Extraordinary Autumn Pears
“A Gift of the Gods” — Homer

In season from September — January, ripe pears are an autumnal delight with their distinctive buttery texture and succulent sweet flavor. Cultivated for more than 4,000 years,this ancient fruit captured the praise of the well-known Greek poet Homer, who referred to pears as a “gift of the gods.” Delicious fresh to eat out of hand or added to salads, pears are equally impressive baked or poached for desserts.

The Versatile Mushroom
Earthy Hidden Treasures

Raw, grilled, sautéed, stuffed, braised, stir-fried, breaded, or roasted — mushrooms are a surprisingly versatile ingredient! Fresh mushrooms add dimension, texture and flavor to dishes as well as provide important nutrients including selenium, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin D. The Monterey Bay is ideal for mushroom production and is the second largest producer of cultivated mushrooms in the US.

Healthy Kale
A Nutritional Powerhouse

Kale, the queen of the greens, is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, along with vitamin E (antioxidant), calcium, phytonutrients, and helps lower cholesterol — not only is it one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, it tastes great in salads, braises, soups and even smoothies. Here are some tips for selecting, storing and prepping winter greens from our market chef.

Local Raw Milk and Cream
Schoch Dairy’s motto —“Quality over quantity.”

Raw milk from from grass fed cows contains higher levels of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), vitamins, and a wide range of minerals. Schoch's Family Farmstead raw milk is creamy, full flavored and delicious. Learn how to make homemade kefir, a cultured milk beverage full of healthy probiotics using raw milk.

Edible Paradise :: Seasonal Cooking

MBCFM Recipes

From Our Markets to Your Table

Edible Paradise celebrates the year-round abundance of the highest quality, freshest food grown on the Central Coast by our family farmers at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets. If you enjoy preparing and eating locally grown food, this blog is for you!

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Pears – Sweet Pleasures of Autumn

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The Extraordinary Pear

Pears are one of the world’s most alluring fruits with its voluptuous contour and buttery textured flesh. A perfectly ripe, luscious pear is without peer as a sweet pleasure of autumn. This ancient fruit captured the praise of the well-known Greek poet, Homer (8th century B.C.), who referred to pears as a “gift of the gods.” The Romans developed over 50 varieties of pears and introduced the cultivated pear to Europe. The California Bartlett is an ancestor of a pear originating in Berkshire, England from the 17th century. California grown pears include Bartlett, Bosc, Sekel, Comice, Starkrimson (red pears), D’Anjou, Forelle, Packhams, Taylor’s Gold,  and Warrens.

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Mushrooms — Earthy Hidden Treasures

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Monterey Mushrooms

Did you know the Monterey Bay area is the second largest producer of mushrooms in the US and third in the world? Pennsylvania, where mushroom farming was pioneered, ranks first in the US for mushroom production. The Chinese learned mushroom farming in Pennsylvania for shiitake production and are the number one producer in the world.

What were once exotic are now commonplace — shiitakes, oysters, cremini, and Portobellos. And they can all be found at the Aptos Farmer’s Market. New Natives offers shiitake and oyster mushrooms, and Blanca at Global Mushroom carries Portobello, cremini and white button mushrooms. Continue Reading →

Apples – A Pajaro Valley Legacy

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Pajaro Valley Apples

Did you know that the Pajaro Valley used to be the apple capital of the United States in the early part of the last century? One historical account from 1894 described one apple packer that shipped roughly 6.5 million pounds from the Pajaro train station to the east coast. Without a doubt, the Pajaro Valley has played a significant role the apple industry.

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The Mediterranean Diet — Eat Like A Greek!

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EAT LIKE A GREEK!

A recent study published  in The New England Journal of Medicine confirmed what Greeks seemed to know all along — eating a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, olive oil, vegetables, fresh fruit, legumes, fish, poultry and red wine has proven health benefits, especially for those at risk for heart disease. Contrary to the popular belief that a low-fat diet was best for cardiovascular health, the results of the new Mediterranean diet study were so clearly evident that the researchers ended the trial early.

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Pastry Chefs’ Secret Ingredient — Duck Eggs!

Pastured Duck Eggs

Located in the foothills of Watsonville, Mello-Dy Ranch is home to over 400 Khaki Campbells, a heritage breed of ducks. This five-generation family also grows apples, berries, squash, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, apricots, beans, lemons, persimmons, pears, along with pasture raised chickens, ducks and quail.

What’s the Difference Between a Chicken Egg and a Duck Egg?
If you’ve never tried duck eggs, you may be wondering how they differ from chicken eggs. Duck eggs are larger than some chicken eggs, but not by much. They are about the size of a jumbo chicken egg, slightly more oblong in shape, and have harder, off white or grayish shells. The yolks are a deeper shade of orange gold than chicken eggs. Continue Reading →