At The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles, we think nothing in the world tastes better than fresh-picked fruits and veggies, especially those that have matured right here under the California sun.
If, like us, you prefer to buy your fruits and veggies when they are the freshest off the farm, here’s an insider’s guide to the best California fruits and veggies available in June.
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Considered a sacred fruit, delicious figs date back to olden times. Figs, in fact, are the most-referenced fruit in the bible. Some historians even say that the forbidden fruit was not actually the apple as believed, but rather a fig.
This sweet treat is so perfect, it could almost be called candy, except that it has nearly countless health benefits. The fig is packed with nutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants and it is also high in potassium—which helps control heart rate and blood pressure—as well as copper and iron, which help produce healthy red blood cells.
But what makes this snack extra perfect is that it is grown right here in California. In fact all dried figs harvested in the United States are grown right along California’s Central Coast.
Aficionados know that the best cherries in the country come from California. An established cherry production region since the 1800s, California accounts for almost 25% of the nation’s cherry yield. What ratchets up the demand for our local cherries is the fact that these sweet treats are only available for six weeks, from mid-May through June.
So why do California cherries taste so good? The state is home to the perfect combination of nutrient-rich soil, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures needed to produce the fruit. And if you’re a supporter of small business, you’ll be happy to know that most of California’s 600 cherry growers are small farms ranging from 10 to 30 acres in size.
Cherries are packed with healthy benefits. They are high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants that can help fight free radicals. And new research suggests that drinking tart cherry juice can help relieve sore muscles after a strenuous workout.
Special Treat: Cherries are a favorite ingredient in many of our merchant desserts. You can pick up some homemade Cherry Vanilla ice cream at Bennett’s Ice Cream, enjoy a fresh-baked cherry pie from Du-Par’s Pie Shop, or nibble on a hand-crafted chocolate cherry cordial at Littlejohn’s English Toffee House. Or go old school and pick up a big bag of California cherries at Farm Fresh Produce or Farm Boy Produce and eat them as is.
Los Angeles is a melting pot of culture, and home to a diversity of cuisines, many of which—including Mexican, Thai and Korean—feature ultra-spicy dishes. So it’s no wonder that many Angelenos enjoy a little extra kick when they eat. Or maybe we love chiles because California is the top-producing state for the pepper. A large variety of chile types are grown here, including the jalapeno, habanero and Anaheim (also known as New Mexico) chiles.
Because chiles are often considered a seasoning, people don’t always realize just how healthy they are. For example, one medium-sized green chile pod contains as much Vitamin C as six oranges, and a teaspoon of dried chile peppers has the full daily requirements of Vitamin A. The ingredient that makes chile peppers spicy can also trigger a thermodynamic burn in the body, which can help speed up metabolism and burn extra calories. Chiles are also said to be a natural pain killer and help relieve the effects of arthritis and headaches.
Special Treat: Want to ratchet things up a notch? Enjoy the Pozole Rojo at Loteria Grill! which is made with pork, hominy and a chile Guajillo-infused broth and served with a side of powdered Chile de Arbol. Or add a little zing to your own home cooking with a purchase of a fiery hot sauce at Light My Fire or a packet of sugar-free, salt-free chile powders at Dragunara Spice Bazaar.
Seasonal Veggies Harvested in June
Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Beans, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Corn, Cucumbers, Garlic, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Onions, Peas, Potatoes, Spinach
Seasonal Fruits Harvested in June
Apricots, Avocado, Cantaloupe, Cherries, Figs, Grapes, Honeydew Lemons, Nectarines, Oranges, Peaches, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon
Read about What’s in Season in July in our Market Buzz blog now.