Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Meyer Lemon, Petaluma

Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) is a citrus fruit, native to China, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. These lemons are available from November through May in specialty produce markets and some supermarkets. Can't wait? Meyer marmalade...bottled availability.

Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908, popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs during the California Cuisine revolution.

We visited Petaluma sometime earlier and got ourselves some California sunshine in a jar. This marmalade is made from state-grown Meyer lemons, cane sugar, and pure water - prepared long enough to draw the natural pectin from the fruit.

Pastel purple soft fluffy loaf into slices...

and slathering marmalade ...

A sprightly lemon flavor, well balanced with sweetness and light in texture.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Cider Pub in Sebastopol, California

Located in Sebastopol, California - in the middle of Sonoma's wine country - Ace-in-the-Hole is America's first, and maybe just about the only cider pub.

Ace-in-the-Hole Pub
3100 Gravenstein Highway North
Sebastopol, CA

Interesting taster sampler presentation. You get 4 ACES and a Joker.

Clockwise from 12 o'clock - Joker (the only one with 8% alcohol), ACE of Apple, ACE of Apple-Honey(made with Sonoma wildflower honey), ACE of Perry, ACE of Berry.

The color of cider starts to darken as you go clockwise. In addition, you begin to explore more complexity as the mix of berries blends with cider in ACE of Berry.

With 8% alcohol, no wonder it's a joker among all the other 5% ACES.

Joker - Strong and dry with Champagne-like flavors

ACE of Perry- A light refreshing pear flavor and natural vanilla from Madagascar

ACE of Apple - fermented apple cider

The fermented apple cider ~ made from six different local apples varieties

We can't drink with empty stomachs...give us some meat!

Sausage plate of chicken apple & English bangers with ACE apple sauerkraut

Sonoma Farm Trail:
Fruit Farms
Cheese shop

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Pepper Jelly - Petaluma in Sonoma Farm Trail

Well, I was supposed to look at cheeses in a cheese shop but instead distracted by these colorful bottled jellies at Marin Cheese Factory in Petaluma, CA. These assorted pepper jellies sound hot, sweet, spicy, fruity, peppery and savory.

I'm new to jellies. Are jellies the same as jam?

Mango/Plum Ginger Pepper Jelly and Raspberry-Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

Apricot-Jalapeño Pepper Jelly and Sweet Onion Jalapeño Pepper Jelly

Cranberry Pepper Jelly, Habanero Pepper Jelly

Jalapeño Pepper Jelly and Marioberry Pepper Jelly

I was so fascinated and confused by all the varieties and finally, decided not to buy any and ended up with a small block of cheese instead.The cheese tasting station at the cheese shop even had some cranberry pepper jelly slathered on top of of Brie. I tried them on crackers, and the savory Brie really gel well with the subtly sweet-tangy- peppery cranberry pepper jelly. What a colorful treat!

Continue reading about Asian pears along the Sonoma Farm Trail, California.

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Sonoma farm trails - pears, apples

FALLin' in love with pears and apples! This pear chart is absolutely captivating. Click chart to enlarge and know your pears tis' season.

At Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol, CA, I saw many of my favorite Asian pears - crisp texture and juicy flesh.

All the pears varieties were at $2.50/lb and I got myself some Ya Li - the alluring Asian pear that takes the shape of a bartlett or any European pear, lightly flavored, crisp, juicy and aromatic; Shinseki - yellow colored, flavorful, crisp with a hint of citrus flavor, and Niitaka - tanned, crisp and juicy.

There were others such as Honsui, 20th and Shinko ... and oh gosh...I did not know there were so many Asian pear varieties. You could find out more about each Asian pear variety here.

Papa and Mama pear. Where is baby pear ?

I did not find them in Gabriel Farm but did see the cutest baby mini Asian pears at another farm in Petaluma, CA.

Baby pear is here! Now, where is Goldilocks! :P

Gabriel Farm also grows Fuyu Persimmons, also known as Fuyus. Full orange in color, you can eat them hard or soft.
A sweet tasty late fall treat. That explains why the persimmons are still green, unripe, on the tree since we are only one step into autumn/fall.

Persimmon tree

Golden asian pears hanging high on the tree, so tempting...

Pear tree

Apples...nice and red, ready to be picked

Apple tree

Do you like Asian pears ? Or prefer the classic apples?

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