Laura Avery of the Santa Monica Farmers' Market highlights two grape varieties in season now that shouldn't be overlooked. The large is a round purple seeded grape that tastes just like a Concord, but with a bit more crunch. The rare Muscat of Alexandria, the table grape of Europe, is an amber-colored, seeded grape that has a rich and complex flavor. Both grapes are very different than the one-dimensional sweet varieties like Red Flame and Thompson. You can find these varieties at Harry Nicholas' stand at the Wednesday Santa Monica, Saturday Santa Monica market at Pico Blvd and Cloverfield, and the Sunday Beverly Hills market.
Muscat of Alexandria
Persimmon season is a great time to experience the two types of persimmon. The round fuyu can be eaten hard; the elongated, pointy hachiya is best when eaten rather soft. Persimmon season is a busy time for Jeff Reiger of Penryn Orchards Specialties, who brings several varieties of persimmons to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers' Market. Currently, the Tsurunoko or "chocolate persimmon" is in season. The name comes from its brown flesh color. You can order labor-intensive, ultra sweet whole dried persimmons (or "hochigaki") directly from Jeff. Just go to his website.
Chocolaty inside of the Tsurunoko
Music break: Bird Priest by Ratatat