Hatch Chiles

It’s Hatch Chile Time! Do you have Hatch Fever like Frieda’s Specialty Produce. Have you seen huge displays of these at Kroger stores or have you attented a hatch roasting event? If you are a fan of peppers one look at the Hatch Chile and you may be thinking that “hey that pepper looks just like an Anaheim pepper”. If a New Mexico resident is within ear shot they may soundly object to you saying such a blasphemous thing. I am here today to clear up the differences between a Hatch Chile and an Anaheim pepper. For simplicity sake we are going to keep the chile versus pepper argument for another time and just called the Anaheim a pepper and the Hatch a chile.

What is the Difference Between Hatch Chiles and Anaheim Peppers?
So what is the difference. It all comes down to location, location, location. Let’s face the facts, a Hatch chile is a variety of Anaheim pepper. Yes they are basically one in the same. But while wine lovers celebrate wines from different regions, people debate whether Vermont or Wisconsin cheddar is better, and those that will only eat Vidaliia onions, what makes the Anaheim peppers named Hatch chiles special is where they are grown. Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, where the town of Hatch is located, experiences abudant sunshine, hot daytime temperatures with cool nights. This is due to the approximate 4000 foot elevation in the area, which allows for cooler temperatures at night during the growing season. For whatever reason this hot and cool trade off does wonder for the flavor of the chiles. The soil makeup is also different there from California and Mexico in which most the grocery store Anaheim peppers come from.

Can I Use an Anaheim Pepper In Place of a Hatch Chile?
Absolutely! The flavor may be different but the pepper will work just the same. Just like the ones from Hatch, Anaheims would benefit in flavor from roasting.

Hatch Chile Creamed Corn

My Favorite Use for Hatch Chiles
No doubt about it – Creamed Corn. The heat of the pepper is so perfect along with the creaminess you get when kernel meets dairy. Take a moment and check out the recipe.

Where to Buy Calypso Limeades

in Beverages

Calypso Pineapple Peach Limeade

The lemon and the lime. A popular flavor combination in the soda world. But I am a firm believer that these two flavors are best when they are not together. Every lime flavored soda pop I have had has tasted better than any lemon-lime combo. This doesn’t mean I don’t like to mix up my lemon and lime flavors with other flavors, just not each other. I am a big fan of flavored lemonades. I am also a big fan of flavored limeads, which I believe are often overlooked. Those days of being overlooked may be over with Calypso Limeades available on the market from the same people who brough us Triple Melon and Ocean Blue Lemonade.

Calypso has 6 flavors of limeade – Natural Limeade, Sweet Cherry, Tangerine, Pink Guava, Pineapple Peach, and Coconut Coloda. The only two that I have had myself were the Pineapple Peach and Sweet Cherry – both of which I liked. The Sweet Cherry Limeade is a classic combination that Calypso does justice to. The pineapple peach is a more unique concept which I found to work, with all three flavors – peach, pineapple, and lime shinning through.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I look finding things for people. So of the best and most popular posts on this blog have been “my where to buy posts.” I want to help you locate these limeades. You can check out my Calypso Lemonade post to see where that is available as you might be able to find the limeades at the same location. If you found them, let me know where and what you thought.

Where to Buy
Busch’s (Ann Arbor, MI)
Holiday Market (Canton, MI)

These first 2 locations is where I have found them myself.

Zanotto’s Family Market (San Jose)
Foodtown (New Jersey)
Smith’s
Menard’s

Distributors
Here is a list of distributors that I found carry the limeads. You can check to them to see what retailers might have them -

Rhode Island Distributing
Cherokee Distributing

When Are Red Haven Peaches Ready 2014

in Fruit & Vegetables

Red Haven Peaches

The Red Haven – the peach that every other peach is judged against. By far the most well known variety of peach in my neck of the woods. People eagerly anticipate this peach every year – they go wild over it. The season is a short one, so when they are available you need to grab them fast.

The 2014 Red Haven Peach Season
The weather plays a big factor into when Red Havens will be ready each year. Or if they will be ready at all. We had a record cold weather this past year with temperature going below -10 degrees multiple times. This end up killing some of the buds of the peaches before they could even reach the spring. The buds for a peach form before the winter not during the spring. Peach tree need to go dormant and require a certain number of chill hours (temperatures below 45 degrees). But if temperature gets too cold, too often it can kill the buds like what happened this year. Many orchards in southeastern Michigan have no peaches at all this season. The western part of Michigan did a little bit with the more hilly terrain and Lake Michigan to nearby to keep the temperatures slightly higher. Other states suffered as well (read about the problems in Indiana)

Red Haven Peaches

Another thing to factor in is the very mild summer we have had here in the Midwest. I have yet to see a 90 degree day this summer at my house, which is very uncommon. The ripening process of the peaches has been delayed. So not only is the crop not abundant this year it is also later. I managed to pick up some Red Havens from Virginia at a store while I was in Shipshewana, Indiana.

What is Difference Between Red Haven Peaches and Early Red Havens?
You may have heard people saying they have early Red Haven peaches. What is the difference? It is either a strain that ripens two weeks early that is clingstone or another variety in the Haven series that is using the Red Haven name to generate sales. August is the month to find true, freestones (most years) Red Haven peaches.

Farm and Farmer’s Market Reports
Here are some things I have heard about Red Havens from various farms and markets.

Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market
None of the vendors at this market are selling any peaches this year.

Port Huron Farmer’s Market
My mom was at the farmer’s market in Port Huron on Tuesday, August 12th. A vendor told her that she would have Red Haven the following week.

Fruit Acres Farm in Coloma, MI
They began offering u-pick on Red Havens on August 9th and ran out of u-pick on August 16th. They still have already picked Red Haven available in this market as of this writing.

Big Dan’s U-Pick in Hartford, MI
Also had Red Havens available for picking starting the 9th.

Norton’s Produce in St. Charles, IL
They have Red Havens peaches in stock as of this writing.

Where to Buy Cotton Candy Grapes in 2014?

in Fruit & Vegetables

Cotton Candy Grapes

This is it. The moment you have been waiting for. The Cotton Candy grape harvest is underway and stores will start to receive their first shipment any day now. This has to be the most excitement I have seen about a piece of fruit since I have been doing this blog. And why not, the grapes taste like cotton candy!

Cotton Candy grapes have received a lot of mainstream attention from being mentioned on NPR, by Ryan Seacrest, the Today Show and the New York Times, just to name a few. They even had a brief cameo on the television show, “Raising Hope”! It’s really exciting to see so many people get behind such a great tasting piece of fruit and to see the hard work of the folks at the Grapery come to fruition.

Where to Find Cotton Candy Grapes

The good news is that Cotton Candy grapes will be more widely available than ever this year as this is their largest crop so far. The Grapery is also offering this year their new Grapery Direct service in which you can order grapes directly from them, shipped to your doorstep overnight. It is a pilot program and they are still working on getting the shipping rate down as of now they have standard overnight rates to California, Reno and Las Vegas Nevada, and Flagstaff and Tucson, Arizona.

My 2014 Cotton Candy Experience
I found them on Saturday, August 16th at Hiller’s in Ann Arbor, MI. A small display with a few bags left on it. The price was $2.49 per pound. The flavor was just as good as I remember and my mind had hyped it up to be. As I was eating some on the way home, I bite into one and juice when flying onto the windshield. My kids were ready to pounce on them the minute they saw me bring them into the house.

Below you will find a list of stores that are expected to carry grapes from the Grapery. Check with your particular store for availability. I will try to confirm as many sightings of the grapes as possible. Some of the bigger chains to carry the grapes this year include – Sam’s Club, the Fresh Market, Publix, select Whole Foods stores, Sprouts, Wegmans, and Hy-Vee. If you find them in a store that is not on the list, please leave a comment below. Or if you find them in a store on the list, let us know what city and store you found them in.

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
Sweet Surrender (Bakersfield, CA)
Sam’s Club
Sprouts
Raley’s
Gelson’s (confirmed in Pacific Palisades, California)
The Fresh Market
Whole Foods
Sequoia Sandwich Shop (Bakersfield, CA – confirmed 8/11/14)
Sully’s (Bakersfield, CA)
Murray Family Farms (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
Mariano’s (confirmed in Arlington Heights, IL)

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
Hiller’s
Busch’s
Hutch’s Food Center (Spring Arbor, MI)

Minnesota
Lunds/Byerlys
H Brooks
Hy-Vee
Target
Festival Foods

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)
Levine Brothers

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
Harmon’s (confirmed)

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
Festival Foods

Wyoming
None

The Pea Project - My Gardening Blog

Featured On:

my foodgawker gallery