One of my gifts is that I am an excellent selector of fruit. You want the perfect apple or pear, just ask me. This summer, I selected a watermelon that was absolutely perfect with almost no white rind at all yet completely firm and not mushy. What can I say, selecting produce is my gift.
Last year, the best store for fresh produce in San Diego was the Food4Less. Hardly what you expect at a lower-end warehouse store, but this place had fantastic fruit - eight different types of apples including Winesaps and huge, perfect Honeycrisp apples for 98¢ a pound. Strawberries ripe, unbruised and out of season for $1.98 a quart. Plus, they had everything, bundles of fresh mint and sage, 10 different type of peppers, 6 different types of pears. It was like produce Heaven. Where were they getting such amazing produce? I drew the only logical conclusion. Someone at Food4Less was having an affair with the produce buyer.
Then it all fell apart. Food4Less had mealy apples, mushy peaches, bendy carrots and iceberg lettuce. Something went wrong. His fault? Her fault? Maybe a little of both? I don't know, but those were dark days of depressing fruit and veggies. I stopped making the extra trip to the Food4Less; it was too heartbreaking.
Yesterday I was in the neighborhood and I stopped in to grab a mango for salsa. Surprise. The beautiful produce is back. I was like a kid in a candy shoppe. Should I get the red, Bosc or D'Anjou pears? What could I do with this aromatic bundle of sage? I don't even know what this fruit is, but I want two.
All I can say is I hope those two crazy kids make a go of it this time.
Updated to include this photo of the watermelon I selected yesterday. In October. Yum.