Santa Rosa Plums ($2.50/pound)
Available at: Specialty Produce
No one wants to rush through anything during the languid days of summer, but if you want to enjoy the deeply intense Santa Rosa plums, you’d better get on it soon because they’re going to be gone shortly. These plums, bred in Santa Rosa, Calif. in the early 20th century by horticulturist Luther Burbank, have a smooth sweet-tart taste in the their orange flesh beneath that dark dark reddish purple skin. Sure, you can find bigger, firmer plums, but these more modestly sized fruit are the quintessential plumy flavor and texture.
Look for slightly soft fruit that has a gentle fragrance. Too firm? Let them ripen a little on the counter, then refrigerate them. They’re a great snack, but are equally wonderful sliced into a salad with arugula, goat cheese, and toasted nuts. I love them in upside-down cakes, compotes, crumbles, and tarts. Cook them down for jam or gelato. You can still find them, grown by Shoemaker Farms, for $2.50 a pound at Specialty Produce.
Photos by Caron Golden