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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

SF Ferry Building Purveyor: Paredez Farms


Catalina Plums
In a previous post, I wrote about the amazing variety of farmers that can be found each Saturday at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market.   I’d like to take a moment now to turn the spotlight on one such farmer – one that is currently selling some of the best stone fruit of the season so far.

Paredez Farms sprawls across 370 acres in Exeter, roughly 250 miles southeast of San Francisco.
The farm has been owned by the Paredez family since 1918, and current owner Frank Paredez took over the operation in 1980.   The farm employs 45 part-time workers along with 30 seasonal workers, and 15 members of the Paredez family work full-time on the farm as well.  Paredez Farms produces a variety of stone fruits, including apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums.   Paredez also grows grapes, oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes.
Catalina Plums

For the past several weeks, Paredez has been offering some incredible plums and peaches.   The Santa Rosa plums from a few weeks ago were fantastic, their rich, red exteriors shielding a soft, sweet succulence on the inside.
Just as the Santa Rosas were finishing their all-too-brief run, the Catalina Plums took their place.   These have deep purple skins with a golden yellow interior, creating a striking contrast when you cut one open.
The flavor is sweet and complex, with just the right hint of sour undertone to create a delicious result.   The Catalinas were in plentiful supply at the Paredez stand this past Saturday, so they will hopefully be making another appearance this coming weekend.   Get some if you can!

Another outstanding fruit being sold by Paredez right now are the White Peaches.   These have the perfect color and texture, and an even more incredible taste.   Each bite is a juicy explosion of pure peach flavor, with a
White Peach
sweetness that is rare even in fresh fruit from the farmers' market.  So, again, keep an eye out for these at the Paredez stand this coming weekend.

Finally, let me point out what might be obvious to many, and that is that the quality and flavor of fresh produce can fluctuate from one week to the next, even at the same farm.   Accordingly, while Paredez has had several weeks of outstanding stone fruit so far, you should definitely taste before you buy.


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