What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 11, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Stone Fruit

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Stone Fruit

  • Stone fruit should have a slight give if you want to eat them right away.
  • Store them in the fridge if it’s breaking or ripe and they should last four or five days. If it’s firm then leave them on the counter for a day or two until ripe and ready to eat.
  • For Diamond Ray yellow nectarines, there are a lot of “sugar dots” as Paul Buxman likes to calls them. They have a bit of a crude look but are fantastic. The more of these sugar dots the better.
  • You want to pick a nectarine (or a peach for that matter) with a nice yellow background. I always like to turn my fruit over and look at the stem end to get a true indication of the color. It’s not the red blush color that you are looking for.
  • And of course, you’ll want your stone fruit free of bruises.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

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June 27, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Corn

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Corn

  • Getting corn from local farmers is great because it’s fresh. The sugars in corn start to convert to starch as soon as it’s picked, so corn is sweeter and more tender the fresher it is.
  • Produce pros recommend leaving husks on the ears until you’re ready to cook, but we do offer the convenience of husking at our stores.
  • Choose corn with husks that are tightly wrapped, grass green and slightly damp. The corn silk showing at the top can be dry but not rotting. The ends should appear fresh-cut.
  • Keep corn in the fridge until you use it.
  • Although it will hold up in the fridge for 5-6 days, it’s always best to eat corn as soon as possible after purchase.
  • Corn is best from May through September.
  • White corn is typically sweeter than yellow corn.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

June 13, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: cherries, peaches & nectarines

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: What’s New

This week:

  • We have in our famous, local Bing cherries from Andy Mariani’s orchard in Santa Clara Valley…just south of us in Morgan Hill. They’re huge, deep burgundy and extremely sweet. They arrive at Sigona’s within hours of being picked – Uncle Paul picks them up at 10 a.m. and brings them to Sigona’s!
  • On another note, Paul Buxman, our local, certified California Clean grower, will soon be in with white and yellow peaches and white and yellow nectarines. It’s all going to be real good, but I expect the Diamond Bright yellow nectarine to be excellent! It’s one of the best varieties of the year.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

May 30, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Cherries

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Cherries

  • When selecting Bings, choose dark, firm cherries that have a green stem.
  • Fresh cherries will have a nice shine to them.
  • Stay away from cherries with a dry stem or cherries that are soft.
  • To store cherries, place a dry paper towel in the bag with the cherries to absorb excess moisture. They’ll hold in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Remember though: the fresher they are the better.
  • Buy local cherries for the freshest crop and best quality.
  • Rainiers bruise easily so make sure you’re gentle with them and store them loosely, not rubbing up against other products in the fridge.
  • The local cherry season will be short this year, especially the Rainiers, which were really affected by the weather this season. Get ‘em while you can!

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

May 16, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Artichokes

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Artichokes

  • Artichokes should have tight and closed leaves.
  • A telltale sign of a fresh artichoke is that the leaves will make a squeaky sound when gently squeezed.
  • As with any good fruit or vegetable they should feel heavy for their size. Light airy artichokes have less meat and are usually old.
  • Frost-kissed artichokes have better flavor – although the black marks on their leaves, created by frost, may not be so pretty, there’s nothing wrong with them. Cold weather (and frost) make for better tasting artichokes.
  • They should have a fresh clean cut stem end.
  • Refrigerate, unwashed, in a plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb moisture for up to 5 days.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

May 2, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Broccolette

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Broccolette

  • Choose broccolette that is straight (it curls up with age).
  • The top buds should have no yellowing and should be tightly closed (no flowering).
  • When shopping for broccolette, you might find it sold as broccolini.
  • This vegetable should be somewhat firm when fresh, but not near as firm as broccoli because of its gai lan characteristics.
  • Broccolette is all-edible so enjoy the whole thing from stem to top, just trim about 1/4-1/2 inch from the bottom and rinse and dry well before using.
  • It can be eaten steamed, parboiled, stir-fried, roasted or raw. If steaming or parboiling, be careful not to overcook…pull out slightly firm as it will continue to cook. If not using immediately, place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Learn more about broccolette, such as what it’s a cross between, in our feature article. Find recipes for broccolette on our blog too.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

April 18, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Local Asparagus

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Local Asparagus

  • Local asparagus is now at Sigona's! Look for fresh spears from Salinas and Stockton.

    Look for spears that are compact with no signs of flowering on the tips.

  • Really fresh stalks are even a bit squeaky.
  • The asparagus should have a fresh cut on the bottom, and it should have a green color all the way down the stalk, with as little white as possible.
  • Size is a matter of preference. Thin asparagus tastes stronger and more grassy. Thicker spears taste sweeter.
  • Did you know… the white asparagus is not a different variety? It’s just regular asparagus that’s been chlorophyll-deprived by being grown away from sunlight either under earthen mounds or plastic.
  • One end is the tough stem end; the other is the tender flower. To separate, hold it on both ends and bend. The stalk will snap at its natural breaking point.
  • Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • If you have room in the fridge, and some extra time on your hands, trim the bottom ends of the asparagus and place the stalks in a half inch of water. This will keep your asparagus fresh and stop the dehydration process.

Robbie Sigona is our produce buyer. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

March 15, 2012

Strong Enough to Handle the Sumo Mandarin?

Filed under: Produce Tips — Tags: , , , , — Sigona's @ 11:53 am

Strong Enough to Handle the Sumo Mandarin?

Come check out these seedless and sweet rarities at Sigona’s before they’re gone

sumo mandarin

Behold the mighty Sumo mandarin

We know the weather has been pretty gloomy and soggy throughout the Bay Area this week, but keep your chin up. Sigona’s Farmers Market has some exciting news to help deliver a few rays of sunshine during this much needed mid-March storm.

Sigona’s just received a shipment of Sumo mandarins from Fresno. A hybrid between a mandarin and a California navel orange, sumo mandarins are incredibly difficult to track down. These seedless bundles of joy peel away fairly easily to expose sweet-tasting flesh that practically melts in your mouth. These have a complex orange zesty flavor that lasts and lasts.

The Sumo Mandarin

Sumo mandarins are one of the largest mandarins in the entire world. They were first developed in Japan around 40 years ago through painstaking research and development. Thankfully for us all that hard work has resulted in a truly original mandarin that explodes with mighty citrus flavors.

Excited to try a Sumo mandarin for yourself? Come on in to Sigona’s Farmers Market today where you’ll find a fresh box with supple Sumos waiting for you.

Be forewarned, however, that once this rare shipment is gone, it’s gone, so come on in and check them out today.

March 7, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Cherimoya

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Cherimoya

We have the Bay variety of cherimoya in stores now from the Santa Barbara hills.

  • When selecting a Cherimoya, keep in mind that a ripe fruit will be heavy for its size and have a slight give (yet shouldn’t feel too soft or squishy).
  • Surface scars are ok – they’re likely from the branches, twigs and leaves surrounding the cherimoya while it grew on the tree. Avoid fruits that have large dark areas that have a more bruise-like appearance.
  • A cherimoya that has a slight give near the stem end will be perfectly ripe in a day or two.
  • Store cherimoya at room temperature until soft…similar to how you’d store a not-quite-ripe avocado.
  • When ripe, you can store cherimoya in the fridge for up to 5 days – be gentle with them, though.
  • The Bay variety is a great eating variety, known for its sweeter/less-acidic flavor and juicy, creamy texture.
  • There are several ways to eat cherimoya (here are a few recipes), but if you want to keep it simple, serve chilled cherimoya in the half-shell and use a spoon to scoop out its creamy flesh (scooping around the seeds, of course!).

Robbie Sigona is produce buyer for both the Redwood City and Palo Alto Sigona’s Farmers Market locations. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

February 22, 2012

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Belgian Endive

Robbie Sigona’s Produce Tips: Belgian Endive

  • Choose endive that has crisp, white and yellow leaves.
  • To preserve flavor, avoid heads that have green leaves or leaves that are browning. Endive will have green and unpleasantly bitter leaves when exposed to too much light.
  • Store endive in a cool, dark area. Wrap in a paper towel inside a plastic bag and place in the refrigerator.
  • Do not wash until ready to use. When washing, wipe with a damp cloth, do not submerge in water.
  • It’s a delicate vegetable, so use quickly (within three to five days).
  • If you have some older endive, you can trim the outer wilted leaves and use the good ones.

 

 

 

Robbie Sigona is produce buyer for both the Redwood City and Palo Alto Sigona’s Farmers Market locations. He works with local farmers and scours the market for the very best in fresh fruits and vegetables — some you won’t find anywhere else.

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