If you ask our produce buyers, now is the time to really get excited about summer fruits and veggies. And while it was hard for them to pick their favorites from such a bounty of delicious options, there were a few that stood out from the bunch. Here’s the summer produce guide you’ve been waiting for!
Our produce buyer Rodrigo Velasquez grew up in rural central Chile, where he felt tremendously lucky to have access to exceptional fruits and veggies. But for Rodrigo, nothing compares to a watermelon on a hot day. He remembers spending long summer afternoons as a kid looking for the perfect watermelon on his neighbor’s field. He’d pick the biggest one he could find and enjoy it under the shade of a willow tree. As Rodrigo points out: “There are not many other fruits that you can eat with a spoon.”
Produce buyer Hillary Craig thinks about our fresh heirloom tomatoes all winter long. Well, the sun is out and the wait is over! Hillary recommends really savoring these flavorful tomatoes by enjoying them sliced with a pinch of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprig of fresh basil. And she certainly wouldn’t say no to a few slices of fresh mozzarella either.
Kelsey Forbes, our fruit category manager and self-described “gazpacho monster,” is stoked for a lot of summer produce but is particularly keen on ataulfo mangos. Ours come to you from Ciruli Brothers orchard, a grower that really goes the extra mile to make sure their mangoes and the environment they need to grow is mango-nificent.
Category Manager Riley Greenberg lives for summer squash season as it’s when she gets to make her favorite dinner-for-a-hot-day: calabacitas. It’s a colorful dish full of fresh squash roasted with summer veggies like corn, tomatoes, and sweet onions topped with warming herbs.
More Imperfect Picks
Riding in on the new arrivals wave are summer fruits like golden kiwis. Our golden kiwis are palm-sized balls of sunshine that are a little smaller than what grocery stores prefer. But we think that just makes them sweeter. And unlike regular kiwis, their skins aren’t fuzzy, making the whole fruit a delight to eat!
And speaking of delight– cherry season is heating up and will be hot hot hot for the next few months. Our cherries come in all sorts of unique shapes and sizes. Some come in doubles, and others have nose-like “spurs,” which means grocery stores won’t buy them. But seeing as we’re always on the hunt for triple cherries, we’ll take them all! If you’re feeling fancy, enjoy your cherries atop this Semolina, Olive Oil, and Honey Cake.
Contrary to what the grocery store may suggest, strawberry season is not year-round. But luckily, it’s right now. This means your strawberries should taste sumptuously sweet and unbelievably juicy. We often stock up on the extra small strawberries retailers won’t buy. But little do they know, smaller typically means sweeter! Enjoy your strawberries in a vibrant Japanese Sando or sip on them in this Refreshing Strawberry Basil Lemonade.
Peach season is perhaps the best part of summer, as it’s typically the time of year where stonefruit is at its finest. In the U.S., stone fruit season starts in late May and runs until October. Peaches are generally the first to say, “oh, hello” in May, followed by apricots and nectarines, and finally, plums trundle in around June and July. Now’s the perfect time to try this recipe for Simple Grilled Peaches with Honey and Thyme.
Take a Coloring Break
Eating seasonally supports local farms, is often better for the environment, and makes for great art inspiration. Click to download, print out, and color in our Summer Produce Guide.