Last week marked the return of Laura Ramirez (J.J.â€™s Lone Daughter Ranch in Riverside County) to the Santa Monica and Hollywood markets after her late-summer hiatus. She brings fully ripe Hachiya persimmons, the oblong type you can only consume when theyâ€™re utterly soft and jammy. Their spicy, deep-orange flesh is a perfect reminder of right where we are in the season. Weâ€™ve been seeing firm, shiny, unripe hachiyas for several weeks now, ones we have to nurture on our kitchen counter or flash freeze to speed up the ripening process, but now that weâ€™re far enough into fall, farmers are beginning to carefully transport the translucent sweet treats ready for eating with a spoon or for autumn puddings.
Lauraâ€™s also got pink and red pomegranates, but she is still pretty much in between seasons on citrus and avocados. Yup, those fruits we think of as year-round are in transition right now. Laura does have some unusual Mexican-type small avocados with edible (!) purply-black skin and a rich oil content. They look a bit like little eggplants. This variety has an equally unusual name: Walter Hole.
Also making his seasonal return to the market is California macadamia nut grower Jim Russell, showcasing his new harvest nuts from Fallbrook. New season Cal macs are sweet and crunchy, with undertones of coconut. Our California varieties have more sugar and less oil than Hawaiian macs and are best enjoyed raw rather than roasted. Jim only sells bi-weekly at the Wednesday Santa Monica market, but he does a brisk mail-order business: firstname.lastname@example.org.