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Category: Picks of the Week
Posted by: admin

This apple and pear relative is hitting its prime right now and is only available October through December at local farmers markets. Brought to us fresh each week from Garcia Family Farm, the quince is often used in pies, applesauce and preserves. You can also bake it and serve with your favorite ice cream, as seen in the Fix of the Week on D6. When cooked, it takes on a beautiful pink to deep red color throughout, making for a stunning presentation. Quince is a great source of fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Available at the Tuesday Santa Barbara, Thursday Goleta, Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real markets. About $2 per pound.

Rainbow chard

The fall and winter greens have been rapidly arriving at farmers markets over the past couple of weeks. Fresh rainbow chard has been at the forefront. These large leaves are perfect for adding to stir-fry, soup, salad, and can usually be substituted for spinach. Before using, remove the thick stalks that run down the center of the leaves to ensure a smoother texture. A great source of beta-carotene and dietary fiber. Available at most Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Markets. About $1.50 per bunch.

Sibling Revelry wine

This new wine from Buttonwood Farm Winery is a must-try! A blended red table wine, it is produced directly from grapes grown on the Buttonwood estate in Los Olivos. Available at the Saturday Santa Barbara farmers market by the case. $60 per 12-bottle case.

New at the market

Santa Ynez Gardens, one of the newest additions to the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association, is offering an exceptional selection of indoor and outdoor plants. Perfect gift ideas for the holiday season or as a way to spruce up your house before company arrives. Watch for those poinsettias to come soon. Located near the Santa Barbara Street entrance of the Saturday Santa Barbara market.

Baked Quince

October 16, 2008

Category: Recipes
Posted by: admin
As the local fall crops begin to arrive at weekly farmers markets, it's time to gear up for a new round of fresh produce to enjoy for the season. From persimmons, pomegranates and winter squash to an array of hearty greens, such as kale and bunches of rainbow chard, there are quite a few ingredients to work with this time of year. One of them, available only October through December, is quince, which you're probably less familiar with. At first glance, this member of the apple and pear family may resemble a cross between the two. But if you've ever tried to bite into one, you likely discovered a much different flavor. Cultivated for more than 4,000 years in Asia and the Mediterranean, quince serves its major function when cooked, where it takes on flavors similar to its relatives. Its acidity and astringent properties are too intense to be enjoyed raw, which is why the quince is mostly used in preserves, pies and sauces.

When selecting a quince at the market, ask the farmer to assist you. The quince varies in shape and size, but resembles what you may expect if a pear and apple were spliced together. When purchased fresh, it has a green to yellow skin that turns more yellow when ripe. It will, however, remain firm, so do not expect it to soften (if it does, discard). Any brown spotting on the outside is completely normal, and will not affect the flavor. Once home, the quince should be stored at room temperature on the counter until ripe. It can then be refrigerated, lasting two weeks or more.

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