my total life. Really looking forward to getting down there this year since it has been a great year for stone fruit ... at last.
Wow, how did I miss those? I've never had the famous Blenheims, and I was hoping that someone at my neighborhood farmer's market would have them this year...anyhow, where in the market is Live Oak - are they the fruit stand near the Kettle Corn?
Somebody had some amazing Santa Rosa plums last year. I think it might have been Twin Girls, but I'm not 100% sure. I got some Tulare cherries from them today, and they are awesome.
The Live Oak stand is usually closer to Grand Ave, in the middle row of vendors. If you cut through the foot path right by the coffee guy, I think they're to the immediate left. (But I have a notoriously poor spatial memory... luckily the market's small enough it'll only take a minute to find them even if I'm remembering wrong). They almost never have fruit - they're mostly veg (and have the most beautiful cavolo nero and swiss chard in the winter). So I was really surprised to see fruit... they had them in two big boxes to the cashier's right.
I remember a couple of st hadands Santa Rosa plums last year, but I didn't see any Blenheim's - although the season's so short, it's possible that I missed them entirely, if I didn't go to the market all of June. The guys at Live Oak said they expected the entire crop to ripen within the next 2-3 weeks.
I bought a handful of Live Oak's Santa Rosa plums, too, and they truly were delicious! Incredibly juicy and flavorful. I actually said "wow" out loud as soon as I took a bite.
Daveena, Blenheims should not be "teeny, some no bigger than marbles". yikes. something wrong there. Sounds like under-developed fruit.
Unfortunately, just 'cause it came from a Blenheim tree, does not make someone a good farmer, producing good fruit.
Here in Santa Clara County, the Blenheims are just starting to come in, and have a VERY short 2-3 week season, and don't ship well.
Hope you don't miss out on sampling a good one ! :)
btw - they are the only type of apricot I will eat.
And here's a great newspaper article
Blenheims are drying cots - they are big! They make tasty fresh fruit but no one would take the time to cut tiny cots up for drying.
Apricots and plums ripen at different times of the year. Cots traditionally come ripe around 4th of July. Plums are later in the year. Cherries are earlier (Memorial Day). If you want local tree-ripened fruit, don't expect to get apricots and plums at the same time of year.
Everyone should check out Olsen's, if only to see the shipping boxes full of giant cherries (close to ping pong ball size)! You should also visit the Orchard Heritage exhibit at the Sunnyvale Recreation Center on Fair Oaks to see what we gave up when all that cement got poured.
I found another ranch out in Saratoga that still dries their own cots. I don't remember the name and haven't been this year but it's out by West Valley College just further down Fruitvale Road.