Did I say yesterday that a cool front came through two nights ago? Well, rats. A warm front came back in last night and it’s just as revolting as ever.
They PROMISED that it was going to be raining today. But instead of rain, it’s the sun’s rays that are relentlessly pouring down – or at least what can get through the muggy brown haze hanging over the city.
But to tell the truth, it was actually quite lovely this morning as we rode our bikes to the vegetable/fruit store to buy peaches. Yes. A basket of Ontario peaches!! They smell divine.
They are fabulous in peach lassis. My favourite.
Mmmmm. Peach lassi…. delicious!!
Alas, I WISH I could say this is the most delicious peach lassi I’ve ever had. I really do.
But the peaches we bought are “mealy and dry” and not particularly sweet. I am well aware that this has not been the most spectacular summer for the Ontario fruit producers. There has been a lot of rain. And it was on the chilly side throughout July. It’s true that I don’t know a lot about fruit growing. However, isn’t it a shame that the orchard owners aren’t leaving the fruits on the trees right now when there is finally plenty of sun to ripen the fruit on the tree?
I’ll wager that now that the weather office is forecasting rain here, we can be pretty much guaranteed of days and days of sunny weather.
Instead, increasingly, local farmers are picking fruit green and sending it to the market that way. Yes, I know. It’s tricky to send ripe fruit to market without bruising it. But come on!!
<major rant> The only way that people are going to choose local fruit over non-local fruit is if it’s superior in all ways. What difference does it make if I buy a green-picked peach from California that travels thousands of kilometers to get here and look just like a peach (but taste only of cotton wool with a vaguely peach tinge) or a green-picked peach from Ontario that travels a few kilometers to get here and look just like an unripe peach to be “ripened” on my counter for a couple of days until it too can taste of cotton wool with a vaguely peach tinge.</major rant>
Foodland Ontario has a TV ad running right now, extolling the wonders of Ontario fruit. They suggest that when people buy their hard peaches (not “if” they buy hard peaches) they should keep them at room temperature for a few days until they soften. Which seems to be a direct quote from #4 on the Merchandising Tips of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers:
Ontario peaches, pears and plums are the glamour fruits of summer and the all-time seasonal favourite in the produce department. […] An informed customer is a repeat customer. Educate customers on proper selection techniques for Ontario tender fruit. Consumers should choose peaches on the basis of size, colour and fragrance. Give your customers the #1 Ripening Plan for Ontario Peaches:
- Select fruit that is firm and fragrant. Ripe fruit will give off a delicate sweet aroma and be soft to the touch (not mushy).
- Remove immediately from the container in which it was purchased and sort according to ripeness.
- Store ripe fruit in the refrigerator or enjoy right away. Ripe fruit requires refrigeration to maintain freshness.
- To ripen firm fruit quickly, store at room temperature and out of direct sunlight in a loosely closed paper bag for a day or two. Note: Plastic bags are not suitable for ripening fruit, as they will trap moisture and air, which can cause premature spoilage, so always use paper bags.
- Once ripe store tender fruit in the refrigerator for up to one week or enjoy right away. Never store unripe fruit in the refrigerator, as this will cause internal breakdown causing the fruit to taste mealy and dry.
excerpt from Ontario Tender Fruit Producers: Merchandising Tips, Faye Clack Communications Inc. 2006
Goodness how sad that we are just skipping right over numbers 1-3. Here in Toronto, anyway.
I’d LOVE to be proven wrong about this!