Harrow Diamond Peaches

It seems every few months we are hearing about another food recall involving a potential listeria infection. The latest recall is on conventional and organic yellow and white peaches, yellow and white nectarines, plums, and pluots that were packed by Wawona Packing Co from June 1, 2014 through July 12, 2014, quite a wide window. Wawona is one of the large stone fruit packers and you can find their fruit all over the country. This is a mighty big recall.

The good news is that so far no one has been reported sick. Wawona is taking precautionary measures by recalling all of this fruit to hopefully prevent anyone from falling ill. According to a report in the Packer, a produce industry news source, 3 peaches that were exported to Australian tested positive for listeria. The amount was so small that it was not considered a risk to the public. However in the United States there is a zero tolerance policy in place, therefore any listeria in any level is grounds for a recall. A private lab did discover listeria on two peaches and one nectarine.

Value Added Products
Some stores used stone fruit from Wawona to make value added items – cut fruit salads, cakes, pies, tarts, etc. So if you have an item like this from any of the effected stores I will give them a call and see if they may have used Waona’s fruit in any of their value added products.

Here is a list of the stores that I know are affected by this recall. You can also check out this PDF from Wawona that will show you what the stickers look like toward the end of the file.

Whole Foods Market
They sold both organic and conventional stone fruit with the Sweet 2 Eat sticker on them. They also sell other stone fruit distributed by different companies, so not everything is recalled. It is a lot of their organic supply. Hard pressed to find organic peaches and nectarines currently at Whole Foods stores this week.

Kroger
I saw a sign posted at a Kroger store in Ypsilanti, Michigan mentioning the recall and they did sell some fruit with the Sweet 2 Eat labels.

Trader Joe’s
The recall for them includes both looses stone fruit as well as 3 bound boxes that had the Trader Joe’s name on the side but were from Wawona. The boxes look like the one in the photo below:

Honey Fire Nectarines

The Fresh Market
They have a notice up on their webpage. You can return the fruit to them for a full refund.

Other stores that received Wawona Packing Co stone fruit (this is by no means a complete list, just what I was able to find out, will add more if I find more):

Store States
BJ's Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Maine Maryland Massachusetts New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina Ohio Pennsylvania Rhode Island Virginia
Costco Nationwide
Sam's Club Nationwide
Wegmans Food Markets New York Pennsylvania New Jersey Maryland Massachusetts Virginia
Dierbergs Missouri and Illinois
City Market's
King Soopers
Giant Food Stores
Martin's Food Stores
Aldi Nationwide
Hiller's Michigan
Ralphs
Food 4 Less

A Word About Organic
This recall effects both conventional and organic produce. This shows that just because something is organic doesn’t mean that is completely safe from these kinds of problems. When you have a large operation like Wawona runs you are more likely to have these kinds of outbreaks. I personally feel better about buying local from a small farm even if it’s not certified organic.

Where to Buy Witch Finger Grapes in 2014?

in Fruit & Vegetables

Witch Finger Grapes 2014

Ladies and gentlemen – it’s time! All grapes lovers get ready to run to your local store to pick up some of the world’s tastiest and unique grapes, offered by the Grapery – in my opinion the premier grape grower in the country. Their Witch Finger grapes are now beginning to pop up in stores across the country. These grapes are red in color, look like long fingers, and have an amazing crisp bite and flavor. The season runs from July 20th to September 20th. The actual harvest began on July 8th, 2014.

My Journey to Find Witch Finger in 2014
My own personal journey to seek out these grapes in 2014

Here in Michigan I have two potential sources – Kroger and Rocky Produce (which is a distribuitor out of Detroit, Michigan). They supplied the Hiller’s store I bought them at last season. I first checked on Friday, July 18th at Hillers – no grapes – but I did find these cool Saskatoon Berries. Monday, July 21st, I walked out of Kroger with some Salted Caramel Ice Cream and milk, but no grapes yet.

Witch Finger Grapes

Where to Buy Them

This page is your source for where to find these grapes. I will be updating with confirmed locations as the season progresses. I hope I can successfully guide to grape bliss! You will find a basic store listings below and where you see a particular city that is a location that has been confirmed to have them.

Store Listings by State

Alabama
Publix
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Alaska
None

Arizona
AJs
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

Arkansas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

California
Sam’s Club
Sprouts
Raley’s
Gelson’s
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
Sequoia Sandwich Shop (Bakersfield, CA)
Sully’s (Bakersfield, CA)

Colorado
King Soopers
Sprouts

Connecticut
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Delaware
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Florida
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Georgia
Sprouts
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Hawaii
None

Idaho
Yokes Fresh Market
Pacific Coast Fruit Company

Illinois
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Target
Treasure Island Foods
Hy-Vee
Niemanns

Indiana
Kroger
Schnucks
The Fresh Market

Iowa
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
Sam’s Club

Kansas
The Fresh Market
Sprouts
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Kentucky
The Fresh Market

Louisiana
Rouses
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Maine
None

Maryland
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Massachusetts
Wegmans
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods

Michigan
The Produce Station (Ann Arbor, MI)
Kroger

Minnesota
Lunds/Byerlys
H Brooks
Hy-Vee
Target

Mississippi
Rouses
Sam’s Club

Missouri
Hy-Vee
Niemanns
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Montana
None

Nebraska
Hy-Vee
Sam’s Club

Nevada
Sprouts
Raley’s

New Hampshire
The Fresh Market

New Jersey
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
TMK Produce (Distributor)

New Mexico
Sprouts
Sam’s Club

New York
Fresh Direct
Nathel & Nathel (Distributor)
Baldor
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Whole Foods

North Carolina
Publix
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

North Dakota
None

Ohio
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oklahoma
Sprouts
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club

Oregon
Roth’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

Pennsylvania
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sonoma Produce
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Rhode Island
None

South Carolina
The Fresh Market
Publix

South Dakota
Hy-Vee

Tennessee
The Fresh Market
Publix
Sam’s Club

Texas
The Fresh Market
Sam’s Club
Publix
Whole Foods
Green & Fresh
HEB

Utah
Sprouts

Vermont
None

Virginia
The Fresh Market
Wegmans
Sam’s Club
TMK Produce (Distributor)

Washington
Town and Country Markets
Yoke’s Fresh Markets
Pacific Coast Fruit Company
QFC

West Virginia
None

Wisconsin
Schnucks
The Fresh Market
H Brooks

Wyoming
None

When are Black Raspberries in Season?

in Fruit & Vegetables

When Is Black Raspberry Season

Red raspberries are something that we can find year round. The same cannot be said for their black counterpart. People sometimes get confused. Black raspberries are not blackberries – they are just raspberries that happen to be black. Blackberries don’t have the hollowed out hole at the top. Now that we got the confusion out of the way, finding black raspberries can be a challenge. In order to achieve success you first need to know when they are in season.

Black Raspberry Pint

When are Black Raspberries in Season?
The season for them is generally a short one. Begins in early July and last for 2 to 3 weeks. Black raspberries tend to ripen before most red raspberries varieties expect for the early ripening summer ones.

When is Black Raspberry Season

Where to Buy/Pick Black Raspberries?

Black raspberries can be almost impossible to find in the conventional grocery store. I cannot recall ever seeing them in a store. The only source has been the farmer’s markets, and maybe a specialty produce store. Check your local farmer’s markets during the month of July.

I did a search online and here are some farms that sells black raspberries:

Kansas
Brenda’s Berries & Orchards (Chetopa, KS)
Elderslie Farm (Valley Center, KS)

Michigan
Frank Farms (Berrien Center, MI)
Kapnick Orchards (Britton, MI)
Blue Dog Family Farm (Kalamazoo, MI at the farmer’s market)

Minnesota
Wahlfors Raspberry Farm (Long Lake, MN)

Missouri
Lakeview Farms (St. Peters, MO)

Illinois
Riverfront Berry Farm (Martinton, IL)

Iowa
Edge of the Woods Raspberry Farm (Indianola, IA)
Heartland Farms (Waterloo, IA)

Ohio
Mitchell’s Berries (Plain City, OH)
Pullins Raspberries (Haskins, OH)

Oregon
Sturm’s Berry Farm (Corbett, OR)
Decker Farms (Hillsboro, OR)

Pennsylvania
Shenk’s Berry Farm (Lititz, PA)

Virginia
Great Country Farms (Bluemont, VA)

What About Wild Black Raspberries and How to Pick Them?
The wild varieties have the same season. I have tons of them growing alongside the forest line. I have been taking the kids out there to pick about a pint a day over the last week or so. If you have wild ones growing in your yard expect them to be ready to pick in the first half of July give or take depending on your location. You will know when they are ready when they have completely turned black in which the berries will just put right off the plants without much effort.

Where Can I Buy Black Raspberries Plants?
Can’t find them anywhere? Why not grow them yourself. I recommend buying them from Stark Bros in the spring time, this is the best time of year for planting berries.

How to Cook Top Sirloin Filet Steaks

in Cuts of Beef

Top Sirloin Filet Steaks

In my quest to master the world of steaks and all the different cuts, I am always keep my eyes peeled for cuts that I have not talked about on this blog before. A last night journey into my local Meijer store, I spotted the Top Sirloin Filet steak. The package came with two steaks on sale for $4.99/pound. I snatched those puppies up and toss them in the freezer until I was ready to use them. In our house I like to save the steaks dinner for later in the evening when the kids are in bed and my wife and I can just enjoy without interruption. Trying to perfectly cook a steak with screaming kids all around you is one of life’s greatest challenges!

What is a Top Sirloin Filet Steak?

Most people are familiar with the Top Sirloin – a long, tasty steak, that can be found at most steakhouses. It’s one of my favorite steaks to toss under the broiler. It comes from the Short Loin of the cow, which is located toward the middle of the cow’s back. It’s the part of the cow where we get tenderloins, ribeyes, porterhouses, and t-bones. The Top Sirloin Filet steak is a cut of the leanest, most tender part of the top sirloin. It is bonelness and similar in appearance to a filet mignon without the hefty price tag. It has the flavor you would expect from a top sirloin.

How to Choose a Top Sirloin Filet Steak

The key thing to picking a good steak is look for good streaks of fat in the middle. This is a leaner cut but that doesn’t mean it’s devoid of all fat. Choose steaks with nice steaks in the middle. If they come in a package of two, try to pick ones that are the same size for even cooking. Watch out for sales on top sirloin as you might be able to find the top sirloin filet on sale at the same time too as I did.

Searing Top Sirloin Filet Steaks

How to Cook Top Sirloin Filet Steaks

The best way to cook this steak is to take a two cooking method approach. You want to get a great sear on the steak but you don’t want to burn it before the inside is cooked. Top Sirloin filet steaks are on the thick side. What I recommend doing is performing a quick sear in a cast iron pan or any heavy bottom pan that is oven safe, then finishing it in the oven. I first saw this method performed by Robert Irvine on Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. By finishing it in a hot oven you can finish the inside without burning the outside.

Seared Top Sirloin Filet Steaks
 

A two cooking method way to perfectly cook top sirloin filet steak.
Ingredients
  • 2 Top Sirloin Filet steaks
  • high heat cooking oil (I like sunflower or grape seed)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Place your steaks on a plate and liberally season with kosher salt. Allow them to come up to room temperature before cooking, about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Coat a cast iron skillet or oven safe pan with a coat of oil. Place over high heat. When hot, place the steaks on leaving room between them.
  4. Sear for 2 minutes, then flip and sear for another minute.
  5. Immediately place into the oven. Allow 3 to 5 minutes for the steak to finish or until they an internal temperature of 5 degrees below your final temperature (120 for rare, 130 for medium rare, 140 for medium, 150 for medium well and 160 for well done).
  6. Allow the steak to rest on a plate for 5 minutes before cutting.

 

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