People often come to me with produce questions. Or I go to them to talk about produce. Or fruits wake me up in the middle of the night reminding me they're on their way. And vegetables too, yeah, so you don't think I'm leaving them out.
I'm not sure where my love of fruit came from initially, but a restaurant at the beginning of my career, Lulu, gave me my first introduction to California's profuse fruit and vegetable choices. I remember my first raw fig, the taste sensation of forty two kinds of heirloom tomatoes on one plate, and arugula's spicy punch. I knew more than the average New Yorker when it came to fruit, because those flavors so defined seasons for me, but California is for major league players. When you step into Berkeley Bowl all will be revealed.
May is a particularly interesting time for fruit and veg. Here in Northern California, but mostly for the rest of the world experiencing definitive season shifts. May is our final resting point before summer's onslaught catches us off guard, knocks us off our lazy, gliding surfboard, and doesn't let up until October. We attempt to remember which way is up when waves come faster and faster and our somersaulting selves struggle to breathe before the next one comes.
If you love stone fruit, move here, if even for a few months. You will never be the same.
The Greenleaf Monthly Produce Newsletter is a way to understand the weather of fruit and fruit and veg weather, before it knocks you upside the head. It's written by Andy Powning, a mortal-appearing god of produce knowledge (David Karp aside) published by GreenLeaf, a San Francisco produce company serving thousands of dining and food businesses North, East and South of San Francisco.
Didn't know there was a drought in California? Didn't understand why lemons cost more in July? Wondered why lettuce prices skyrocket if there's too much rain and also sun? Can't remember when that perfect avocado made your menu shine last year? Have an inappropriate
crush on micro greens? Have a secret desire to hoard Bergamot or Yuzu or Mandarinquats? Need another reason to move here or want to live vicariously through our fruit and vegetable experiences?
Go here. Sign up. Or download the PDF's onto your desktop for easy access.
There is no better, articulate, up-to-the-minute, well-written, silly & serious, quirky & nerdy, newsletter written on the subject of produce. And this used to be something you had to work in a restaurant that had an account with Greenleaf to get. I coveted my copies and used to hold onto them until the chef begged me for a glance.
But now you, and everyone you've ever known, can be privy to GreenLeaf's insights. It's an amazing thing.