Meet at the market: picked at peak

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Each week we meet up with Katie Hershfelt of Cultivate Events as she chats with farmers, chefs and shoppers at the Santa Barbara Farmers’ Market.

This week, the peak produce at Burkdoll Farm piqued our interest. They sell stone fruits, and grow many varieties you’ve probably never heard of. Katie spoke with Daniel Burkdoll about the history of his father’s Visalia farm and how to make that perfect, mouthwatering purchase.


David’s tips for stone fruit shoppers:

  • Shop at a market. Since each variety has different qualities, you can try samples and ask questions about flavor, texture and signs of ripeness.
  • Buy fruit that’s picked at its peak. Grocery store goods are often picked a couple weeks before in order to ship.
  • Avoid mealy fruits. This often happens because fruit has over-ripened or was picked too early and never had the chance to develop flavor.
  • Enjoy it soon. Fruit should be picked at peak for a reason. Chomp down!
  • Don’t despair if you’re early or late. Under-ripe fruit is often great in salads or on yogurt and granola for breakfast. Over-ripe fruit can be used in jams or pies (like this one.)


Robert Wemischner, Professor of Baking and Pastry at Los Angeles Trade Technical College and author of The Dessert Architect, says this recipe for Plummy Tea Sangria is a great way to incorporate farmers’ market fruit into a refreshing beverage for 4th of July.

To check out all our past farmers’ market guests, click here.