Loading...
Farmers Markets

Market Report: Pears at Penryn + a Persimmon Update (Say That 5 X Fast)

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 9:21 AM

At the Santa Monica farmers market yesterday morning, farmer Jeff Rieger of Penryn Orchard Specialties wanted to talk about persimmons. On the table were crates of Muscat de Hambourg grapes (the last day for them). Yali Chinese pears, with their "hint of star anise" (a couple more weeks). Mutsu, also called Crispin, apples (a month or so). And at the other side of the stand, boxes of 3 more varieties of Asian pears--Chojuro, 20th Century, and Shinseiki. All very nice, but in a week or two Rieger and girlfriend Laurence Hauben will be bringing persimmons, specifically chocolate persimmons, from the farm in Placer County, in the Sierra foothills way up near Sacramento. (If you think farmers just mosey in from a few miles away, Rieger will be happy to correct the impression.)

Chocolate persimmons are "richer, more complex," said Rieger, who grows 9 different kinds of persimmons, among them 3 varieties--Maru, Hyakume and Tsuru Noko--of the chocolate. He's already eaten a couple, and early reports are very good.

click to enlarge Penryn Orchard's Yali pears - PHOTO CREDIT: AMY SCATTERGOOD
  • Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
  • Penryn Orchard's Yali pears

click to enlarge Penryn Orchard's Mutsu apples - PHOTO CREDIT: AMY SCATTERGOOD
  • Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
  • Penryn Orchard's Mutsu apples

"My trees are irreplaceable," says Rieger, who has owned and operated Penryn Orchard Specialties since 1980. "There's no root stock or records at all," he says of his persimmon trees. Because persimmon trees hybridize, there are, according to the farmer, "an infinite number of persimmons." To read more about Rieger's persimmon obsession, check out his website, or just ask him the next time you're walking by at the market. Either Rieger or Hauben, a French-born cooking teacher, will be happy to speak persimmon with you.

click to enlarge Penryn Orchard's Muscat de Hambourg grapes - PHOTO CREDIT: AMY SCATTERGOOD
  • Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
  • Penryn Orchard's Muscat de Hambourg grapes

Related Content

Now Trending

Slideshows

  • Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar
    Malibu Pier Restaurant and Bar, with chef Jason Fullilove at the helm, is in the two buildings at the pier’s entrance that used to be Beachcomber Cafe and Ruby’s Diner. Those buildings, which have been overhauled completely, reflect both the pier’s 109-year-old history and the cultural import of Malibu itself.
  • The Tasting Menu Trend
    In Los Angeles especially, but increasingly across the country, restaurants are either switching to tasting menus, putting a greater focus on a tasting-menu option (while offering à la carte items as well), or opening as tasting-menu operations from day one. The format that used to be the calling card of only the fanciest of restaurants is becoming ubiquitous, even at places where the waiter calls you “dude” and there isn’t a white tablecloth in sight.
  • Milo's Kitchen: A Treat Truck for Dogs
    Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.