A weekly fall produce guide to what’s in season right now based on the contents of our CSA share, with CSA and farmer’s market recipes and ideas. This week’s mid-September inspiration: heirloom apples, concord grapes, and plums.
There are a lot of reasons we spend so much time here urging people to eat closer to home. It’s good for local food systems and economies; beyond this, local food, produced at small scales, just tastes better. Much of the food in a typical grocery store is grown for shelf stability rather than flavor. Foods are picked before they’re ripe so they’ll transport better. This winter, I had a Granny Smith (all the way from New Zealand) that was so hard I couldn’t get my teeth into it.
Local fruit isn’t something we have year round in the Mid Atlantic. About a month from now, offerings will have been whittled down to apples, pears, and cranberries. Soon after, it’ll be storage apples until the first strawberries come on the scene in April or May. The bloggers and magazines and recipe pushers and Starbucks of the world have waited patiently to unleash pumpkin everything on the world. But in my book, pumpkin is best saved for October. Right now, I’d rather eat my fill of small batch local heirloom apples – varieties like Smokehouse Pippin, Winesap, and Golden Russet. To find out what apples are great in your area, talk to a local grower or find a pick-your-own orchard nearby.
Also in this time of year are tiny Italian plums and concord grapes. Neither are widely available in groceries and both have a short season – I suggest you get to work tracking them down!
(I’ll be back next week with a look at our CSA as we transition to fall. Thanks for your patience these past two weeks – I’ve had a busy few weeks.)
Heirloom Apple Crisp // Afroculinaria
Apple-Grilled Pork Chops // James Beard Foundation
Crabapple Pie // Maine Today
Apple Cranberry Cake // La Tartine Gourmande
Heirloom Apple Salad // 101 Cookbooks
Concord Lime Vodka Collins // Brooklyn Supper
Concord Grape Ice Cream // Brooklyn Supper
Five Concord Grape Dinner Recipes // Brooklyn Supper for Food52
Concord Grape Shrub // The Year in Food
Blistered Balsamic Concord Grapes // Salt & Wind
Concord Grape Muffins // Sassy Radish
Plum Tart // Brooklyn Supper
Satsuma Plum Ice Cream // Brooklyn Supper
Plum Macaroon Cake // Apt 2B Baking Co
Rice Flour Pancakes with Plum Compote // What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today
Roasted Mirabelle Plum Popsicles // Sassy Kitchen
Brown Butter Plum Cobbler // Seven Spoons