Industry Friends Dish on Their Favorite Spring and Summer Produce Items
UNITED STATES - The changing seasons always bring a wealth of cravings for specific produce items. For me, these next couple of months bring grocery bags full of Northwest cherries, California table grapes, mangos, and honeydew melon. I have a demanding sweet tooth and the unique flavor profiles for these items fulfill a range of mealtime needs and snacking desires. And with retail demos and tastings beginning to peek out from behind the Covid curtain, I am more excited than ever.
But, enough about my palate! I took the opportunity to reach out to some of our friends to get an idea of what produce catches their eyes and taste buds during the spring and summer months. Read on for more yum for your tum.
Angela Hernandez, Director of Marketing, Trinity Fruit Company
“My favorite fruit and produce item between spring and summer is strawberries! Ever since I was a little girl, my mom would make the best strawberry pizza from scratch that I now make for family events, or just to eat myself!"
Josh Leichter, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Trellis Fruit
“Both of my picks are seasonal favorites. I love Northwest cherries when they are in season. I tend to pop them right in my mouth straight out of the fridge, usually as an after-dinner or weekend snack. And, of course, I love our Sugar Kiss melons from Dulcinea. They are only available during the spring and summer months. I will cut a melon in the kitchen, and between me and my family, we will eat the whole thing right on the spot. There is no need for Tupperware or storage to put it away. Being in the business, I recognize both these items are seasonal, and as the calendar turns to late summer, I get truly sad knowing I will only be able to enjoy these sweet treats for a couple of more weeks until they are gone.”
Caitlin Tierney, Senior Director of Produce for Local Innovation, Sprouts Farmers Market
“I love eating local zucchini in the summer. Growing up in Michigan, my mom’s one and only crop that she planted was zucchini. When I grill it with olive oil and a simple blend of seasoning, it brings me back to the memories of family dinners outside in our backyard. I’m looking forward to our locally grown Arizona zucchini!”
Michele McNeece, National Director of Business Development, Ippolito International
“I love this time of year in California! There are so many wonderful and flavorful locally grown fruits and vegetables to consume. One of my favorite fruits that I optimize in many of my meals and snacks would be pomegranates. This juicy fruit is high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Other than just eating the seeds, I love adding to entrées, salads, and guacamole for that extra zing of flavor and crunch.
While growing up in California’s Imperial Valley, my Aunt and Uncle had a pomegranate tree on their ranch. My cousins, siblings, and I would pick our own fruit, sit down under a shady tree and work our magic unraveling this fruit and consuming the cluster of seeds until both our hands and mouth were red and sticky. Those were the days!”
Jeff Cady, Vice President of Produce and Floral, Tops Friendly Markets
“From a vegetable perspective, I truly enjoy diced-up gold potatoes with sweet Vidalia onions and green and red bell pepper— putting them on the grill till they get golden brown and then season to taste. When it comes to fruit, there is nothing like a Georgia Peach in July. I eat them fresh as well as halving them and placing them on the grill. Yum!”
Craig Slate, Chief Executive Officer, SunFed
“My favorite produce item, basically year-round, is Brussels sprouts. However, spring and summer for all Texans are grilling time and there is nothing better than grilled Brussels sprouts with some olive oil and salt. And when grilling is not an option, a cast iron skillet will get the job done. Sprouts are nutrient-rich and have a very unique flavor that wakes up the taste buds. When charred, they have a nice crunch that pairs well with olive oil. Super simple to prepare and goes with just about any entrée. What more can you ask for? Easy prep, great flavor, and insane nutritional value. Yeah, Brussels sprouts, hands down, are number-one!”
People are what truly make the produce industry go ’round and knowing what makes our friends tick is just one way we promote their passion.
Keep checking back with AndNowUKnow for more on your favorite industry people!