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Flavor King Pluot Season

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Martin Strell Aug 17, 2011 06:31 AM

Looks like it's the beginning of the short Flavor King pluot season at the Farmer's Markets. I got mine at Frog Hollow at the Berkeley Farmer's Market on Saturday. If you've never had a Flavor King, they're a deep red color with a full, sweet, fruit punch taste. I look forward to the Flavor King's every year. For me, none of the other pluots quite measure up.

  1. c
    charliemyboy Aug 17, 2011 08:55 AM

    I got some pretty good flavor kings at the CSM FM on Saturday. Hamada Farms was selling them for only $1.50/lb.

    2 Replies
    1. re: charliemyboy
      m
      Martin Strell Aug 17, 2011 06:36 PM

      $1.50? Wow - that's cheap!

      Interestingly, I got an email today from a well known East Bay Italian restaurant in which their pastry chef waxes poetic on my favorite stone fruit:

      'Only once or twice a year does a fruit come along that I feel is featured best by serving on its own, without setting it in a composed dessert context. That time has come with the wonderful Flavor King pluots from Brookside Farm in Brentwood, CA.

      Upon their arrival, these pluots perfumed the kitchen, drawing Sous Chef Brian Murphy to the three cases I ordered from farmer Welling Tom. Burying his face in the box, Brian came up for air and said "it's like putting your face in a bag of mixed Jelly Beans!" He and I also agreed the pluots tasted like bubblegum, vanilla, and Hello Kitty erasers. If all of those things sound bad to you, consider Brian's analogy: marvelous tropical flowers that seem to have been copied from overblown, tacky plastic flowers. "It's like Nature copying bad Art...except when Nature does it, it's wonderful." '

      Juicy, sweet, their golden flesh veined with fuchsia... these pluots are so delightful, I feel compelled only to peel off the tart skin and serve them sliced in a bowl to make for a sublime eating experience.

      -Pastry Chef Jenny Raven '

      1. re: Martin Strell
        intomeat Aug 20, 2011 09:26 AM

        Brookside sold their last ones to Olivetto last Wedneesday :(

    2. s
      Spatlese Aug 17, 2011 10:38 PM

      I've learned over the years to restrain myself from tossing too many paychecks at Frog Hollow fruit - generally excellent quality, if bordering on overripe sometimes - but the annual appearance of Flavor Kings remains the exception. Sticker shock or no, I can't resist buying a ton of them because I haven't found another purveyor's that's been as reliably mindblowing.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Spatlese
        rabaja Aug 17, 2011 11:15 PM

        Try Kashiwase. They've been doing Flavor Kings right for years. And they don't act like they invented the peach.

        1. re: rabaja
          m
          Martin Strell Aug 18, 2011 06:16 AM

          Kashiwase did not have Flavor Kings at the market last Saturday. They said they were waiting until they were at the peak of their flavor before selling them. They said they would possibly have them this coming weekend and for sure the following weekend. I was a little reluctant to buy at Frog Hollow because of the comment from Kashiwase that the Flavor Kings were not quite ready. I only bought one huge pluot, but it turned out to be fantastic.

          1. re: Martin Strell
            a
            abstractpoet Aug 18, 2011 08:49 PM

            No love for the Flavor Queens? Those green beaus are my favorites from the Kashiwase folks...They had them at the Berkeley markets last week, but not this week.

            1. re: abstractpoet
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              charliemyboy Aug 18, 2011 09:13 PM

              Tried Flavor Queen samples from Hamada Farms at CSM Saturday but they didn't match up to the Flavor Kings.

              1. re: charliemyboy
                a
                abstractpoet Aug 19, 2011 12:22 PM

                I haven't had the Queens from Hamada Farms (or Andy's Orchards, for that matter -- gotta get down there), but the Kashiwase ones are amazing.

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                Andy's Orchard
                1615 Half Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037

              2. re: abstractpoet
                t
                teela brown Aug 19, 2011 12:15 PM

                Andy's Orchards in Morgan Hill has Flavor Queens, and the taste is heavenly, almost like the perfume of tropical flowers. I intend to be there at 10 a.m. tomorrow to see if there are any more. If there are, I'm getting a whole flat.

                Of course, Andy's also has the Flavor Kings, as well as Dapple Dandys, Elephant Heart, and Flavor Grenade pluots. Unless I buy them all tomorrow.

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                Andy's Orchard
                1615 Half Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037

                1. re: teela brown
                  Windy Aug 20, 2011 11:01 PM

                  After reading this thread, I nearly cleaned out Andy's yesterday :) Left a few pounds for Teela. I got a bunch of Flavor Kings, my first. I also picked out an assortment of other stone fruit.

                  I understand the descriptions now, especially the Hawaiian punch reference. The Flavor King is the Lady Gaga of pluots, psychedelic, and intense. But ultimately I'd rather eat a plum. In fact a giant purple plum from Andy's--something tarter.

                  Unfortunately I bought ten kinds that were all put in one bag so we're not sure which one. It was either a Flavor Heart or an Elephant Heart, but it was amazing to taste and behold. And at $2.50 a pound a great deal if you don't count gas. There was also a yellow-orange plum with flesh almost like a mango and super crunchy Romano beans.

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                  Andy's Orchard
                  1615 Half Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037

                  1. re: Windy
                    m
                    Martin Strell Aug 21, 2011 08:12 AM

                    I never made the connection between Lady Gaga and the Flavor King Pluot, but, now that you mention it, I love the comparison! Both are anything but subtle, and both of them, the first time you encounter them, leave you thinking "wow - that wasn't what I was expecting!".

                    Over on the main discussion board, I found a wonderful old post where the OP gives an over-the-top paean to Frog Hollow's Flavor King. "Amazing doesn't even begin to capture it. This damn pluot was transcendent..." http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/2980... . Unfortunately, the thread degrades quickly, but the original post was great, in the over-the-top Chowhound obsession kind of way.

                    1. re: Windy
                      t
                      teela brown Aug 22, 2011 02:34 PM

                      I wonder if we were there at the same time, Windy? Luckily there was enough to go around because I got a whole flat plus a bag of assorted stone fruit. I also have trouble remembering which kind of fruit are which once I get home! They had a variety of plum I didn't remember from before: Golden Nectar plums, which were bright yellow, intensely sweet and fragrant. The Flavor Kings were superb, as were the Elephant Hearts and the Dapple Dandies.

                      I'm with you on the Romano beans. I bought a pound and they will be served with dinner tonight, sauced with fresh tomatoes and sliced onions.

                      1. re: teela brown
                        Windy Aug 22, 2011 03:21 PM

                        The Golden Nectar must be the one we loved. I was disappointed there weren't any Incas (yet?), but the giant golden plum with orange flesh was super.

              3. re: rabaja
                rabaja Aug 19, 2011 05:29 PM

                Had some FK's from Blossom Bluff yesterday, they were perfectly good and made a very nice galette. The Kashiwase FK's have more depth of flavor though, hope to find some in the coming week.

            2. f
              foodeye Aug 18, 2011 11:25 AM

              Scream Sorbet has a Flavor King Pluot sorbet today at the Ferry Blg.'s Thursday Farmers' Market.

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              Scream Sorbet
              5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: foodeye
                m
                Martin Strell Aug 20, 2011 05:21 PM

                The Scream Sorbet flavor is the Flavorosa Pluot, not the Flavor King. We tried it today. It was very good, but I'm still loyal to the King.

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                Scream Sorbet
                5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

              2. singleguychef Aug 18, 2011 04:07 PM

                My all time favorite pluot! I've been checking at the farmers market but haven't seen them at all so far this season. Will look this weekend. I also avoid Frog Hollow and usually buy them from that other one, think it is Kashiwase.

                2 Replies
                1. re: singleguychef
                  s
                  Spatlese Aug 18, 2011 07:31 PM

                  One caveat to my usual griping about Frog Hollow's prices - if you buy a flat (about 10 lbs or so?), you can usually score quite a discount compared to their usual per-pound pricetag. I picked up a flat of the Flavor Kings from the Berkeley Tuesday market a few weeks ago for $25.

                  1. re: Spatlese
                    m
                    Martin Strell Aug 20, 2011 05:24 PM

                    Today at the Berkeley Farmer's Market, both Frog Hollow and Kashiwase had Flavor Kings. Kashiwase was $3.50/lb and Frog Hollow was $3.90. They both had samples, and I thought Frog Hollow's were better, so I bought a bag full. I asked about a flat, and the price was $30. I decided that that was too much Flavor King, even for me. They were having a special deal where they were giving away a T-Shirt to anyone who bought a flat of fruit, but the shirts were not very nice.

                2. m
                  Martin Strell Jul 28, 2012 08:30 PM

                  The 2012 Flavor Kings are here. I got them at the Berkeley Farmer's Market today from Frog Hollow. They say it's the second week they had them. Regular price is $4.90/lb., but they let me have 10 lb. for $30.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Martin Strell
                    rabaja Jul 29, 2012 10:53 PM

                    I got some from a stand this morning at the Marin FM...twin girls? Three sisters? Damn, I'm out of practice with my farmers names...
                    Anyway, they were excellent. Asked at Kashiwase and they said in two weeks, maybe they'd have them.
                    Glad to find them elsewhere, but Kashiwases are always very good.
                    Twin Girls! That was the stand. Geez, I'm getting old.

                    1. re: rabaja
                      t
                      TerriL Jul 30, 2012 06:53 AM

                      I got some at Twin Girls as well...$2.50/lb.

                    2. re: Martin Strell
                      s
                      Spatlese Jul 30, 2012 10:36 AM

                      Frog Hollow prices have gotten scarier and scarier over the past few years, but I still can't resist their Flavor Kings when they come around each summer - and buying them by the flat brings the per-pound price down to the pretty-reasonable range.

                    3. m
                      Martin Strell Jul 12, 2013 08:23 PM

                      I got a note from Frog Hollow that the FKs are early this year and that they'll be picking them next week. Hopefully, that means they'll be at the Farmer's Markets next weekend.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Martin Strell
                        m
                        Martin Strell Jul 21, 2013 04:07 AM

                        Frog Hollow had them Saturday at the Berkeley Farmer's Market.

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