• Alligator Pears

    Georgia O’Keefe’s Alligator Pears

    You’re in for a sweet treat at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, Georgia O’Keefe at Lake George exhibit thru May 11, 2014.

    From magnified botanical compositions to panoramic landscapes, the works in this exhibition offer a deeper understanding of the spirit of place that was essential to O’Keeffe’s artistic evolution.

    From 1918 until the early 1930s, Georgia O’Keeffe retreated annually to Alfred Stieglitz’s family estate on Lake George in upstate New York, where she reveled in the discovery of new subject matter and found respite in the rural setting without the distractions of city life. O’Keeffe’s experiences there inspired one of the most transformative and productive periods of her career, energizing the development of her signature modernist style.

    The term Alligator Pear came from the shape of the fruit resembling a pear and the Mexican Aguacate, French Advocaat, Portuguese Abacate and Dutch Avocatpeer.


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    No doubt, the renaissance of this magical fruit with ancient traditions has garnered a renewed affection for it’s bounty of sparkling gems (arils) hidden just beneath it’s outer shell. Some may be unaware of it’s origins in Persia and it’s promise of fertility and eternal life. Buddhists consider is one of the three blessed fruits. In Judaism, the pomegranate is said to contain 613 arils corresponding to the 613 mitzvahs or commandments in the Torah. In Islam, each pomegranate is said to contain one aril directly descended from paradise.


  • Cotton Candy Grape

    Cotton Candy Grapes

    Hold the phone! I saw this new grape variety at the Berkeley Bowl last week, (my favorite San Francisco Bay Area Grocer) and had to try them. Everyone knows I’m food obsessed and always looking for the new and exotic. This grape courtesy of the creative folks at Grapery like a Moscato grape, are quite large and green. As soon as you bite into this little treasure, you are overcome with the scent and flavor of pink cotton candy. The Cotton Candy Grape is seedless. It’s quite a surprise, to be eating a grape so similar in taste to a carnival treat.


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    The Story of an Egg

    Alexis Koefoed, founder of Soul Food Farm was one of the eloquent farmers featured in this enlightening documentary that discusses the following distinction in terms: “free range”, “cage free” and “pasture raised” chickens.


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    Certifiable Foodie at the Bayview Hunters Point Multipurpose Senior Services

    Yes folks, I’m teaching cooking to my new friends at the Dr. George W. Davis Senior Center in the Bayview Hunters Point Neighborhood of San Francisco.


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    Crop Seasonality in Northern California

    Do you shop for the freshest produce of the season? I’ve just completed a resource for my Northern California readers. Crop availability depends on a number of factors including Mother Nature…


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    Continuing in the stone fruit vein, I proudly introduce the Peacot. One of the latest in a whole family of stone-fruit crosses like Apriums and Pluots. A Peacot is a brilliant combination of peach and apricot. The velveteen skin of the peach and the texture of the peach…


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    A Peacotum is a trifecta of flavors bred into one perfectly gilded, blushed beauty. If you’re a fan of stone fruit and the sight of apricots, peaches and plums romance your palate then you must try this new hybrid. Don’t worry, this isn’t an evil Genetically Modified Organism.


  • romanesco


    Romanesco is a member of the Cauliflower family. Romanesco looks like an edible Chartreuse architectural marvel. Romanesco closely resembles a computer fractal. According to Wikipedia, “the number of spirals on the head of Romanesco broccoli is a Fibonacci number”.


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    Classie Parker The Canning Queen of the Dessert

    Classie Parker remembers when everything you needed to know about integrity, guts, and the meaning of life was in the conversations of the kitchen.
    Blog post:


  • mandarins

    Sumo Mandarins

    Sumo or Dekopon Mandarins are originally from Japan like their nearest relative the Satsuma Mandarin which is a longtime favorite here in Northern California. Sumo’s are in their infancy in the US with their first appearance the winter of 2011.


  • saffron


    Saffron is the stigma from the beautiful fall flowering crocus sativus grown in Indian Kashmir and Spain. Each crocus flower has but 3 stigma and they are lovingly harvested by hand. Saffron is the most expensive spice at upwards of 150USD per quarter ounce.


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    Cavendish Bananas

    The Cavendish Banana is one of the most common varieties of banana found in US Markets. This banana was named after William Cavendish, one of the Dukes of Devonshire. The Duke of Bananas was responsible for propagating the Cavendish Banana…


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    Manzano Bananas

    The fruits of the Manzano Banana sometimes referred to as Apple Banana are shorter than the common Cavendish Banana and a little smaller in diameter. Unlike the Cavendish, the Manzano needs more time to ripen to it’s pinnacle of sweetness.


  • pomelo


    The pomelo looks like a grapefruit except much larger and has thicker skin. The pomelo can range from green to yellow in skin color and grows in California, Florida and much of Asia. Fruit can easily be two pounds.


  • jabotica


    The Jaboticaba is a small grape sized dark purple fruit which grows from the trunk/branches of the Jaboticaba Tree native to Brasil. The peel of the fruit is bitter and not good to eat.


  • rambutan


    The rambutan hails from tropical climates from Mexico to Asia and many points in between. One of the most striking looking fruits. Similar to the Lychee except with a thicker shell covered with hairs of red tipped with green.


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    A Classroom Garden

    Do you shop for the freshest produce of the season? I’ve just completed a resource for my Northern California readers. Crop availability depends on a number of factors including Mother Nature…


  • durian


    The Durian is an unlikely food both to look at and then to smell. It has sharp points all over its exterior shell. Once you get the shell open there are several lobes of butter colored flesh wrapped around large brown pits.


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    Huitlacoche also known as a Mexican Truffle or Corn Fungus is a naturally occurring fungus that grows on a fresh ear of corn and distends its kernels into a mushroom. This ingredient can be found in cans, but I’d recommend it fresh…


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    Dragon Fruit

    The Dragon Fruit is a native of tropical climates, Thailand, Vietnam, Phillipines, Mexico & Sacramento. To enjoy this fruit, cut it into quarters or slices and remove the bright colored rind. The texture is similar to a watermelon and the flavor reminiscent of the Kiwi yet less acidic.